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Metalcolour - 50 years of innovation

For Jakob Søndergaard-Nielsen, Plant Director at Metalcolour A/S in Denmark, the combination of being a reliable supplier as well as an innovative partner is a key to success that holds an important competitive edge.

“Adjusting manufacturing processes to using pre-coated raw materials has often become a game changer for Metalcolour’s clients. Over the years, we have had several cases where the transition to our product has resulted in fewer production steps, shorter lead-times and financial savings,” says Jakob.

“Metalcolour Group has innovation in its DNA. Both outwardly in terms of solutions for the customer and internally, where our insightful staff make suggestions for changes in our own production, that has led to major improvements.”

Metalcolour A/S in Nykøbing operates a Coil-to-Coil line and produces lacquered sheet metal and sheet metal with a technical coating. The lacquered plate is mainly used in different areas of interior design and the technical coating products are mainly delivered to the automotive industry. Approximately 30 people work at the company. Sister company Metalcolour Sweden AB in Ronneby, has one Coil-to-Coil and one Coil-to-Sheet line where they produce their well-known DOBEL® Film Laminated Metal products for the marine, construction and train industries. Metalcolour Sweden has around 30 employees as well.

Innovation in mind

A thought that continually buzzes around Metalcolour is – “Can we do this better and if so, how?” Sometimes the initiation is based on an idea from our side, sometimes an idea comes from the customer. Occasionally subcontractors are also included to add even more competence to the process.

Tighter collaboration past and present

The fact that Metalcolour is involved earlier in a customer’s project and that the dialogue is both deeper and closer, is a development clearly seen by Jakob.
“This is exactly how we want it to be. It gives us a better opportunity to exactly describe the properties of our products and then analyse together how they can be utilized to their very best.”
Jakob says that this has sometimes led to in-sourcing, meaning that customers have been able to take on parts of the manufacturing process themselves that were previously outsourced. We even have examples of our product opening up new markets for our customers.

Internal innovation

Some time ago, a proposal came from one of the production teams at Metalcolour. A machine had problems with a sharp edge on the material causing severe wear on the machine’s rollers. This led to a rebuilding of the machine, which now operates with a significantly improved performance of the rollers.
“This is a clear example of how valuable it is to have such committed staff and that we continue to work with innovation within our own production,” says Jakob.

Innovation that became industry standard

Sister company, Metalcolour Sweden, also works with innovation and were among the first to introduce a foil-laminated steel that passes the fire classification for interiors within the marine sector. A technique was also developed to measure shine on embossed surfaces which did not previously work with the method used for smooth surfaces.
“By adjusting the measurement angle, we got reliable results, our method has since become a standard in the industry, says Ingemar Forsberg, CEO of Metalcolour Sweden.
Together with a foil supplier, Metalcolour has also developed a heat-applied protective foil for its laminated products.

“The foil provides good protection during manufacture and assembly and, in most cases, is not removed until the final product is ready to use. This means that far less material needs to be discarded due to damage, which is good from all perspectives. This solution has been highly appreciated by our partners.

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