Darmstadt, Germany, June 29, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, was recognized by Frost & Sullivan with the 2016 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Leadership, based on its recent analysis of the automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) pigments market. Our Meoxal® and Xirallic® NXT lines are redefining trends in the automotive pigments market by creating new colors and textures for automotive OEMs. Its strict adherence to regulatory standards and global manufacturing guidelines has resulted in the best-performing automotive pigments in the market.

“Most automotive pigment manufacturers only offer effect pigments based on two major groups – pure pearlescent pigments or aluminum-based metal flakes. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, on the other hand, combines these two distinctive technologies to achieve unparalleled effects,” said Vinay Venkatesan, Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Its Meoxal® range of luminous metal effect pigments is the latest innovation in effect pigments, merging the advantages of both pigment groups: pearlescent and metallic effect. This has expanded the company’s color palette to offer distinctive colors and textures to the market.”

Within the Meoxal® product range, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has introduced three exceptional colors: Wahiba Orange, Taklamakan Gold and Atacama Red. These colors have outstanding color saturation and strong flop behavior, which makes them ideal for all automotive applications, especially water-borne coating systems. Meoxal® Wahiba Orange possesses a striking orange metallic look and therefore occupies a unique color position in comparison with other aluminum-based effect pigments. Meoxal® Taklamakan Gold allows formulators to produce a wide range of colors, from yellow to green hues. It can further be combined with other pigments to access a broader color space. Meoxal® Atacama Red, the third aluminum-based effect pigment in the series, stands out for its color intensity, high saturation, and brilliance. It is thus predestined for use in both deep rich red and warm brown stylings. With the Meoxal® product range is it possible to cover a broad range of stylings from golden, vibrant red and deep rich red up to green hues.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has closely analyzed market needs by surveying its customer base and conducting internal research. The Xirallic® NXT line was ultimately developed and launched in 2014. One of its main products, Xirallic® NXT Panthera Silver, is an advanced pigment with strong flop behavior, clarity and depth in coatings with the distinct Living-Sparkle effect of the Xirallic® family. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, followed it with Xirallic® NXT Leonis Gold. This pigment stands out for its color saturation and the strongest Living-Sparkle effect within the Xirallic® product family. Its youngest member is Xirallic® NXT Tigris Blue, which captures light in an incomparable way, adding an impressive depth to dark blue and elegant black stylings.

“We are delighted with this prize,” said Michael Heckmeier, Head of Pigments & Functional Materials at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, after the award ceremony. “It recognizes our market leadership in automotive coating with our Meoxal® and Xirallic® NXT lines and at the same time acknowledges our constant efforts to always serve our customers and the market best with advanced pigments.” Looking ahead, he remarked, “We see this award as a further incentive to keep on pursuing new approaches. There is more to come: The market can expect more innovative pigments for a wide variety of applications and segments.”

In its analysis, Frost & Sullivan underscores our efforts to consistently introduce innovative products in line with the significant demand for new colors and texture. This has led to proactive coordination between the company’s global and regional marketing teams as well as its R&D and technical service team.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality, gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.