FIRE RETARDANT SOLUTIONS TO INSPIRE DESIGN IN WOOD
Fire retardant coating solutions for wood
In August, Danish timber producer Frøslev Træ opened a new coating facility. Every shift, up to 2 truck loads of profiles are coated with NORDICA EKO 3894 from Teknos.
With 600 different wood profiles and a production volume of several million running meters per year, Frøslev Træ is one of the largest timber producers in Denmark. The company is based in Frøslev in Jutland located close to the border between Germany and Denmark.
The history of the company started in 1931 with a freestanding saw powered by a petroleum engine - the foundation for Johannes Carlsen to establish the company. The Carlsen family sold the sawmill in 1978 and co-owner and Managing Director Jens P. L. Petersen took over the company completely in 1982, gradually modernising it. After a devastating fire in 1988, Petersen relaunched the company as a wholesaler of machined and pressure-treated timber. Since 1990, the company has operated under the name Frøslev Træ A/S.
Today, Frøslev Træ employs roughly 100 employees and is one of the largest timber producers in Denmark. The company has retained its association with the traditional sawmill business and respect for manual skills. Frøslev Træ is a modern family company that adapts flexibly to the needs of its customers. Since 2012, it has been managed by Martin L. Petersen from the second generation.
The product range includes wooden fences, decking boards, garden timber, cladding, ceilings and wooden floors for indoor applications. Roughly 85% of turnover is made up from sales to hardware stores and builder's merchants in Denmark, while 10% is attributed to exports to Germany, a market that has become increasingly important for Frøslev Træ and is managed by a growing team. The remainder of the turnover comes from special segments such as packaging wood and harbour poles.
Frøslev Træ processes domestic wood such as Nordic Pine and Spruce as well as Siberian Larch, Western Red Cedar and modified timber such as ThermoWood or OrganoWood, depending on the customer requirements. One significant strength is the breadth and depth of the product range. In the cladding sector alone, Frøslev Træ offers several hundred different types of standard profiles in various wood species, dimensions and surface finishes (planed, rough, colourless primed, translucent and opaque). The garden timber and wooden fence range is also extremely diverse. All elements from the FT fence system can be combined with one another - options extend from a wide range of fence combinations to gates, flowerbed borders and sandpits. As Denmark's largest producer of pressure-treated timber, Frøslev Træ operates a long-term pressure impregnation facility that meets the demanding NTR standards of the Nordic Wood Preservation Council and therefore grants a 15-year durability guarantee on its products.
Frøslev Træ relies on a high degree of completion in their manufacturing plant. "We receive delivery of the timber and every step of the treatment process is then performed here on site, from planing the timber in our own planing mill to coating it," explains Martin L. Petersen, Managing Partner of Frøslev Træ. "This makes us extremely flexible and gives us maximum control over the quality of our products."
The same applies to coating. "The demand for colour-treated cladding profile products is increasing" says Martin L. Petersen. "This is why we have decided to install a coating facility in our company." Frøslev Træ has invested more than 1.5 million euro in the new paint shop, which went into operation in August 2017. The state-of-the-art facility incorporates two spraying robots, brush machines and drying facilities and can apply primer and topcoat in a single cycle. Spraying robots apply coats to planed profiles and the spraying equipment is removed and replaced by brush machines to process rough profiles. Line speeds of up to 48 m/min are possible in combination with the drying facilities. Up to two truck loads of profiles (approx. 23,000 running meters) can be coated in the paint shop in a single shift.
Frøslev Træ selected Teknos as a supplier even before construction of the coating facility had finished. "We started searching for suitable partners quite early on," explains Martin L. Petersen. "As well as the technical requirements, quick, reliable deliveries and qualified technical support were important criteria. Needless to say, the price had to be right as well. We searched for a long-term partner with good innovative skills who will be able to help us meet growing demands for the durability and sustainability of our products in the future. Our partner Teknos ticked all the right boxes."
In the spring, the Frøslev Træ coating team met with Teknos experts to devise the perfect coating solution for the new facility. Various solutions were tested thoroughly and samples were created at the technical center in Vamdrup. Once the new facility was commissioned, it did not take long to configure and was ready for operation in no time at all.
A coating consisting of two layers of NORDICA EKO 3894 was applied in the paint shop. The water-based product is suitable as a primer, intermediate coating and topcoat on all types of timber. NORDICA EKO 3894 is quick and easy to handle, can be sprayed or applied with the brush machine and has good film levelling qualities. The product is also suitable for high line speeds when combined with a forced drying system.
Frøslev Træ uses NORDICA EKO 3894 mainly to coat profiled timber. Primer is usually applied at all four sides while the topcoat is applied at three sides. Current trend colors are the most popular. "Black is all the rage at the moment," reports Martin L. Petersen. "White is the second most popular color in Denmark, while basalt gray is often requested by our German customers."
It is important for coated cladding to offer premium quality, durability, lower surface treatment costs and a modern design. Frøslev Træ is now well placed in this growing segment thanks to the new paint shop and the valuable contribution made by Teknos. "We are extremely satisfied with the way we have worked together," explains Martin L. Petersen. "The products meet our requirements, the assistance we have received is outstanding and I am certain that Teknos will also be the right partner for future challenges."
Martin L. Petersen, Managing Partner of Frøslev Træ
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