The completion of AkzoNobel’s £100m world-class decorative paint facility at Ashington is to move a step closer with the arrival of some crucial new equipment.
Nine fully automated paint filling lines, the result of a £15m investment, will shortly be installed at the 100,000 sq metre site.
Representing a cornerstone in the construction of the plant, these will provide the potential to produce up to 100m litres of paint for sale in the UK and Europe - almost double what the company can produce from its existing UK operations.
The manufacturing facility, which will be home to AkzoNobel’s internationally famous brands, including Dulux, Cuprinol, Hammerite and Polycell, is set to be one of the most sustainable plants ever built.
The filling lines, each of which features an advanced robotic stacking system, will be able to service over 200 sizes of cans, which they can identify and fill based on barcodes and similar forms of differentiation.
Project Director of AkzoNobel, Ashington, Andy Jackson said: “The arrival of the filling lines will mark a significant milestone in the build of what we fully believe will be the most advanced and sustainable manufacturing plant built anywhere in the world.
“Once they are in place we will really begin to get the feel for what is going to be an exceptional facility.
“The technology is such that we will not just be able to manage complex filling requirements but that it will be done at a speed than cannot be matched at our other UK facilities.”
Around 250 contractors are involved in the building work and installation work.
When fully operational, the plant, due to open in Autumn 2014, will run with around 90 people on-site.
It will allow the company to treble its manufacturing capability while almost halving its current environmental impact from its existing North East plants at Prudhoe and Felling.