This story is as it appears in the High Point Enterprise on June 23, 2023:
HIGH POINT — AkzoNobel on Thursday unveiled its $55 million expansion of its wood coatings manufacturing campus in south High Point.
Some of the company’s customers and suppliers, city leaders and other guests toured its new research and development center, which will work closely with a new production plant that’s expected to be fully operational later this year.
AkzoNobel’s coatings are used in the furniture, cabinet and flooring industries.
"When we decided to make this investment in High Point," said Brent Neal, regional technical manager of wood coatings for AkzoNobel, "it was in recognition that High Point is the center of the wood coatings industry in North America. This is the furniture city."
Based in the Netherlands, AkzoNobel has about 35,000 employees in 80 countries, including 223 at its 37-acre High Point campus.
The new research lab has advanced equipment to develop and test products for customers, which include High Point cabinet manufacturer Marsh Furniture Co.
“This is a place of collaboration — a place where our customers can come in and sit right here and work with our chemists and technical service people to design and get a preview of how our coatings will look in their plants before we ship them the first drum of paint,” Neal said.
The expansion also enables the company to accelerate the time it takes to scale up customer’s products, according to Ted Rhee, regional commercial director of wood finishes and adhesives for AkzoNobel.
“This investment significantly increases AkzoNobel’s comprehensive North America supply capability for the wood coatings market and makes it possible to react much faster to trends,” he said.