The Kronospan Research and Development Center is open now

Thanks to the research carried out in the center's laboratories, the Kronospan offer will be extended with additional, innovative products. There are some works carried out on the production and improving of wood-based panels with exceptional surface quality and hygiene, environmentally friendly paints and varnishes, wood-based panels with even better strength parameters, as well as ecological resins with unprecedented physic mechanical properties. The Kronospan Research and Development Center is an innovative place, where theory and practice meets, science with industry as well, where scientific theories are consulted with practitioners with extensive experience in the production of wood-based panels. The best theories will be implemented. - says Dr Izabela Siebielska who is managing the Center.

The developed technological solutions are made in order to strength the position of Kronospan as a leader on the market of wood-based panel manufacturers. It is also important to introduce ecological solutions into the production process. The development of technology for implementing environmentally friendly and paint users will have a real impact on the reduction of emissions from production. Thanks to the development of new technologies, wood-based panels with the same emission as natural wood will be obtained.

Research units and research organizations already cooperate with the Research and Development Center. As part of the project realization, Kronospan will develop cooperation with, among others: Koszalin University of Technology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Military University of Technology, Wood Technology Institute, Green Angel Institute, West Pomeranian Chemical Compound Green Chemistry Association or Szczecinek Furniture Cluster. Students from the Faculty of Wood Industry at the Koszalin University of Technology in Szczecinek will also use the laboratories of the center. Doctor Siebielska adds: - Our laboratories are equipped with the most modern equipment that will be used by WPD students in next years. This will give them the opportunity to learn about the latest technologies in the wood industry. Once again, thanks to Kronospan, new jobs were created in Szczecinek. An additional value associated with the launching of the center is that the introduction of innovative technologies and production solutions will positively affect the state of the environment and improve the functioning of the company.

The project has received EU co-financing from the Intelligent Development Operational Program.

Facts about the Research and Development Center
Area bought from the Polish State Railways: 1 ha
Building area: 2000 m2, on two floors
Construction time: 10 months
Opening: June 7, 2018.
Heating: ecological (pump, drawing heat from inside the Earth). Air-conditioned, energy-saving building with heat recovery.

Most companies from Szczecinek participated in the construction of the center. About 100 people worked on the construction site every day. Next to CBR, Kronospan has also renovated the old PKP office building, where there will be hotel for the company's employees.
There are 28 comfortable flats with kitchen and bathroom.

First prize of Forbes Diamond competition for Kronospan

This is not a first time, that this producer of wood based panels from Szczecinek wins a prize. Kronospan is also a laureate of such awards as: Orły Wprost, Orły Eksportu and Pracodawca Jutra (The Employer of Tomorrow). The company has also received a special certificate from the late President Lech Kaczyński – Environmetally Conscious Company.

In the West Pomeranian Region 84 companies had been selected to the Forbes Diamonds ranking in 2017. This is 30 more than the previous year. There are 62 companies from our voivodeship on the list of laureates. The awards ceremony took place on 23rd March in Dana Hotel in Szczecin and it was hosted by Roman Młodkowski – the Managing Director of Business&Finance Segment at Grupa Onet Ringier Axel Springer Poland. Joanna Jodłowska, the Member of the Board of Kronospan Polska Sp. z o. o., who collected the statuette, said: This award is an appreciation of our work, but it is also a motivation for the further development, while taking into account the challenge, that has been posed recently by Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki – Minister of Development and Finance – who had said: The furniture sector is the pearl of the Polish economy. We have a great opportunity to achieve a worldwide success in this field, therefore we pursue a policy to support production and implement innovations. We try our best, so the furniture sector has the most possible opportunities to expend into foreign markets.

J. Jodłowska has added: We can be the number one in Europe, but it is a challenge for the whole furniture sector and producers of wood based materials in Poland.

An appreciation of Kronospan by producers of furniture is reflected in an opinion of one of the major companies of the sector. According to Piotr Wójcik, the Member of the Board of Wójcik Fabryka Mebli Sp. z o. o.: Kronospan company, which has been present in Poland since 1989, has realized investments in unprecedented scale till now, basically revolutionizing a production of wood based panels in Poland and taking it into a higher level. The production capacity and quality products, created as results of these investments, have become a significant basis of the fast growth of the Polish furniture sector. Kronospan’s attractive offer and a strategic support for almost 30 years translates into the high market efficiency of the Polish furniture sector. This is supported by the fact, that Poland has become the 4th biggest exporter and the 6th biggest producer of furniture in the world from 1989.

Subsequent jobs in Szczecinek Cluster furniture

February 7th , this year, in the presence of representatives from the media and the authorities of the province, the county and the city of the German company BHK Holz und Kunststoff KG, H. Kottmann signed a declaration of accession to the Kronospan Szczecinek Furniture Cluster. Between the parties it has also concluded a cooperation agreement, under which the BHK will soon begin production of components for furniture production in Szczecinek. The company will employ 50 workers.
After the presentation, Krzysztof Aleksandrowicz officially welcomed the German investor: “Welcome BHK Company in Szczecinek. I am happy for those people who at any moment will be employed here. Soon we begin to build the next hall, which will accommodate new investors. Then the snowball that starts to spin becomes a fact.”

