In 1919, a small wood varnish company opened its doors in the riverfront city of Louisville, Kentucky.
Today, the Reliance business lives on as part of AkzoNobel’s North American wood coatings division, whose portfolio of brands helps the world’s leading manufacturers of cabinetry, furniture, flooring and building products protect and bring color to their products.
History will merge with the future when AkzoNobel
officially kicks off its 100th year in the wood coatings industry in North America at the 2019 AWFS Fair in Las Vegas (July 17-20, 2019).
AkzoNobel will showcase its products alongside the latest innovations, including MaestroHue, the complete wood coatings color system developed by Chemcraft – AkzoNobel’s specialist wood coatings brand – that gives distributors and OEM manufacturers the power to match virtually any color with unrivaled pinpoint accuracy and minimal waste.
“The industry and products have changed a great deal since 1919, but our company’s passion for innovation has not. We are experts in the industry and understand wood finishing from design to industrialization,” said Anthony Woods, AkzoNobel’s segment marketing director for wood coatings. “We’re excited to mark the century milestone with our customers, partners and friends – and look forward to the next 100 years of delivering peace of mind with our best-in-class technical service.”
AkzoNobel’s North American wood coatings history began with the incorporation of Reliance Universal as Reliance Varnish Company on June 28, 1919, in Louisville, followed less than 10 years later by the incorporation of Southern Varnish Corporation in Roanoke, Virginia, on Sept. 1, 1928.
Photo: Reliance Varnish Company, Louisville, Kentucky.
These companies mark the start of AkzoNobel’s wood coating history in North America, which continues to employ wood coating professionals throughout the US and Canada today, including facilities in High Point, NC; Roanoke, VA; Salem, OR; Warwick, Quebec, Canada; and Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.
Photo: AkzoNobel Site in High Point, North Carolina.
A milestone multi-million-dollar investment by AkzoNobel is set to transform its wood coatings facility in High Point, into a best-in-class manufacturing site. The transformation involves reorganizing manufacturing operations at the site and the addition of automatic dosing unit technology to produce paint more efficiently. A new raw materials warehouse, research lab and technical application center are also being built. Construction is now underway, with rolling projects expected to be completed by 2020.
Photo: AkzoNobel Lab in High Point, North Carolina.
“Having been the reference in wood coatings for a century enables us to identify and anticipate the needs of the industry," Woods said. "As we celebrate this anniversary and our innovation to date, we are already looking forward. Our investment in High Point will enable us to provide our customers with even more flexibility through the delivery of small batch sizes, higher accuracy in stains and solid colors, more water-based products and rapid response to requests.”
Photos courtesy AkzoNobel