FEATURES

A shared vision worth celebrating

by Daniela Vlad, Director of AkzoNobel Powder Coatings

It might seem like an ordinary Tuesday, but it’s actually a very exciting one. Because today we’re officially opening the largest powder coatings factory in China – which just happens to also be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. So you’ll have to excuse me if I get a bit carried away.

It’s a special day because we’re doing more than simply opening a big factory. This is really all about continuing to improve our ability to serve our many customers around the world. We now have 29 powder coatings sites globally, which supply customers in more than 40 countries across a broad range of market segments.

Today is also about confirming our commitment to investing in the Powder Coatings business and China itself, which is a very important strategic market for us.

A shared vision worth celebrating

The need for this expansion in China is being driven by an increasing demand for sustainable coatings solutions. Powder is an inherently sustainable product, as it contains no VOCs. What’s important for me personally is that this means we’re offering customers a very clean technology, which fits our ever-expanding sustainability ambitions. So we’re not only talking about doing business successfully, we’re also committed to contributing to the environment.

This ongoing shift to adopting a more sustainable approach is particularly evident in Asia, and especially China, where “green” technologies are enjoying a rapid rate of adoption. One example is the conversion to new substrates across various industries, with a focus on lighter weight and using less energy. The versatility of powder coatings really shines through here, which is great for us, because it means we can offer a wide range of products for new applications. China is one of our fastest growing markets, and it is a great feeling to contribute to this growth with sustainable technologies.Another key factor is recyclability. Around 90% of powder coatings can be reused, which obviously means less waste and a major contribution to reducing our overall sustainability footprint.

Aside from the sustainability benefits, it’s the technology itself and the fact that it’s easy to apply which also makes powder so attractive as a coating. No surprise, then, that it’s used in so many different segments, from automotive and architectural to domestic appliance and IT. It’s this versatility which makes it unique among other technologies.

What lies ahead? Well, the future will certainly be exciting. I expect the market to continue growing, which is clearly a good thing. For us, the challenge will be to further develop our technology position, the service we offer and our ability to play globally. As the undisputed global leader in powder coatings, we have no intention of standing still.

A shared vision worth celebrating

For example, we are already innovating with partners and are looking holistically at how we can improve customers’ application processes to potentially improve productivity. This is something we’ll be taking into account as we progress with the development of our next generation products.

Our most recent launches in the architectural, automotive and general industrial segments certainly demonstrate our ability to meet customer needs in a superior way. It’s all about combining aesthetics with durability and function.

We work hard and fight for days like today. Days when we can all reflect with pride on our shared vision, our customer mindset and our determination to be number one in everything we’re working on. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

A shared vision worth celebrating