The Mayor Jerzy Hardie-Douglas spoke as well: “I am extremely pleased that another plant joins the SKM. Kronospan factory is practically the largest manufacturer of wood-based particle boards in the world. Many people complain that we praise the factories, which employ 50, 60 people. Such diversification of workplaces is the best thing that could happen to us. There is no danger that the huge factory, which employs 1,200 people, is suddenly closed. I have no doubt that the mentioned snowball will spin faster in the moment we have another factory in Szczecinek.”

BHK is a German family-owned company with 40 years of history. It was founded in 1971 in Büren by Heinrich Kottmann, William Vogt and Elisabeth Willemsen. It is conducted in the next generation by Peter and Heinz Kottmann. The company produces parts for furnishing components for the furniture industry (furniture doors, parts for beds, etc.) as well as systems for renovation of stairs. Under the brand name Moderna it also produces modern flooring.
“The new plant in Szczecinek is a big challenge for us, but of course up to the task” - said among others Peter Kottmann. – “Decided that Szczecinecka Company will be completely Polish company, the Polish leadership and Polish workers. We are already recruiting. At the beginning we employ 50 people, we will eventually create over one hundred new jobs. Equipment installation will begin in May, production will start later this year. The second rise in the next year. There will also be a third. Our products will go to the Polish companies and will generate new jobs."

Szczecinecki Meblowy cluster has been created and is coordinated by Kronospan, which owns fully prepared areas (44.18 ha), with a well-developed technical infrastructure. In these areas there is a facility production - Warehouse of the area. 36 600m2, where production takes Danish furniture manufacturer Tvilum, and will soon join him BHK. The SKM also works Polish manufacturer of forms for the production of furniture, STOL-TAP, and in the newly built hall at ul. Pila later this year, creating 50 jobs, will start production of a Polish company FHU Grześkowiak, producing furniture components, made from wood-based panels.

More information about BHK:

Polish Clusters for economic development

"The role of clusters in economic development of the Polish" - That was the motto of the IV Clusters Polish Congress, which took place on January 25, 2017 in Warsaw.

This is a recurring event, gathering each time approx. 400 entrepreneurs representing the most innovative industries and services. These include the aviation, ICT, biotechnology, chemical clusters, electronic, as well as construction, ecology, fashion industry and creative industries.

The aim of the Congress is to create a forum of exchange of opinions between decision-makers and representatives of clusters, moving the most important issues related to the functioning of clusters in Poland and initiating ideas for their support and better development. This year, 150 participants debated on Economic growth based on innovation through business clusters, legislative changes in the field of innovation and international cooperation of clusters particularly in the area of Visegrad Group.

The largest clusters in Poland in 1195 associate members and most of them are small- and medium-sized enterprises. They employ 105 852 workers. Exports in clusters, belonging to the National Cluster Key, represent nearly 1/3 of all sales. For this reason, according to the Director of the Department of Innovation of the Ministry of Development Margaret Szczepańska, clusters contribute to the development of the innovation economy. In addition, associating entrepreneurs, among others, in clusters is one of the most effective methods of eliminating the problem of lack of trust between Polish companies - sentence Krzysztof Krystowski, president of the Polish Employers clusters.

To the fruitful development of clusters it requires close cooperation between academia and business, as well as legislative changes, which can facilitate innovative initiatives under the action clusters. The proposals to amend, enclosed in a "White Paper", explained Matthew Gaczyński, deputy director of the Department of Innovation and Development at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

The Congress also highlighted the activity of Polish in innovative international projects, which clusters can increase.

All these aspects are valuable clue for business Szczecinek Furniture Cluster, which will expand soon with another partner - the company BHK Holz und Kunststoff KG H. Kottmann.

Kronospan - The employer of Tomorrow 2016!

According to the organizer of the plebiscite - Polish Agency for Enterprise Development - labor market research indicates that employers are having increasing difficulty in finding employees with the required competencies.

The aim of the competition is to reward employers who make an effort to prepare young people - students and alumni - to take the first job. These activities enable them to acquire or develop competence, so that they become valuable, sought-market employees, consciously shaping their career.

This year's edition of the competition for the title competed 47 companies. During the gala final in Warsaw title "Employer of Tomorrow 2016" this prestigious title was given to three companies: Kronospan Szczecinek Sp. o.o., Rafako SA, Comarch SA. “This title testifies to a serious treatment by the employer of young people.” says Joanna Jodłowska, Member of the Board Kronospan Szczecinek: " We want to make it easier for young people to develop their careers based on a solid education and help businesses wood and furniture industry in obtaining high-skilled workers."

