Kronospan Chirk - new investment and developments
As part of its Vision 2020 programme Kronospan is investing €200 million in its site in Chirk. The investment is nearing completion and the factory has been comprehensively upgraded, streamlined and future-proofed.
The changes are evident everywhere on the site, from pre-production through to finishing. Major state-of-the-art production technology has been incorporated into the process: the raw material is now stored and rotated in new silos and in-feed into the plant is now fully automated.
There are two biomass boilers which can supply all the heat needed from the plant’s residues, and there are gas engines making electricity. The T&G line for P5 flooring has been replaced with a new line which is already capable of making particleboard and OSB T&G for flooring.
Space has been cleared for the anticipated 50 m long continuous OSB line and all the rawboard lines feed automatically into the melamine department, which comprises four presses—three new and one refurbished. This has doubled Chirk’s melamine facing capacity and the presses are two times faster than their predecessors. The worktop line is also completely new and of the three flooring lines, one is brand new and two have been completely refurbished to the latest standards.
The aim of the investment and redevelopment of the Chirk factory is to double the size of the business, both in terms of turnover and capacity, while keeping to the same number of employees (currently 630). One of Kronospan’s strengths is the ability to draw products from other sites, which is now evident than at Chirk, as it is supplying OSB to its UK customers by importing from sister factories.
There are now three brands, which help structure the sales function at Chirk:
- Krono Original brand for consumer and retail products such as laminate flooring, wall panels and accessories;
- Kronobuild raw boards for the construction market - OSB 3, moisture and fire resistant MDF, P2 and P5, for example.
- Kronodesign - melamine faced and laminate products geared for the furniture and interior finishings sector.
In the UK, five area sales managers sell across all Kronospan products and to a raft of end-users from builders’ merchants to distributors across many different industry sectors.