• Hydrex at SMM  and the Marine Coatings Conference, Hamburg 2012

    Hydrex at SMM and the Marine Coatings Conference, Hamburg 2012


    The 25th shipbuilding, machinery and marine technology (SMM) international trade fair in Hamburg in September 2012 was attended by more than 50,000 trade visitors from all parts of the world. The 2,100 exhibitors, including Hydrex, spread out over 90,000 square meters, were very satisfied with the fair. Even the weather was kind with dry and sunny days right up until it was time to take down the booths on the last day, September 7, when the rain began.

    According to the closing report on the trade show, “The largest group of visitors was from shipowners and shipping companies, followed by the shipbuilding and shipyard industry, and machinery and plant builders. The naval and defense industry moved up to fourth position. SMM 2012 had 35% of its trade visitors from abroad, up two percentage points from the previous SMM. The share of Asian visitors was double the number at SMM 2010, now 16%.”

    Environmental emphasis
    “It was clearly evident at SMM 2012 that the shipowners have to invest in a green future, more than ever before,” observed Torsten Schramm, Chief Operating Officer at Germanischer Lloyd and Global Maritime Environmental Congress (GMEC) Chairman. “Everywhere in the maritime business and industry there are new products and processes, aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions – for individual ships and for whole fleets.”

    Hydrex and Ecospeed
    Certainly the Hydrex/Ecospeed booth bore out Mr. Schramm’s statement with floods of visitors keen to find out how they could convert from conventional coatings with their biocides to a non-biocidal cost-effective and better alternative, Ecospeed.

    Clearly visible at the end of the long outdoor space between halls B4 and B5 and on the route for all visitors passing between halls, the yellow Hydrex/Ecospeed tent was a popular spot.

    The Hydrex tent was well manned by Dave Bleyenberg, Manuel Hof, Sam Williams, Pierre Klein, and David Phillips, and CEO Boud Van Rompay was present for the entire event. The booth maintained a friendly, busy atmosphere throughout the four-day show.

    Many existing customers, Hydrex agents, technical people from all phases of shipbuilding and maintenance and many interested newcomers to Hydrex and Ecospeed dropped by and enjoyed the friendly, comfortable but businesslike and informative atmosphere of the Hydrex booth. Much new business was conducted.

    As usual, in the background Koen Smouts, Hydrex Equipment Officer, and his team performed flawlessly and efficiently in setting up and taking down the Hydrex booth and making sure that it had everything that was needed, was roomy, comfortable, well stocked and generally fit for purpose, not an easy feat when the logistic lines from Antwerp to Hamburg are considered, but one that is typical of any Hydrex mobilization for any job anywhere in the world.

    Protective Coatings Europe Marine Coatings Conference 2012
    Integrated into the SMM schedule, Protective Coatings Europe hosted the 2012 Marine Coatings Conference on September 5th and 6th  in one of the conference rooms in hall B3 of the Hamburg Fair. The conference was chaired by Brian Goldie, Technical Editor of Protective Coatings Europe magazine and speakers on the first day included representatives of Safinah Ltd. (UK), ABS (UK), Huntsman Pigments (UK), IMC Engineering (Italy), Jotun (Norway), Nippon (Japan) and Hydrex (Belgium). The first day of presentation was followed by a panel discussion with representatives of all the major bottom paint manufacturers including PPG, Jotun, Hempel, International Paint, Sherwin-Williams, Nippon Paint and Hydrex (CEO Boud Van Rompay).

    On the second day another series of speakers from a variety of international companies including DCNS (France), Leighs Paints, Exova (UK), Optimiza (Spain), TQC (NL), Meyerwerft (Germany) and others. The subject matter was varied but all highly relevant to the overall subject of marine coatings.

    The aim of the conference was to provide a forum for the exchange of information on best practices from experts in coatings, shipbuilding and environmental protection.

    Hydrex representative, David Phillips, Communications Exec, presented a paper entitled, “Eliminating Hull-Borne Aquatic Invasive Species – An alternate, practical approach,” which provided a very different, non-toxic approach to limiting the spread of NIS worldwide. The presentation was generally well-received, opened some eyes and raised some eyebrows (the subject of the talk was by its nature a disruptive technology which tends to swim against the current and disturb the status quo).

    The panel session on hullcoatings/fuel savings/emissions which followed was led by Raouf Kattan, Managing Director of Safinah Ltd., a Coating Consultant based in Newcastle UK. Hydrex was represented by CEO Boud Van Rompay, who was able to provide valuable and in many cases surprising answers and information to questions from the attendees, stating the case very clearly for a non-toxic approach to underwater hull protection and fouling control.

    Mr. Kjolberg of Jotun made the case for insisting on numerical metrics for coatings fuel efficiency rather than relying on anecdotal claims from manufacturers. The panel discussion was lively with many questions answered at some length by the panelists. The attendees were interested and involved.


    All in all SMM 2012 was the best SMM yet for Hydrex and we would like to thank all of you who visited us there for coming and look forward to working with you on an ongoing basis. We are looking forward to the next SMM in Hamburg in 2014 and will see you all there.