Global coatings company AkzoNobel (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has opened a new research and development (R&D) center at its site in Como, Italy, that will develop pioneering products for the rapidly growing area of powderon wood.
The new R&D facility is dedicated to delivering low-cure powder coatings for use on heat-sensitive substrates such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, thermoplastics, and composites. The Como center will focus on developing an expanding portfolio of low-cure solutions, including low bake, UV, and ultra-low bake (ULB) powder technologies. With these solutions, customers will use less energy less energy during production, gain process speed, and boost their own sustainability profile.
“We’re excited to build on our global leadership position and enter new markets while bringing more surfaces to life for our customers,” says Daniela Vlad, director of AkzoNobel’s powder coatings business. “In addition to strengthening our position as a technology leader, the new facility will also help to accelerate our speed to market so we can reach our customers even faster.”
Vlad adds that this is only the first phase into the company’s expansion into powder and wood, as it also plans to open additional R&D centers in Asia and North America. With powder on wood becoming one of the fastest growing areas with the coatings industry, the company is well situated to make the most of this marketing opportunity.
“The dedicated know-how we have in the new R&D center will enable us to develop a broad range of innovative new surface solutions, particularly for our wood coatings customers,” Vlad says. “Having recently expanded our Como site, it means we can now accommodate a European manufacturing facility for powder on wood and the new R&D center at the same location, which will speed up the service capability we offer to customers in this segment.”
The Como site is AkzoNobel’s biggest plant in Europe for producing powder coatings. In addition to increasing capacity, the recent €20 million ($24.1 million) expansion also sharpens the company’s focus on sustainable manufacturing.
Source: AkzoNobel, www.akzonobel.com.