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A partnership in powder coatings that wins on the swings and roundabouts

Partnership is a word that accurately describes the relationship between HAGS, the manufacturer of high-quality children’s playground equipment, and the Interpon powder coatings team at AkzoNobel. It’s a partnership that recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and is still going strong, proof of a quarter of a century of trust and performance.

HAGS first approached AkzoNobel Powder Coatings in 1998, when it was looking to make the switch from a solvent-based paint system to a coating that was more sustainable, and that fully supported its sustainability strategies. In its quest to find an environmentally-friendly alternative, it could not afford to compromise on quality or performance in combatting corrosion. It also couldn’t compromise on protecting its products from scratches and abrasion, and so an Interpon powder coating was the obvious choice.

Andy Yates, Technical Director at HAGS, says that as a major supplier to local authorities and councils, quality and reputation are key: “What is vital to our customers is that the products have a long life-span and reflect well on the people who procured them. What is crucial to us, therefore, is working with a partner like Interpon whose products protect and enhance our equipment and ensure they keep performing in a variety of different global climates and environmental conditions.”

HAGS’ desire to change to a powder coating system coincided with a move to a new manufacturing facility in Egham, UK. Andy says it was the perfect timing: “It meant we could design a new facility around a new system, and the Interpon team helped us every step of the way with practical advice, training and support.”

Egham was only the start. Since then, AkzoNobel has helped HAGS to seamlessly integrate its powder coating processes into three more sites: Selby in the UK (2009); Aneby in Sweden (2013); and Sosnowiec in Poland (2016).

AkzoNobel has also introduced HAGS to new innovations and technologies. As well as using Interpon’s Redox Duplex system – a two-layer system with a zinc-rich Interpon Redox PZ epoxy primer and topcoat – HAGS also now offers its customers, of outdoor fitness products, the Redox Triplex three-layer system. This provides enhanced corrosion protection, for these more complex machines, in challenging coastal environments (up to the highest corrosivity category of C5), where the salt-air is particularly corrosive.

More recently, and with an increased interest in products that can help support a more hygienic environment, HAGS introduced an optional Interpon AM topcoat, which has antimicrobial technology and can reduce microbial growth such as bacteria and mold by up to 99.9%. These powder coatings have been especially popular for those procuring its outdoor fitness products used in public places, since they tend to attract a high number of users.

“Our market requirements are changing all the time,” says Mark Grace, Marketing Director of HAGS “and it’s vital that we respond to our customers’ needs, including the challenge of the pandemic.

“What is constant, however, is our passion for sustainability, and equipment that is protected against corrosion so that it lasts longer is, by definition, more sustainable.”

Mark says that they particularly value the expertise of the Interpon team through their process audits for their ‘Approved Applicator’ registration: “It gives our customers peace of mind that our installed products will last for many years with minimal maintenance required to the powder coated finish, as well as being based on a sound environmentally friendly solution. And because Interpon is a globally available powder coating system, we have been able to develop a standardized finishing system across all our European factories.”

HAGS, Mark says, has a proven reputation for quality, and the durability and performance of its products is the cornerstone on which that reputation has been built: “It’s why we work in partnership with Interpon,” he concludes, “because we can be sure that the powder coatings we use match the high standards that we consistently maintain.”

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