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TRENDSPOTTING Q&A

The EB Convo with… PPG’s Amy Ericson

PPG recently announced that all official game pucks for the NHL season will include a color-changing thermochromic coating developed with LCR Hallcrest. Akin to photochromic technologies that PPG develops with Transitions Optical, these advanced coatings change from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature is above freezing, revealing when the puck should be replaced.

As one of the most prominent female leaders at PPG Industries, senior VP Amy Ericson has a wealth of knowledge—and professional drive.

She is responsible for specialty coatings and materials, corporate strategy, and packaging coatings business units. Ericson is also a member of both PPG’s Executive Operating and Sustainability committees.

Ericson has a breadth of experience in manufacturing businesses, including senior roles at SUEZ Chemical Monitoring and GE’s Water Business. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.

Here, she shares her unique industry insights with EB.

EB: What are your insights on PPG’s commitment to innovation?

Amy Ericson: PPG has a long-standing tradition of developing leading-edge solutions, achieving the highest quality standards, and exceeding our customers’ requirements and our end users’ expectations.

In my experience, real innovation is born by challenging diverse teams of people, uniting their disparate experiences and talents, to achieve breakthrough results. At the end of the day, PPG’s people are our most valuable asset—driving innovation every day.

EB: What are some specific examples of innovative technology PPG has recently debuted?

AE: We recently introduced new light management solutions that protect eyeglass wearers against blue light. We worked with numerous lens manufacturers to develop flexible, tailored solutions that meet their needs for performance and protection. We currently produce multiple versions of PPG Trivex lens material that filter blue light at varying levels based on our customers’ individual specifications.

EB: What types of innovations are on tap at PPG for 2020?

AE: We are working closely with our global Coatings Innovation Center located in Pittsburgh to introduce a new lens coating that enhances protection against scratches while allowing us to serve more eyeglass wearers in the U.S. thanks to its ease of application and quick UV cure cycle. In addition, we are working with our lens manufacturer partners to develop high-index materials with “mass market” appeal, providing alternative lens material solutions for ECPs looking to offer thin and light lenses to their patients.

EB: What is your perspective on how ECPs can differentiate with high-tech lenses today?

AE: We believe that ECPs can set themselves apart from their competition by embracing advanced lens material solutions that do more than just one thing well—like our PPG Trivex and Tribrid lens materials. Our research shows that eyeglass wearers prefer lenses that provide a complete package of features and benefits.

In response, PPG continues to invest in developing lens material and coating technologies that optimize vision quality, comfort, and protection while accommodating our lens partners’ manufacturing and processing requirements. In the end, providing the best balance of lens features and performance will ensure that ECPs meet and exceed patients’ expectations. —ERINN MORGAN