Akzo Nobel has officially opened its sustainable paint plant in Ashington, UK. The hi-tech facility – which cost more than EUR100 million to build – represents the largest ever global investment by the company’s Decorative Paints business.
It will become the new center of production for the decorative paint brand “Dulux”.
Renewable energy sources
The Ashington plant uses a variety of renewable energy sources, including photovoltaic cells and a biomass boiler, alongside a highly automated manufacturing process which saves water, waste and energy. The company estimates that the carbon footprint per liter of paint produced at the site will be reduced by 50% compared with the production facilities at the plants it is replacing.
Doubling current production levels
The factory will be capable of doubling Akzo Nobel’s current UK production levels to 200 million liters a year – approximately enough paint to redecorate every living room, bathroom and kitchen in the UK. Covering an area of 100,000m2, the facility also has capacity to expand in order to support future growth plans.
“This is a significant investment in the UK – a vital strategic market for us – and an important milestone for Akzo Nobel,” said CEO Thierry Vanlancker. “We continue to invest in highly innovative and sustainable production facilities to maintain and grow our leadership position, ensuring the best products for our customers in the UK and around the world.” Added Ruud Joosten, COO of Paints and Coatings at Akzo Nobel: “Ashington secures Akzo Nobel’s future as a manufacturer of cutting-edge products, including paints that improve air quality, increase energy efficiency and protect against bacteria.”
Initiation without operator
All manufacturing technologies within the plant are managed by a single integrated computer system. This means that every activity – from the ordering of raw materials to the shipping of finished products – can be initiated without operator intervention. A highly agile production system means the plant is capable of producing paint across the entire Akzo Nobel range. Ashington will also house the second “Dulux” Academy in the UK. The customised training center is designed to provide painters and decorators with the expertise and know-how they need for business success.
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