AkzoNobel helps turn the tables on sustainability for Aakaar with chrome alternative powder coating
AkzoNobel’s powder coatings business has partnered with Aakaar Iron Creations to help the leading innovator of metal furniture and components for world-class retail brands in Europe and the US make the switch from chrome plating to a lower environmental impact chrome effect powder coating from Interpon.
Aakaar, originally founded in India, used chrome plating because historically it was the only solution capable of achieving the results its customers demand. The environmental drawbacks of the process, however, led the business to seek a more sustainable solution. It found a viable alternative in the Interpon Cr Chrome Effect powder coating from AkzoNobel and has now become one of India’s first manufacturers to use the powder coating for mass production.
Subhashish Das, General Manager, Aakaar Iron Creations, says sustainability is now a key factor in customer decision-making: “We required a process that provides the same beautiful finish we’re known for, whilst being significantly more sustainable. This is crucial not only for our business but for our customers who’re always interested in buying from sustainably minded brands.”
What Aakaar discovered was that the powder coating didn’t just support the company’s desire to be more sustainable, but it also improved production: “When you spray liquid paint, not even 60% is being converted into your end product,” Das explains. “With powder, 80 to 90% of the powder coating is used, it’s much easier to apply, and any overspray can be captured and re-used. That means it is more cost-effective and gives you a better-quality output.”
This need for consistent quality is critical. It can take 12 months from a piece leaving the factory to receiving a complaint that a product is scratched or starting to corrode. Reputation is key, and a bad review online can be damaging. Das and his team, however, believe that AkzoNobel gives them total confidence in the quality of its powder coatings, with control systems in place to ensure its product is consistent every time it’s used, without any deviation in colour or performance.
Certainty of delivery is also key: “If we have committed to using certain materials such as Interpon Cr on their product, we keep our commitments,” Das adds.
As well as Interpon Cr, Aakaar is now exploring how other powder coatings within the Interpon range can protect and enhance a new range of outdoor furniture that it is developing, where weathering and corrosion is more of an issue. This includes how powder coatings can be applied to heat sensitive substrates.
“We’re delighted about helping Aakaar make the switch from liquid to powder and similarly delight its customers with the quality of its products,” says Sirvan Canitez, Commercial Director South Asia of AkzoNobel powder coatings. “Our partnership has already helped Das and his team turn the tables on sustainability and we’re excited about what our future innovations can deliver.”
“Our new production line will not only enable us to better meet market demand, but also help to optimise our supply chain so we can serve customers more efficiently and effectively,” adds Fred Moreux, AkzoNobel’s Asia Manufacturing Director. “It’s also a great example of our People. Planet. Paint. approach to pioneering more sustainable products, optimising resources and improving productivity.”