AkzoNobel’s funding for sustainable progress in South Asia-Pacific

AkzoNobel’s investment for sustainable growth in South Asia-Pacific
Jeff Jirak, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings enterprise
AkzoNobel’s investment for sustainable growth in South Asia-Pacific
Şirvan Canıtez, regional business director of Powder Coatings in South Asia-Pacific

Might you please focus on the latest traits that you’ve got noticed within the powder coatings trade, each globally and throughout the area?

Jirak: We’re observing a shift from liquid to powder, primarily as a result of environmental benefits, significantly the absence of VOCs (unstable natural compounds). This began about 15 years in the past in Europe, and has moved into North America and Asia.

One different vital factor is aesthetics. Powder coatings supply a variety of aesthetic choices, from your entire colour palette to totally different finishes on the surfaces, together with matt, shiny, metallic seems to be, or the newly-introduced stone or wooden grain results.

The third development is about sturdiness. With sure powder coatings, we are able to supply as much as a 30-year guarantee in exterior architectural functions (when utilized by an Interpon D Accepted Applicator).

Lastly, the fourth space of excessive progress is purposeful resins that are helpful for resistance {of electrical} conductivity, mostly used within the battery compartment of electrical autos (EVs). These purposeful applied sciences are taking off, so powder coating could be very a lot a rising market.

How will the latest enlargement in Bac Ninh assist AkzoNobel keep forward of the curve?

Jirak: AkzoNobel is a market chief in powder coatings globally, with over 31 manufacturing websites with native resolution laboratories world wide. Moreover, there are additionally central R&D places in every area. These operations are science-driven, based mostly on what the shoppers want within the varied market segments that we serve.

Vietnam is considered one of our key progress international locations in Southeast Asia, with a extremely huge inflow of enterprise from China. With the nation being a major manufacturing hub and steel fabrication being a core manufacturing factor of the Vietnamese market, powder coatings are actually taking off right here. Moreover, outside architectural functions have traditionally been a robust phase for AkzoNobel within the area. We want the capability to service that progress, which is why these new strains are in place to fulfill clients’ wants.

Canıtez: The merchandise we manufacture in Vietnam serve not solely home demand but in addition different regional markets. In Bac Ninh we now have put in 5 model new state-of-the-art strains with excessive automation, with the principle purpose to spice up capability and meet the rising demand.

In a way, all of it comes again to sustainability and customer-centricity. The enlargement will permit our Dong Nai website to concentrate on supporting quantity progress in southern Vietnam, which in flip enhances our capacity to supply clients extra aggressive transport instances within the North whereas lowering our environmental footprint. By making the sensible alternative when it comes to placing the correct vegetation and distribution centres in the correct places, we purpose to attenuate our affect on the surroundings.

What stage of significance does sustainability maintain inside AkzoNobel’s manufacturing strains?

Jirak: Sustainability is on the core of what we do. In reality, we lead the market in eco-friendly powder coatings with no VOCs. We concentrate on the end-to-end life cycle of our merchandise and dealing with clients to search out methods to decrease our environmental footprint, together with experimenting with a round partnership with clients to make the most of recycled content material.

Our focus extends to sustainable manufacturing processes, together with recirculation capabilities, minimizing wastewater, and decreasing processing temperatures.

As well as, a whole lot of our sustainability work is geared in the direction of serving to our clients as we collaborate carefully with them to tailor options that align with their sustainability targets. This contains providing decrease temperature remedy merchandise to scale back vitality and even improve utilization throughput. Decrease curing temperatures additionally open powder to a greater diversity of substrates, like wooden.

Our contributions to EV applied sciences, via defending battery packs and cooling coils, not directly help our broader environmental aims.

Canıtez: Our three pillars of sustainability embrace local weather change, circularity, and other people’s well being and wellbeing. Our key ambitions as an organization are to halve our carbon emissions by 2030, derive 50 per cent of our income from sustainable options, obtain 100 per cent round use of supplies, and empower over 100,000 people in native communities with new expertise.

Our latest funding at Bac Ninh website ticks all of the bins. First, it improves logistics and reduces carbon footprints by reducing transport instances in northern Vietnam, as I discussed. Second, because the processes are extra streamlined with new tools put in to recycle with out affecting product high quality, we are able to preserve the usage of uncooked supplies on the optimum stage. Lastly, this funding with superior know-how additionally allows us to safeguard the well being and wellbeing of our workers, clients and different stakeholders within the communities we function in Bac Ninh.

In collaborating with companions, what’s your evaluation of the Vietnamese market’s readiness to embrace sustainability commitments?

Canıtez: Increasingly clients are asking about sustainability-related matters, which is extraordinarily optimistic. It surprises me that a few of them should not even multinationals however comparatively sizable native corporations looking for out the place they will begin this journey from.

So, as we try to grasp our suppliers and our personal footprint, we’re additionally making an attempt to help our clients. It is actually an end-to-end course of tackling the total worth chain.

Trying forward, what are the strategic priorities and targets for AkzoNobel’s powder coatings enterprise within the Southern Asia-Pacific area?

Jirak: Because the market chief in powder coatings, we’re anticipated to set the tone in innovation. As we transfer ahead, we’re staffed and resourced to proceed to be the innovation chief and assist clients attain their very own sustainability targets and ambitions.

Our innovation is concentrated on three key areas: product efficiency, aesthetics, and processing. By way of efficiency, in addition to the work on advancing sturdiness, we’re designing new resins that may remedy at decrease temperatures and nonetheless give the identical stage of efficiency. This trade-off represents an optimization on product efficiency. Late final 12 months we already set an trade first with the launch of our architectural powder vary with curing temperatures 30°C decrease than the competitors.

By way of aesthetics, our Bac Ninh facility now features a devoted bonding unit that may produce bonded metallics – a really sturdy and sturdy metallic trying powder. Whereas the problem is secure manufacturing, as bonding with aluminium flakes is extremely flammable, the innovation permits us to provide a number of the most outstanding metallic finishes one can think about.

As for processing, our innovation is obvious in our latest co-development of synthetic intelligence (AI)-driven software program referred to as Flightpath Professional, along with coating AI, which reinforces utility processes and reduces our carbon footprint by optimizing tools settings, lowering defects, overspray, and bettering powder and vitality consumption.

As our Bac Ninh website now has all of the tools for these three parts of innovation, the latest enlargement is positioning Bac Ninh as a hub for cutting-edge developments within the area.

Canıtez: Like all the opposite multinationals, we undergo a three-to-five-year strategic cycle after which make our long-term plans accordingly. To this point, we now have been a terrific participant in the case of the premium tier. But when you concentrate on it, it is roughly one-third of the entire market, contemplating the mid and low-tier segments.

Trying forward, we plan to continue to grow our market share organically on the premium aspect, but in addition improve our presence within the mid-market. Which means offering our clients with a broader number of options, relying on what they precisely want. That’s anticipated to drive progress within the coming interval for us, particularly in Vietnam, which may also be enabled by these new investments.

Concurrently, we purpose to discover new areas, as Jirak famous, reminiscent of powder on wooden, EV-related merchandise, and low-cure choices. Diversifying our product vary may also improve our place by increasing into new market segments.

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