At its headquarters in Como, AkzoNobel has inaugurated a new center dedicated to the R&D of innovative surface solutions, in particular for the wood coatings sector.
AkzoNobel has opened in its Como plant a new research and development center dedicated to the production of low cure powder coatings - including low bake, UV and ultra-low bake (ULB) powder technologies - which can be used on particularly heat sensitive substrates including MDF, plywood, thermoplastics and composites.
"Customers around the world are increasingly paying attention to the sustainable benefits that powder has to offer, and powder on wood has become one of the fastest growing areas in the coatings industry. AkzoNobel is trying to best respond to this new market opportunities", explains Daniela Vlad, Director of AkzoNobel's Powder Coatings division.
The new laboratory, equipped with an application lab, a process lab and an analytical and testing lab, was inaugurated after the acquisition of Stahl's powder coatings business, which gave AkzoNobel access to a wide range of solutions, including exclusive UV technology. This will allow customers greater production efficiency, a reduction in the use of energy during production or, alternatively, speeding up the production process, thus limiting the environmental impact.
"We're excited to build on our global leadership position and enter new markets while bringing more surfaces to life for our customers," continues Vlad.
"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. This is only the first phase of the company's expansion into powder on wood, with plans in place to open additional R&D centers in Asia and North America", adds Vlad.
"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. Having recently expanded our Como site - AkzoNobel's biggest plant in Europe for producing powder coatings - 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", concludes Vlad.