WAALWIJK, The Netherlands — Stahl has opened a Center of Excellence for Performance Coatings in Suzhou, China. The center will focus on innovative performance coatings solutions for a wide variety of materials. Customers, OEMs, brands and other partners came together for the opening event.

With the ongoing addition of new Centers of Excellence around the world, Stahl is strengthening its position as a technology leader. The new facility in Suzhou brings to nine the number of Centers of Excellence the company has worldwide. At each center, the company’s experts work side-by-side with partners to meet the growing demand for products and solutions that have less impact on the environment. The addition of the Suzhou Center of Excellence puts Stahl in an even stronger position to combine its strengths with those of its local partners to create high-quality solutions for the automotive, apparel and accessories and interior industries.

Environmental Friendly Building

Stahl strongly believes in taking responsibility, whether it is developing new products or building new offices, factories and centers. As such, the new Center of Excellence has been equipped with solar panels that provide part of the electricity that is consumed by the lab. A solar illumination and motion-detective lighting system have been implemented to save electricity. Green plants on the rooftop enable temperature control during the hot season, and the investment in a high-efficiency air filter system guarantees clean air emission. Also, the choice for low-VOC boards for the partitions and recurring construction materials contribute to the sustainability of the center.

Driver for More Sustainable Development

Hagen Chen, Managing Director Greater China at Stahl, said, “China occupies an important position in the world as a driver of more sustainable development. We strive to make coating solutions with the lowest possible impact in terms of people’s health and the environment. Over the last few years, our performance coatings business has been growing enormously in China, especially in the automotive industry. The requests for applications for seat and trim, elastomer coatings, and flock adhesives are growing on a daily basis. Besides the automotive industry, the new facility anticipates the growing demand in China for packaging film and paper, synthetic materials, coated fabrics, textiles, and specialty applications like medical and supportive gloves."

Highway to Excellence

Guests at the opening event were treated to a “highway-to-excellence” experience. Local authority members of the Suzhou High Tech New District attended the ceremonial opening. Among the speakers were Lydia Lin, East Asia Director Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), who spoke about the importance of a DMF(A)-free industry. Terry Ragunath, from HP Inc. Large Format Printing Division, talked about the company’s new partnership with Stahl, which began in August this year, to increase the durability of printed synthetics. Stahl’s Uwe Siebgens, Group Director Performance Coatings & Polymers, spoke about the future of performance coatings. During the day, attendees further got to know Stahl’s environmentally conscious solutions, such as bio-based PolyMatte® and the Stahl EVO® portfolio.