Lindéngruppen company Beckers is building a new Sustainable Innovation Centre in the UK to help unlock the potential of future coil coating technologies such as ultraviolet/electron beam (UV/EB) curing.
The two-story 300 m2 innovation centre will double the capacity of their Long Term Development (LTD) R&D team that is working to develop future coil coating capabilities. The new SEK 20.5 million building next door to Beckers’ existing LTD facility in Liverpool, UK, will break ground in March 2023 and should be complete by the end of the year.
“As we don’t currently have space to accommodate all the equipment we need when developing some of the new coating technologies, the new innovation centre will be essential in enhancing our global R&D capabilities,” says Gavin Bown, CTO at Beckers. “The innovation centre will enable us to develop new disruptive technologies that have both lower environmental impact and potential to reduce costs for our customers.”
Around 15 people will work at the centre, which will include large ‘plug and play’ spaces to easily combine different processes and technologies together to explore synergies and intersections.
The building will be purpose built and designed for future expansion if necessary.
“The innovation centre will give us the bandwidth to move into future technologies,” explains James Smith, Global R&D Director, LTD at Beckers. “It is designed with one eye firmly on the next generation of sustainable coatings that are renewable and based on the concept of circularity.”
The aim is for the centre to become a flagship for innovation to drive Beckers’ coil coating R&D. The innovation centre is designed to develop both application technologies and coating formulations.
“All of our new product development at Beckers must be net-sustainable,” explains Bown. “Our new innovation centre will give us unique opportunities to investigate the intersections of different platforms – to potentially combine them with a view to unlocking the next generation of product technologies and coil coatings.”
The innovation centre will also be a living showcase for the latest in coating solutions. The walls and roof of the building will use a cladding system that utilises a partially bio-resin coating developed by Beckers for improved material sustainability. The coating applied to the roof will also use Beckry®Therm technology to improve thermal control in the building to reduce the energy required for air conditioning and increase the service life of the cladding system.
The coatings used for the building will also be sourced and manufactured as sustainably as possible.
From the beginning the centre will specialise in ultraviolet and electron beam curing. Beckers have adapted the use of UV/EB curing technology for the coil coating industry and developed the necessary paint formulations since 2005.
Learn more about UV/EB curing technology and its benefits as well as the LCAs that have highlighted significant efficiency, environmental and climate benefits for UV/EB coil coating compared with conventional techniques. These new Beckers coating formulations have been available from January 2023 and Beckers are currently developing UV/EB coil coating solutions for customers all around the world.