As well as housing experimental application equipment, the center is also equipped with several state- of-the-art application lines and temperature and humidity controlled spray booths. They give the company the unparalleled ability to mimic customer conditions in all segments of the industrial wood market.
“The facility enables us to replicate our customers’ own manufacturing processes, making it easier to develop products and technologies that can be tailored to their specific application environments,” explained Anthony Woods, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel’s Wood Coatings business.
“This helps us to develop new products aimed at improving their processes and productivity, particularly efforts to reduce application costs and lower the use of solvents and formaldehyde in line with changing regulations.”
Several breakthrough innovations are showcased at the Malmö center, such as AkzoNobel’s proprietary technique for applying edge coatings with millimeter precision, as well as the company’s automated system that scans wood for holes and cracks and automatically applies filler. It also includes a facility to demonstrate UV-LED curing, a sustainable wood finishing technique which uses up to 30 percent less electricity than competing curing methods.
Customer feedback has been very positive, with Per Dahlen, Technical Manager at IKEA Industry, being particularly impressed with the LED curing facility: “It was very interesting, showing just how far AkzoNobel has come with this technology,” he said.
Commenting on the new center, Volkan Goren, Managing Director of AkzoNobel’s Wood Coatings business, added: “It is pioneering facilities such as this, our people and our insight into our customers’ processes that have enabled us to achieve a number one positon globally in this market. The new facility will enable us to work more closely with our customers to satisfy their product, application technology and sustainability requirements, as well as helping to inspire their next generation of products.”