AkzoNobel has launched its most advanced paint factory, which opened in early September at Ashington, UK. The facility, which cost about C$170-million, is claimed to be the most advanced and sustainable such plant in the world. It is also the company’s largest global investment by the Decorative Paints segment, and will become the new production center for its paint brand Dulux. The plant uses a variety of renewable energy sources, according to the company, including photovoltaic cells, a biomass boiler and an automated manufacturing process that saves water, waste and energy. All manufacturing technologies are managed by a single computer system, meaning that every activity can be initiated without operator intervention. This production system allows the plant to be capable of producing paint across the full AkzoNobel line. The facility is capable of doubling the company’s UK production levels to 200-million liters per year. www.akzonobel.com