SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Customers are the main focus of a new training center opened by AkzoNobel at its Santo André site near São Paulo, Brazil.

Initially catering to wood coatings customers in the furniture industry, the new facility will offer advanced training programs centered on the company's Sparlack Industrial range of products.

The training center has spray application booths and equipment that reproduces the paint line — notably an ultraviolet technology simulator. Due to be fully operational by September, there are plans to expand the training program to include metal, marine, protective and yacht coatings by the end of the year.

"We are very proud of the new training center, which highlights our commitment to deepening our relationship with our customers," said Jelena Arsic, Regional Director of AkzoNobel in South America. "It will help us to further strengthen customer service standards, promote localized innovation of our products, and create the right value for our customers and distributors."

Eduardo Bruno, the company's Wood Coatings Sales Manager in Brazil, added, "This is a valuable addition to our service offer, which will help us to better understand customer needs and create better solutions in terms of efficiencies, design and performance. By offering advanced training programs, we're enabling customers and partners to experience the application process, ask questions and make suggestions, which could speed up the supply of the product to the client."

The Santo André production site, which was expanded in May 2017, manufactures and supplies high-performance industrial, marine and yacht coatings. The new training center is the second center AkzoNobel has opened in the space of eight months. A regional facility offering similar advanced programs was opened in Dubai in November. That facility focuses on OEMs and refinishers in industries as diverse as automotive and rail, aerospace, and consumer electronics.