2016 is a great year for Kronospan - a few months ago the company was also awarded with the Rzeczpospolita daily in the "Eagles of Export" in Western Pomerania in the category "Innovative Product Export." Award-winning product is an innovative board Kronospan "MDF Plus Extra." The company also received a special award "Eagles Wprost" in the category of "cooperation and development" for its efforts to create Szczecinek Furniture Cluster. Kronospan is certified as the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, "Environment Friendly Company".
Make Kronospan in a floodplain education can not be overestimated - as one of the first companies in the region - has implemented to prepare young people to the profession through paid summer internships. It is the patron of the class of the wood technology at the School of Technical Szczecinku, which currently has 26 students. It initiated the creation and patron Zamiejscowemu Faculty of Wood Industry in Szczecinek, which is studying 61 future engineers. Graduates will be able to stay in Szczecinek and find a good, stable job in Kronospan, in one of the companies operating in Szczecinek Cluster furniture or one of thousands of enterprises in the wood - furniture industry in Poland.

Polish furniture industry employs about 160,000 workers and generates 5% of the exports of our country. As a result, Poland is the fourth largest furniture exporter in the world and the sixth world producer. The furniture industry generates around 30 billion positive balance of foreign trade, which is the highest of all sectors of the Polish economy. According to forecasts, this year's export value of furniture will exceed 41.6 billion zł. Polish companies are doing very well in foreign markets. In the opinion of Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki " it is a pearl of the Polish economy, which is in the third position may be promoted to leadership."

Without the participation of Kronospan, successful furniture industry does not evolve so rapidly. With extremely strong growing furniture industry, there is a problem with the supply of panels for furniture production. Access to basic raw material is a prerequisite for the development and growth of export of Polish furniture companies. This dynamic development would not be possible if not for the determination and support of Kronospan.

A newly opened Kronospan Design Center will support the idea of Szczecinek Furniture Cluster.

On May 9th, Pila Street was the official opening of the exhibition and training center Kronospan Design Center - a place unique in the country, entirely dedicated to Kronospan products, innovation and business. The center will be a platform for cooperation of designers, architects, entrepreneurs, as well as students. It will provide a place to exchange experiences and inspiration for all those involved in the development of the wood, furniture and construction industry. The Kronospan Design Center area occupies over 3.2 ha. This includes exhibition halls, show room, restaurant and workshop spaces. The center will also host exhibitions.

The welcoming of the invited guests had a traditional old Polish character. Important guests such as the member of the Polish Parliament Radosław Lubczyk, the mayor of Szczecinek Jerzego Hardie - Douglas and the Member of the Board of the Westpomeranian Region Robert Grzywacz were greeted with bread and salt. “Today we officially open our new facilities in Szczecinek, which will operate under the logo Kronospan Design Center. These objects were created primarily for the fact that we, as a plant in Szczecinek, had a huge impact on the development of the Kronospan products, but also so that we can very strongly support the idea of Szczecinek Furniture Cluster.” said during the opening ceremony Tomasz Jańczak, board member of Kronospan.

On May 20th in the newly opened center will take place the Krono Event – a trade event of international rank, which will be attended by approx. 2 thousand guest: investors, manufacturers and designers from all over Europe. The event is a great opportunity for business conversations and the presentation of the latest Kronospan product lines. The prestigious Krono Event is held each year in a different country, where Kronospan facilities are located. In previous years it was held in Germany, Spain and Bulgaria.

Tvilum preparing for recruitment.

A meeting was held on January 27th where principles and capabilities were established to support the creation of jobs in the new factory Tvilum, which will start production under the Szczecinek Furniture Cluster in July this year.

The project supports both Tvilum District Administrator of Szczecinek, Director of District Employment Office and coordinator of the Szczecinek Furniture Cluster, which is why today's deliberations were attended by Helle Melgaard – Tvilum HR Manager, Krzysztof Lis - Mayor of the District of Szczecinek, Wieslaw Kosmala - Director of the District Labour Office in Szczecinek and Agnieszka Mucha – Kronospan HR Manager.

The mayor of the district Krzysztof Lis said “We want to cooperate with the county Szczecinek in the field of joint implementation and support the greatest number of people without work. We want to help them obtain stable jobs in the new draft, within Szczecinek Furniture Cluster.”

At the meeting they agreed on actions that will lead to organization of labor exchanges and recruiting a group of Tvilum future employees who will be trained. The training will take place in Szczecinek and Denmark, if necessary.

It was agreed that the job market, after the presentation of the proposal by the Tvilum, will be conducted in the District Labour Office in Szczecinek in March this year, so that the training can take place in June - a month before the planned start of the production.

The recruitment for the new factory Tvilum in Szczecinek Furniture Cluster will be executed with the support of an external recruitment agency. To make the employment process run smoothly, the Labour Office in Szczecinek will delegate a person to have direct contact with both Tvilum, Szczecinek Furniture Cluster and the recruitment company.

Tvilum produces furniture for self-assembly in three production plants in central Jutland. It is headquartered in Faarvang, which is also the location of its largest manufacturing plant and distribution center. As a global company, Tvilum has offices in the USA, Russia, Dubai, South America, Australia and in several locations in Europe. From 2013 Tvilum is owned by the American Revolution Capital Group.

Today's meeting demonstrates that Szczecinek Furniture Cluster provides support to entities operating within it. It offers assistance in project management, in obtaining the permits necessary documentation and technical support. Businesses in Szczecinek have also provided strong support for the city and county and other units, such as the Labour Office.

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