BASF Coatings has opened a new laboratory for automotive series coatings in Münster, Germany. The modular laboratory concept "Lean Lab" is intended to ensure optimized, digitized and transparent processes throughout Europe as well as efficient use of resources in the laboratory area. By segmenting the tasks of the laboratory staff and using standardized and automated processes, the coatings manufacturer aims to meet future market requirements quickly and flexibly. Since 2014, BASF has renovated and extended an existing laboratory building for 24 million euros. The result is four bright laboratory levels with offices and modern laboratory workstations that are digitally networked. Customer-specific product developments, paint samples and application tests are carried out in segmented work processes. An optimized logistics concept also ensures that all materials are available for daily work. A laboratory dosing machine, which was specially built for the laboratory in Münster, makes work easier and ensures quality assurance. The machine, which is twelve meters long and weighs eight tons, can produce standard formulations from over 300 liquid raw materials. All work orders and the corresponding tests within the laboratory are digitally stored and documented. "The Lean Lab in Münster is our pilot project. Since the end of 2017, we have been gathering experience that we can use to introduce the Lean Lab at other sites in Europe. Lean Lab is our new European standard and will give us many opportunities to intensify product development and respond flexibly to new challenges," says Wolfgang Reckordt, Product Development Europe of the Automotive Coatings Business Unit of BASF's Coating division.