July 27, 2016

R-M® S.A Best Painter

R-M® South Africa Best painter Contest A success

Promoting excellence among talented young painters. R-M, BASF`s premium paint brand for the automotive refinish industry, held  their 2nd annual National Best Painter Contest at the state-of-the-art Refinish Competence Centre in JHB earlier this year. Applications were received from across South Africa, from which six contestants from KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng were selected to compete in the national finals.

The candidates were welcomed to the final round of this contest by Paul Mandersloot, Managing Director of BASF Coatings Services, who shared words of encouragement and noted their achievement of making it to the top six. Warren Tollman, CEO of RSB Autogroup, distributor of R-M Paint in South Africa, applauded the contestants for entering the competition and taking an interest in their trade. “You must be proud of your profession and use what you will learn during this competition as a springboard to becoming an even better spray painter,” noted Tollman.

Innovative thinking with advanced technologies and sustainable solutions, using the R-M’s ONYX HD waterborne paint line was the main theme of the contest. This reflected the global R-M brand philosophy which is to always remain close to the automotive industry in the pursuit of innovation for a successful and sustainable future. The competitors were assessed on various technical tasks to prove their skills in the use of ONYX HD waterborne technology and to employ the best available R-M technology. The five tasks included color retrieval, color adjustment, blending, efficient application as well as troubleshooting. The aim of these tasks was to ensure the contestants maximize productivity as well ensuring the lowest possible environmental impact was maintained.

As today’s spray painters need not only possess practical skills, but also business acumen, the contests were also assessed on their usage of consumables to monitor wastage. They were also examined in the manner they handled the products with regards to health and safety. The experienced judging panel was led by Marius Nel, Regional Technical Manager of BASF Coatings Services, with assistance from Wayne Brandon, R-M National Trainer and Jonathan Tiedemann, RSB National Trainer, who monitored every stage of the competition over the two day event.

The awards ceremony was held on the evening of the last day of the competition. Nel remarked on the exceptional skills of the candidates whose tallied marks were exceptionally close. Monique Swanepoel (23) from Pretoria walked away with the coveted title of R-M South Africa Best Painter 2016 with Terry Knowles from Durban and Juan-Pierre Meintjies from Johannesburg taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Swanepoel started experimenting with spray painting at the age of 16. Being the only female contestant in the competition did not worry her as she is used to working in a male-dominated industry. After being announced the winner, an ecstatic Swanepoel said “I’m so excited and cannot believe I won. I thought the nerves were going to get the better of me.”

Swanepoel, who enjoys air-brushing in her spare time, will also be the first female to represent South Africa in the International Best Painter Contest Final which will be held at the International R-M Refinish Competence Center in Clermont de l’Oise close to Paris in France between the 26 and 30 of September 2016. The R-M International Best Painter Contest is the automotive refinish brand’s own unique competition that promotes the best talents with a promising career in the automotive industry. In addition to using R-M’s innovative paint technology, the R-M Best Painter Contest has the support of R-M’s local premium business partners Bulldog Abrasives and Scangrip as well as international partners which include 3M, EMM, DeVILBISS, SATA, RUPES, Festool, Sia Abrasives, Mettler-Toledo and Horn & Bauer.

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