Hailed as the world’s most advanced, most sustainable paint factory, AkzoNobel Ashington utilizes cutting-edge manufacturing technologies brought together from AkzoNobel sites all over the world.
Over the past two years, AkzoNobel has been systematically transferring manufacturing volume to Ashington from some of its older facilities to steadily build up the site’s resilience and product portfolio to become the new UK home of Dulux decorative paint. Built on "blue-sky thinking" and the consideration of "how good can it be?" reaching the one million liter production target is a huge breakthrough for the site’s automated systems and the team who helped commission them.
“Designed to react to customer demand, the dual manufacturing systems at AkzoNobel Ashington makes the site the company’s most agile plant globally,” said Jeff Hope, head of manufacturing unit at AkzoNobel Ashington.
“The high levels of automation on site mean that we have access to an incredible amount of data for all of our processes. This means we can monitor every aspect of the manufacturing process to identify key areas where we can make improvements and ultimately increase production capacity whilst maintaining consistent quality."
AkzoNobel Ashington is capable of doubling the UK’s current paint production levels to 200 million liters per year, the equivalent of 80 million 2.5 liter cans of Dulux, in up to 33,000 different colors to serve the UK and European markets. At the time the one million liter milestone was reached, the site was producing white Dulux Valentine Colour Resist paint for the French market.
Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, the next target for the state-of-the-art plant is to demonstrate a further 50 percent increase of capacity of 1.5 million liters per week.
“This time last year, we were producing around 500,000 liters of paint per week," Hope said. "To have doubled our capacity in time for the site’s second birthday is absolutely phenomenal and I couldn’t be prouder of the team for making it happen.”