AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - AkzoNobel has opened a €2.5 million technical application center for its Wood Coatings business in Malmö, Sweden. The new facility is one of four global centers that work closely with customers to develop application systems to suit their specific manufacturing needs.  

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 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 that uses up to 30 percent less electricity than competing curing methods.