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AkzoNobel invests £1 million at Felling site

AkzoNobel Powder Coatings has

announced plans to

invest £1 million in a new powder coatings

pilot plant at its facility in Felling in the North East of England.

The company says that the state-of-the-art pilot line will replicate its company's powder coatings manufacturing process on a small scale, enhancing its development initiative capabilities and significantly easing and speeding up the scale-up process from laboratory to full scale production. The new line is scheduled for completion in May 2014.

“Formulations that work in a laboratory environment, do not always transfer consistently to full scale production,” explained Process Innovation Manager, Rob Barker. “The new facility will significantly improve our first pass production capability which in turn means increased product speed to market for our customers.

“The Felling pilot line will be used by AkzoNobel’s development teams worldwide to help create novel products and solutions that help our customers compete more effectively.

“The opening of this pilot line will also improve the support we give to our global factories, helping them to obtain the best results from our processes and achieve the high standards demanded by the industry. It also creates

opportunities to work together in the development of innovative manufacturing processes.”

Ian Walton, Operations Director, Powder Coatings commented: “This investment, in the current economic climate shows our commitment to operational excellence, and creates a better platform to continually provide innovative solutions and new technologies to customers.”

This latest investment follows significant capital investment on behalf of AkzoNobel in the North East region over the last few years, including the opening of a new powder coatings polymer laboratory in May 2011, and a testing laboratory for fire protection products for the Marine & Protective Coatings business in July 2011. AkzoNobel is also building new manufacturing facilities in Ashington, 20 miles north of the Felling site.

AkzoNobel Powder Coatings is one of the largest global manufacturer’s of powder coatings and manufactures at 31 factories around the world.

AkzoNobel to optimise coil coatings activities in Europe and Russia

AkzoNobel plans to optimise the manufacturing footprint of its coil coatings sites in Europe and Russia by concentrating produc- tion at three strategic locations.

The company intends to improve operational performance by focusing all European manufacturing for the Coil Coatings business on plants in Malmö (Sweden), Lipetsk (Russia) and Hilden (Germany). As a result of these plans, production at sites in Gamleby (Sweden) and Nürnberg (Germany) would end by June 2015.

“By focusing production on strategic sites that are close to our customers and manufacture products for more than one business, we will create a more efficient footprint and establish

a more sustainable platform for future growth,” said Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings.

The transfer is scheduled to start in early 2014. Current manufacturing at Gamleby will move to Malmö and Lipetsk, while production at Nürnberg will switch to Hilden. Around 280 employees will be affected, with the company planning to transfer and hire additional people in Hilden, Malmö and Lipetsk. A centralized European development centre will also be set up in Malmö.

“Operational excellence is a key priority and moving production to three strategic sites is a logical step which will ensure that we are better positioned to deliver leading

46 SURFACE WORLD december 2013

performance and accelerate profitable growth,” added AB Ghosh, Managing Director of AkzoNobel Industrial Coatings. “These improvements in our supply chain will also enable us to respond even faster to our customers.”

AkzoNobel is a global leader in coil coating, which is a continuous and highly automated process for coating metal before fabrication. The products are mainly used for building components and infrastructure, as well as for consumer goods such as kitchen appliances.

Employees have been informed about the company’s plans and discussions with the relevant works councils are already underway. read online @

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