On Earth Day 2009, Electrolux introduced "Kelly Green," a limited-edition color designed exclusively for the company's premium line of eco-friendly washers and dryers. The vibrant new hue stemmed from a partnership between Electrolux and the company's worldwide coatings supplier, PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), which not only made the color possible, but also made its application more environmentally friendly.
Kelly Green is the latest in a series of bold product colors from Electrolux meant to inject today's laundry rooms with an energizing sense of style. In addition to declaring "an end to the era of boring appliances," Electrolux's highly visible advertising and marketing campaign touts the environmental attributes of its washers, which use 83 percent less energy and 56 percent less water than the U.S. Department of Energy minimum standard.
In addition to their water and energy savings, Electrolux washers and dryers boast eco-effective coatings, which represent a revolutionary development in the appliance industry.
When most major appliance manufacturers paint appliances with bright colors, they typically do so with liquid coatings. Because of the way they are formulated and mixed, liquid coatings have traditionally provided the highest levels of brightness, color and depth. They also can be infused with micas and metallics that add sparkle to paint as usually associated with high-end automobile finishes.
Working with Electrolux, PPG developed a coating process that enables the company to produce high-gloss, automotive-quality colors with powder instead of liquid. And from an environmental standpoint, powder coatings are preferred for several reasons.
First, powder coatings are made without solvents, therefore emitting virtually no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Second, there is less waste with powder coatings because overspray is efficiently recovered and returned to the paint application process. Finally, as powder coatings don't have the volume or weight of liquid coatings, they are easier to package and less energy-intensive to transport.
With the new powder coatings technology developed by PPG, Electrolux offers consumers the best of both worlds: a highly eco-effective coating that offers all the brightness, color and brilliance of liquid coatings. Electrolux now offers washers and dryers in six designer colors: Turquoise Sky, Mediterranean Blue, Silver Sands, Island White, Red Hot Red and Kelly Green.
According to John Shaw, PPG global account manager, this is just the beginning. "Electrolux and PPG are collaborating on a whole new palette of colors for future appliances," he said, "leveraging PPG's unique styling capabilities and research into color trends for automobiles, consumer electronics, textiles and other industries."
The PPG process also provides better color harmony across Electrolux washer and dryer parts, from the powder coating for the metal panels that make up their fronts, tops and sides, to low-cure liquid coatings for plastic components, such as consoles and pedestal fronts, to coil-coatings for the pedestal cabinets.
Barry Keating, PPG North American director of sales, powder coatings, said, "We've helped Electrolux to establish zero-VOC manufacturing in North America, which helps them to reduce their carbon foorprint here and to accomplish part of their corporate mission by protecting the environment. More importantly, these exciting new colors will leave them well-positioned for continued growth when the economy improves."