Innovations from the very start
Just a few years after the founding of R-M, the two entrepreneurs managed to land a major customer in the form of Cadillac, which ordered the first paints from R-M. This type of partnership became part of the company philosophy. From the outset, Rinshed and Mason worked with the best automobile manufacturers in the market, launching them on their path of development which would lead to an even more productive automotive finish and even more specialised color expertise. Their ambition to constantly strive to improve their products was key to their success. In 1926, Rinshed-Mason invented the Florida tests, which were an industry first. This involved R-M building a park in Miami, Florida, where the paint durability of the color charts painted with R-M paints was tested under intense sunshine. In the wake of increasing automobile production and the development of new color shades, in 1931, R-M was able to offer its customers the first metallic paint. R-M revolutionised the market in 1948 when it introduced the base color system. The Tintometer became a ground-breaking tool in this context. It allowed painters to mix the desired color shade themselves in their own workshop in minutes. All manufacturers of automotive refinishes still abide by this principle to this day.
Self-improvement is the goal
R-M has never stopped expanding its unique color expertise. With such a wide range of color shades used in vehicle coating, the shade of the refinishing paint had to be matched very precisely. With R-M’s Tintovision, paint workshops were able to obtain simplified color formulas by consulting microfiche sheets – a reduced in size analogue image on sheet film. In 1960, R-M supplied one of the first space missions with heat-resistant paint. Ten years later, the first water-based OEM coatings were produced. The innovation of new and improved products and processes is still key to R-M’s development because the focus is now on environmentally friendly products and sustainability in finishing.
Worldwide expansion – Perfection made simple
In 1963, R-M Automotive Refinish made the leap to Europe. R-M decided to establish itself in the northern French city Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, not too far away from Ford’s headquarters in Belgium. Later, the central European research, development and production site (still called Immont at the time) was built in Clermont-de-l’Oise. In 1981, the DIAMONT pain series could be re-launched. This is a high-performance solution for solvent borne basecoat and clear colors, whether solid, metallic or pearl, which customers have been very successfully using since then for their refinishing jobs. In 1986, R-M joined the BASF Group. Its values, however, remained the same. From the outset, the R-M brand resolved to look at things from its customers’ point of view. The developers asked themselves: What do painters need the world over? The answer is still simple: To achieve the best results, they need a high-quality product and an extensive coordinated product range. What is still particularly important for R-M is that the products can be used on a sustainable basis and are easy to apply, so that painters around the globe can achieve perfect results with them. R-M launched the innovative water-based ONYX HD paint series in 1995 – a formula that remains successful to this day.
Ahead of its time: Color expertise and digitisation
With the introduction of COLORMASTER, there was a quantum leap in color matching in the 90s which offered refinishers essential help to achieve perfect color matching. This meant that R-M customers were able to quickly and reliably ascertain themselves the exact color shade they required and, thanks to the long-standing color database, adjust, on a large scale, the considerable number of colour shades available on the market. Painters therefore saved a lot of time. The next step in the evolution was finally the digital Colortronic2 color measuring device, which made color matching easier than ever before. R-M was quick to harness the power of digital development: As early as 1996, R-M was the first automotive refinish paint brand to have its own website: www.rmpaint.com. Workshops were able to use it, at any time of day or night, to find any mixing formulae for color shades in the Color Explorer Online database. Furthermore, the brand supported its customers, the paint workshops, by offering services such as consultation and advanced technical training. It also tapped into digital services such as Shop Master and mobile apps. The COLORTRONIC 12/6 colour measuring device is brand new and can be used to simplify the steps involved in the process still further.
Partnership and training for the customers’ success
Joint success is always reliant on close and productive collaboration of the type that R-M enjoys with its customers. For over 20 years, the R-M brand has focused on the needs of its customers in the course of its work and development. With the introduction of the “Programs For Success” in 2000, R-M presented an innovative service offering especially for plant managers that helps them to increase productivity and turnover in the workshops. In 2011, R-M launched the Premium Partners Program in Europe, which customers can use to establish networks. The R-M Refinish Competence Center (RCC) in Clermont-de-l’Oise is one of the most modern training centres in Europe. The technical equipment and multimedia training resources offer customers the most up-to-date knowledge in the sector at the very highest level, all delivered in a flexible manner. Worldwide, the R-M brand can rely on a network of 80 Refinish Competence Centers. Promoting young talent has always been important for R-M. The 13th edition of the international R-M Best Painter Contest will soon take place. This competition is now considered the most important event in the painter sector. Young professional talent from all over the world put their passion for painting to the test and compete in technical and creative disciplines. With this competition, R-M aims to ensure the sustainability of the profession and to encourage the talents of tomorrow’s automotive painters.
Being successful means being innovative
The R-M brand has held onto the energy and innovative strength of its founders. Back in 2019, it was able to look back over a long success story and look to the future innovations it will be able to offer its customers. R-M’s newest product developments improve the process and eco-efficiency in the aftermarket repair field. The best examples of this are RAPIDCLEAR, UV LIGHT FILLER GREY and the e'Sense products which are manufactured in accordance with BASF’s certified biomass balance approach and therefore help reduce CO2 emissions.
Finally, R-M inspired fashionable influencers, designers, partners, customers and painters through social media with the R-M THE CODE program in the Colors & Design field. The online campaign revolved around sharing new color shade concepts and designs associated with mobility and technology