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Milliken & Company has made a significant investment in the coating additives laboratory it acquired in 2020 as part of its purchase of Borchers Americas, Inc., in Westlake, Ohio.
Now known as "Borchers: A Milliken Brand,” the acquired business was founded in 1807 as a chemical company but has since grown into a global provider of performance additives for the coatings, inks, and adhesives markets.
With the Westlake lab investment, the company now has three state-of-the-art coating additives labs globally, with the others located in Langenfeld, Germany and Shanghai, China (which was also upgraded following the acquisition).
The newly transformed lab has an open concept with a vibrant, energising workspace and upgraded equipment. Designed specifically for coating additives lab work, the space is organised to increase efficiency and collaboration while also providing a safe and comfortable working environment. "We are thrilled with the improvements made in the lab,” said Loulou Rozek, who leads the global technical service team at the facility. "It’s exciting to see that Milliken is investing in both the business and associates by improving the workspace.”
A priority of the remodel was creating an ergonomic work environment that provides a positive, safe atmosphere. "I’m proud to work for a safety-focused company that cares about the health of its people” said Ryan Outrich, Technical Service Chemist.
Milliken took an associate-first approach to the lab update by asking the laboratory team to lead the remodel, allowing associates to design not only the layout but the aesthetic as well. The coating additives team is used to working with colourful paints and wanted a bright, energising space, selecting vibrant purple, green and orange accent colours to promote creativity. "It’s gratifying to work for a company that asks its lab associates to help design their own workspace,” says Allison Abbey, technical service chemist and co-supplier manager. "I get excited to go to work every day.”
In addition to workspace redesign, Milliken invested heavily in lab and test equipment along with expanding the team. "The lab’s sophisticated new equipment can generate state-of-the-art data for our customers,” Rozek said. The addition of equipment, associates and an upgraded layout approximately doubles project capacity, enabling Milliken to further support customers.
The team began working in the upgraded lab in March and is now welcoming customers to schedule tours, demonstrations, and trainings.
In the future, Milliken plans to further expand their coating additives labs into other regions such as India and Brazil.