Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has launched a collaboration with Vepa, a leader in project furniture design. The aim of this collaboration is to further demonstrate the value of powder coating technology as an operationally convenient and sustainable alternative to solvent-based liquid coating technology for heat-sensitive substrates. Initially, Vepa will produce one furniture product line with DSM’s proprietary powder coating technology, which will be commercially available by August 2018. A second product line will be launched by the end of 2018.

Like many other furniture manufacturers and designers across the world, Vepa is looking to leverage powder coating technology to gain a competitive advantage, since this technology has been shown to improve the operational efficiency of coating application, the total environmental impact of the manufacturing process, and the aesthetic qualities of the final product. In this way, Vepa will lower operational costs, increase end-product value and have a mechanism for meaningful differentiation. At a more immediate level, Vepa’s decision to apply powder coating technology was driven by the successful experience of Kempa, a Belgian manufacturing company that supplies powder coated furniture panels.

Gertjan de Kam, Design & Development Manager, Vepa: “Powder coating technology offers several important advantages to furniture manufacturers. Above all, powder coating enables greater design freedom, since it can be applied even on unusual shapes, edges, hollows and contours, allowing imaginative new substrate designs and semi-assemblies that could not easily be finished with liquid coatings. At Vepa, we’re excited to be moving forward hand in hand with DSM – powder coating technology opens up new horizons for us!”

Developed specifically for use on MDF and other wood products, DSM’s Uralac® Ultra powder coating technology provides the basis for IGP, a leader in powder coating applications, to develop a final product solution that matches Vepa’s product demands. Once the furniture panels have been successfully coated with IGP’s final product solution, they will be assembled and distributed by Vepa.

Peter Christl, Communications Manager, IGP: “Thanks to its unique chemistry, our powder coating formulations really drive the sustainable value of final products. Not only are the furniture panels curable at very low temperatures and for a short time, which significantly reduces the throughput time and lowers the carbon footprint of the entire manufacturing process, but the powder coatings themselves are also much less toxic to application operators and end-customers alike, when compared to liquid paints. Because of this, we believe that the market demand for powder coatings on wooden substrates will grow exponentially over the coming years.”

Ruben Pleijzier, New Business Development Manager, DSM: “We initiated this collaboration to connect the dots along the complete customer journey. Together with our industry partners, we’ve bridged the technology gap and delivered a reliable, high-performance proposition for heat-sensitive substrates that offers clear environmental, aesthetic and operational advantages. This is an example of how our brightscience is helping to deliver brighter living.”