HOUSTON--July 30, 2012: ITW Global Brands, known for continuous innovation in leading automotive brands like Rain-X®, Black Magic®, Gumout® and Slick 50® has opened a new Technology Center in Houston to coordinate and accelerate new product research and development with ample room for future expansion. The $1-million, 11,000 square foot facility is staffed by a team of 10 engineers, scientists and associates, most of whom have advanced scientific degrees.
“This new facility's laboratories and research tools enable our science and engineering team to better interact with our parent company's Technology/Innovation Centers in Chicago, Shanghai and Hyderabad on developing new technologies and applications”
Based in Houston, ITW Global Brands is well known for marketing and distributing a portfolio of automotive appearance and performance products as well as wiper blades. Brands include Rain-X®, Black Magic®, Gumout®, Slick 50®, No-Touch®, NOS® and Blue Coral®. Rain-X® holds the #1 market share position for Wiper Blades and Glass Care categories while Black Magic® dominates the Tire Dressing category with the #1 market share position.
The portfolio of brands is sold in do-it-yourself automotive retailers like AutoZone, Advance, O'Reilly & Pep Boys, mass retailers like Walmart, Target & Meijer, and other drug, grocery, and club retailers. The portfolio is also sold at automotive service providers like Jiffy Lube. The mission of ITW Global Brands is to deliver the best, most satisfying automotive care, maintenance and performance experience to consumers, customers, influencers, and industry professionals around the world through innovative products and programs that inspire and reward those with a passionate connection to their vehicle.
"We are an experienced group of scientists and engineers focusing on ITW Global Brands growth through innovation, and our new Technology Center is crucial in helping our company develop the next generation of products to meet the needs of our customers and end users," said Dr. Liliana Minevski, Director of R&D and Technology for ITW Global Brands.
"This new facility's laboratories and research tools enable our science and engineering team to better interact with our parent company's Technology/Innovation Centers in Chicago, Shanghai and Hyderabad on developing new technologies and applications," Dr. Minevski continued. "We are a key link in ITW's innovation chain, as products developed and tested at the Technology Center are transferred to blending partners for production and packaging."
The Technology Center team (including four team members with Ph.D degrees and two with Master of Science degrees) is proficient in material and surface science, surfactants and polymers, colloid (dispersion) technology, tribiology (lubrication) technology, and fuel and oil additives. Together they hold more than 40 issued patents, with a dozen more pending. Primary activities at the Technology Center will emphasize product development, testing, evaluation and differentiation. Other brand-focused activities for the Center include substantiating label claims, facilitating technology transfers and maintaining product stewardship.
"Our role at the Technology Center, although it does involve pure scientific research and testing, is very much business-oriented," Dr. Minevski emphasized. "We are actively involved in building and maintaining relationships with suppliers and product blenders and conducting ongoing customer visits and training. We also work with industry organizations and our company's marketing group to reinforce the strong engineering heritage and high quality reputation of ITW Global Brands."
ITW Global Brands (ITWB) is part of ITW Performance Polymers & Fluids (ITW Performers), a Division of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW, www.itw.com). A diversified manufacturer of highly engineered components, industrial systems and consumables, ITW has more than $16 billion in revenues generated by some 60,000 people working at 825 business units in 52 countries.