Pittsburgh Technical Council

Paint the Town: PPG's Innovation Prowess

Paint the Town: PPG's Innovation Prowess

Article Published: March 8, 2017

PPG has been protecting and beautifying the world for 134 years now, with Pittsburgh anchoring its operations that whole time.

PPG2PPG Chairman and CEO Michael McGarry addressed the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s membership at a Huntington Bank Breakfast Briefing to overview the key technology, innovation and science driving PPG’s success today.

McGarry became Chairman of the Board September 1, 2016, after transitioning into the CEO role in September 2015. During his 35 years with PPG, he has served in a variety of key business and functional leadership roles in the United States, Europe and Asia. In recent years, he helped lead several strategic actions that have transformed PPG’s business portfolio. 

“If it moves, we paint it,” said McGarry. “If it doesn’t move, we paint it.” This simple, yet powerful statement, demonstrates how PPG’s coatings are used across seemingly every industry.

With total annual net sales of  $15.3 billion, and ranking 190 on the Fortune 500, the iconic PPG is a leader in its markets; is a streamlined, efficient manufacturer; and operates on the leading edge of new technologies and solutions.

PPG1McGarry said it is PPG’s vision to continue being the world’s leading coatings and specialty products and services company, serving customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets.

PPG has manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 60 countries and is the new brand of PPG Paints Arena. It is Pittsburgh that serves as home base for PPG and McGarry was quick to note that the Steel City is its largest research center with some 250 PhD scientists on staff.

As technology and markets evolve, McGarry explained that coatings are being used for more than just protection and giving a splash of color.

“The future is in intelligent coatings,” he said.

PPG coatings make buildings energy-efficient, keep airplanes cool and ensure pipeline safety. In fact, as Apple is expected to announce its latest iPhone, PPG innovation will make one of its key new features possible, according to McGarry.

He quickly rifled through a number of engagements where PPG is bringing new levels of value and innovation to market, including a coating for the battery compartment in some Tesla cars to eliminate thermal events; surface coatings on pipelines that will indicate the need for repairs; and brining a new array of colors to additive (3D) manufacturing.

“Paint is more than just color,” McGarry said. “It is protection and functionality.”

Learn more at ppg.com.

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