Mr. Chris Bradford

Mr. Chris Bradford, Marketing Director for Wood Coatings, AkzoNobel, bares his heart on upcoming LIGNA, new products, European market and lot more.

   
woodandpaneleurope

Tell us about your presence in Europe.

 

Chris Bradford :AkzoNobel Wood Coatings is a leading supplier of coatings and adhesives to the global woodworking industry. Our very experienced team, working across various technologies and processes in Europe covers all major wood segments of flooring, furniture, cabinetry and building products (doors, windows, moldings, etc.). We also have a specialized adhesives team that supports cross-laminated timber and beam construction customers. Members of the team work together to design and deploy not only new chemistries and products, but also processes and equipment that help our customers succeed. We also have a diverse group of distribution partners who can service customers in specific regions.

 
   
   
woodandpaneleurope

What makes LIGNA a must visit for AkzoNobel?

 

Chris Bradford : Customers are visiting this biennial fair to look for new wood working machinery that could improve their productivity, efficiency and quality. This event provides visitors to the show the opportunity to see the newest chemistries, processes and equipment that can help them differentiate themselves in their market.
It is important for us to be an exhibitor at LIGNA to discuss the specific needs of current and future customers and help them find the best solutions for their processes. In many cases we have custom solutions in place with machine suppliers and can help customers tailor material applications and machinery to their needs. As an example, in our Adhesive business we have our own software and machine development department that can create a complete solution package for our customers.

 
   
   
woodandpaneleurope

What are the new products you are exhibiting at LIGNA?

 

Chris Bradford : New metallic effects for Cetol® WF 771 and a new door finish solution Sikkens® Rubbol® WF 340 Exterior Door Finish.

 
   
   
woodandpaneleurope

What the main features of Sikkens new wood coatings?

 

Chris Bradford :Yes! In fact we are currently in the process of finalizing a number of new features, partly related to belts, but also to new service tools. Unfortunately, in the current stage of the innovation projects it is too early to provide more information. But we are looking forward to release this information very soon.

   
   
woodandpaneleurope

One of your recent pioneer inventions for bio-based raw materials is the online tool, the first tool ever that can track the bio-based content. If you can brief us on that.

 

Chris Bradford : The tool is developed to help customers certify the amount of renewable, bio-based, material in their products. The entry point of the renewable raw material can be several links up the value chain from our customers and AkzoNobel wanted to provide a clear, auditable way of understanding the renewable content in their overall product ranges even if they may have more than one qualified coatings supplier. Key to the success of the tool was our partnership with ABT, a supplier of bio-based EPH, and Ernst and Young which facilitates certification of bio-based content tracked through the platform.

   
   
woodandpaneleurope

You believe in ‘Sustainable Strategies’, what comes on your mind when describing sustainability?

 

Chris Bradford : Sustainability is not only a topic; it is a combination of thinking about how we produce coatings and adhesives and how our customers utilize them. Sustainability can be demonstrated by using renewable raw materials, while reducing waste and energy. The people who work for AkzoNobel are an important part of sustainability, too. Every employee is responsible for sustainability in his/her role across the company

   
   
woodandpaneleurope

What role does the price play in your brand strategy?

 

Chris Bradford : Pricing is very specific to what a customer purchases, how they use our products and the technical services we provide to support use and application. The AkzoNobel brand is well known in the Wood Market as is Sikkens and other product brand names.

   
   
woodandpaneleurope

Coming to the Americas, what about your presence in North America. Now that, AWFS is only a few months away, what can we expect to witness at AWFS?

 

Chris Bradford : The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) show in Las Vegas in July will give AkzoNobel another opportunity to highlight our new NDuraSilk™ Paints, which help cabinet manufacturers by creating improved efficiency in application and a higher finish quality. The paint raises the bar on consumer quality perception because the high level of fill it gives to the wood substrate – the consumer gets a leading surface appearance and touch, which is an important selection criterion when purchasing cabinetry. The benefit to manufacturers is they can adopt NDuraSilk easily and produce with fewer process steps, saving costs and increasing capacity.

Our team will also discuss MaestroHue™ Color System; a digital tool to help coating applicators quickly and efficiently color match repeatable and predictable custom colors. Our color design team for wood finishes also uses MaestroHue to give customers access to color trends and Color of the Year research for consideration in their production color palettes.

   
   
woodandpaneleurope

Coming to the Americas, what about your presence in North America. Now that, AWFS is only a few months away, what can we expect to witness at AWFS?

 

Chris Bradford :In the Wood Coatings business of AkzoNobel, we believe by segmenting the market we can better understand our customers and more importantly their customers’ needs more effectively. Underpinning all of the Wood market segmentation, we have identified clear cross-segment trends in sustainability: doing more with less, improving productivity and bringing creative designs to enhance the consumer experience. We have also identified a trend in increasing engagement via digital applications that allow customers to tailor solutions for their

exact needs, improving productivity and reducing waste, while improving overall product quality.

   
   
woodandpaneleurope

Coming to the Americas, what about your presence in North America. Now that, AWFS is only a few months away, what can we expect to witness at AWFS?

 

Chris Bradford :Our partnership with Itaconix gives us access to technology which can provide renewable building blocks for our products. Specifically, we are looking into the production of polymers from sugars. These have a range of potential applications, including use as a binder in coatings. Following the framework agreement, we are now looking into more specific applications to further expand our line of eco-premium products which help our customers meet their sustainability targets.

   
   

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