AMPP Conference Kicks Off in New Orleans


This week, the Association for Materials Protection and Performance is hosting the 2024 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, from March 3 to 7.

The annual event, touted by AMPP as the world’s largest corrosion and coatings conference, features a full schedule of technical symposia, workshops, committee meetings, training courses, networking events, an exhibit hall and other educational and business opportunities. More than 6,000 corrosion industry professionals from 60 different countries are expected to attend the conference this week, according to AMPP.

Stay tuned to PaintSquare Daily News later this week for more coverage from the conference, including ongoing technical sessions, awards presentations, closing ceremonies and more.

Weekend Events

The conference unofficially kicked off Sunday (March 3) morning, with the Darrel D. Byerley & Phil Calvo Memorial Golf Tournament, held at the Bayou Oaks South Course. Proceeds from the tournament went to AMPP’s EMERG Student Outreach Program, which aims to provide students with opportunities in the materials protection industry.

Sunday also marked the first of the week’s technical offerings, including a slate of educational workshops and forums.

Charles Brown and Chris Farschon of Greenman-Pedersen Inc. (GPI) hosted the annual “Coatings 101 Workshop” Sunday morning, offering attendees a basic understanding of a typical protective coatings project, from understanding the need for a project to the unique challenges of the industrial coatings industry.

Later in the afternoon, Brown returned to host the “Fall Protection Workshop,” which reviewed what owners, contractors and safety personnel need to know in order to comply with the OSHA 1926.500 Fall Protection regulations.

The presentation included a discussion of regulations and safe operating procedures for aerial lift/bucket/under bridge access equipment; definitions of fall prevention, fall restraint and fall arrest; the different requirements of fall protection; recognizing hazards regarding fall protection; inspection of fall arrest equipment, anchorage points and training requirements. A discussion on various types of safety equipment for fall protection will complete the workshop.

Starting even before the weekend and continuing during the week of the conference, AMPP will also be conducting its training and certification programs for conference attendees, offering certification levels on a variety of industry topics.

Finally, on Sunday evening, doors opened to the annual Opening Reception in Convention Center’s Great Hall A. The “Mardi Gras Mambo” themed reception, co-sponsored by Carboline, featured bright colors with Mardi Gras décor, including a photo booth for attendees with a New Orleans French Quarter-inspired balcony backdrop.

Monday Technical Sessions

Monday’s proceedings commenced early in the morning with a full slate of technical symposia, research in progress presentations, standards and committee meetings and more.

Leading off the technical program was day one of the Advanced Protective Coating Technology symposia, comprising a selection of technology-centered coatings presentations, specifically covering the offshore wind energy sectors. Speakers and topics presenting Monday morning through the afternoon included:

  • “40-Year Maintenance-Free Coating Solution for Offshore Structures,” by Darren Ward, Mike O’Donoghue and Vijay Datta of AkzoNobel;
  • “Duplex Zinc Coatings for Offshore Wind Towers,” by Martin Gange of Zelixir;
  • “Material Efficiency through Modern Repair Coating Solutions for Offshore Corrosion Protection,” by Johannes Viertel of Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine;
  • “Autonomous Healing of Smart Coating Materials for Corrosion Protection of Oil and Gas Assets,” by Norfadilah Dolmat, Petronas Research;
  • "Challenges and Insights Behind Qualifying a Protective Coatings as a Corrosion Under Insulation-Preventive Coating," by Jenny Mavnik, Jotun A/S; and
  • "New Development in Thermal Insulation Coatings," by Nicole Rakers, PPG.

Monday morning’s agenda also included “Case History from Four Viewpoints,” which recapped a recently completed project that took place at the Wards Island Wastewater Treatment Plant from the perspectives of the contractor, facility owner, inspector and coating manufacturer. Representatives from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine, Champion Painting Specialty Services Corp. and the facility owner discussed the project specification, testing, inspection and other processes that went into a successful project completion.

Valerie Sherbondy and Rick Huntley of KTA-Tator, Inc., also hosted their annual “Coating Failure Investigations – Causes and Repairs” forum, which reviewed the process and causes of three separate coating failures. This interactive session encourages audience participation and question-asking so that attendees can determine the root causes of the failures together as a group.

Finally, Monday afternoon’s technical program wrapped with “Expected Service Life and Cost Considerations for Maintenance and New Construction Protective Coating Work,” by Jayson Helsel of KTA-Tator, Inc.; and “Inspection of Intumescent Coatings,” by Russell Norris of Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine.

For this year’s keynote session, AMPP welcomed world-renowned physicist and New York Times best selling author Dr. Michio Kaku, who led a discussion of the developments in the fields of autonomy and artificial intelligence and how they may affect the coatings industry and other areas in his presentation, “The Impact of AI of the Workforce.”

Keynote, Exhibit Hall Opening

For this year’s keynote session, AMPP welcomed world-renowned physicist and New York Times best selling author Dr. Michio Kaku, who led a discussion of the developments in the fields of autonomy and artificial intelligence and how they may affect the coatings industry and other areas in his presentation, “The Impact of AI of the Workforce.”

Starting with the steam-, electricity- and computer-powered industrial revolutions of the past, Kaku explained that we are currently in a "fourth wave" of technological revolution of physics at the molecular level, with artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and biotechnology changing the way we work and produce goods, as well as benefits for society. Kaku then predicted what could be in store for the future and eventual "fifth wave" of technological development to come.

Prior to introducing the keynote speaker, AMPP leaders took the stage to provide a membership update, outlining some of the feedback the Association has recently received from its members, as well as a review of AMPP’s latest initiatives and undertakings in response. 

Kristin Leonard, Chair of the AMPP Global Center Board of Directors, and Paul Vinik, Chair of the AMPP Board of Directors, announced a new simplified membership model for AMPP members, effetively immediately, including a $99 individual membership option, as well as unlimited download of all AMPP, SSPC and NACE standards. AMPP CEO Alan Thomas also welcomed attendees and gave an update on some of AMPP's progress since the 2020 merger of SSPC and NACE before introducing Kaku.

Finally, Monday evening concluded with the ribbon cutting to the AMPP 2024 exhibit hall. Members of AMPP's Board of Directors were joined by representatives from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine to cut the hall ribbon and officially welcome attendees to peruse the products and services from the almost 400 exhibiting companies. The Exhibit Hall Grand Opening reception following the official ribbon cutting was sponsored by Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine.

The exhibit hall opening also marked the opening of AMPP's 2024 Student Poster Session, where university students display their research in the coatings and corrosion fields, which are then judged by AMPP's panel of experts. Posters will be on display for attendees to view through Tuesday, and winning posters will be chosen at the Student Poster Awards Session on Wednesday afternoon.

For a full schedule of the 2024 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo, click here.


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