Category Archives: News

Home24h project successfully finished

At KANSAI HELIOS Group, we strive for quality surface protection and preservation of the natural beauty of wood, all while paying special attention to sustainability. We are proud to be part of the Home24h project, which represents the Smart Home of the Future for a comfortable and healthy living and working environment, bringing together the development and introduction of products by Slovenian companies intended
for smart buildings of the future. We participated with our innovative and environmentally friendly coating systems with highly aesthetic and resilient qualities.


We developed a coating system for heavily used wooden surfaces for interior spaces, water-based UV curing coatings (UVEHEL AQUA), and water- based coatings (HIDROHEL) for lightly used surfaces, distinguished by easy maintenance and reduced dust accumulation. To protect exterior wooden surfaces, we used water-based varnish coating systems (AQUAVITA), which ensure longevity. We also included the oil-based environmentally friendly coating system (BIOHEL) for wooden terraces into the project.

The Home24h interactive catalogue is available on the link: interactive catalogue

Take a look inside the Home of the future on this link: https://lnkd.in/db9Wvwyu

 

HIDROHEL lacquers and enamels for an environmentally friendly wood protection

HIDROHEL systems offer the most optimal and environmentally favorable solution for advanced manufacturers of children’s wooden furniture and toys. The water-thinnable systems are children-friendly and follow the European standards for the safe use of furniture and toys by children. As VOC content of these eco-friendly systems is very low, their great benefit is also safer use by workers involved in the application process.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Safe for children’s use (European standard EN 71-3 »Safety of toys«)
  • Safe and easy to use for workers in the application process
  • Very good chemical and mechanical resistance (certified IKEA standard IOS MAT 0066 − class R4)
  • Low VOC content (below 70g/L)
  • Allows various application possibilities (spraying, curtain coating, dipping and roller
    application)

Together with Bambino company in Serbia, we prepared a new application movie on the efficiency of electrostatic application of HIDROHEL lacquers and enamels, which is at the same time ecologically favourable surface treatment.

The video is available on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_G8nkpxYc

Knowledge is key for success

With regularly monitoring the needs and expectations of our customers, we do not only provide the information about technologies and products, but also share our experiences and knowledge in the field of coatings among the people who are in any way connected to the industry.

Helios Ukraine is currently launching communication and partnerships with leading educational institutions. The Department of Technology and Design of Wood Products of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine is training young professionals work in furniture production and the woodworking industry.

In October, the initial event took place in the form of an online conference on the trends in industrial wood coatings hosted by Helios Ukraine. Students and teachers as well showed great interest in new materials and technologies and can now use this experience in their scientific and practical work. Soon they will develop into specialists with a good level of theoretical training, but also an understanding of modern materials and knowledge of their use. In the future they will be able to create quality and competitive products.

Helios Ukraine aims to expand the cooperation and conduct practical classes for students to share the extensive knowledge the company’s specialists have acquired over the years.

WATER-BASED PROTECTION OF EXTERIOR OF WOODEN SURFACES

Quality timber, carefully constructed wooden elements and a proper coating system selection are key for achieving an effective wood protection. Regular maintenance and care of wooden surfaces will ensure that windows, doors and other wooden elements in and around the house will remain intact for many years to come.

The AQUAVITA brand developed by KANSAI HELIOS represents a group of water-based products designed for professional wood protection. All coatings consist of modern components that are resistant to UV rays and other weather conditions. AQUAVITA coatings enrich wood and make it more elegant, at the same time providing preventative protection against wood pests (fungi, insects) and weathering. A wide range of products is available in transparent or opaque versions and can be divided into two categories:

  • Protection of carpentry and joinery products (windows and front doors): These products can be applied with dipping, flow coating, high-pressure spraying equipment, manually or by a robot.
  • Protection of remaining wood in and around the house: walls, fences, garden houses, playground equipment, etc. They can be applied with dipping, flow coating, with a brush, roller, air gun, or using automated dispensing devices or robots.

ADVANTAGES OF AQUAVITA COATINGS

  • long-term wood protection,
  • easy to apply,
  • odorless and quick-drying,
  • ensure a healthy work environment,
  • do not harm the environment.

Contact us for more information on the recommended product system for your desired surface.

Update your wooden surfaces using Biohel Terrace Oil

Now is the perfect time to refresh exterior wooden surfaces, such as terraces, using Helios’ BIOHEL TERRACE OIL. This product is a mixture of modified vegetable oils suitable for oiling medium-wear wooden terraces from resilient wood types and for surface restoration. The mixture is distinguished by its silky appearance, elasticity and water and dirt resistance.

How to apply

 Wooden surfaces must be well-dried and well-sanded, without any dust or resin. For a long-lasting protection we recommend using biocidal impregnation first. Then use the oil, which must be thoroughly mixed prior to use and must not be thinned.

The optimal working conditions are temperature 20 ± 5 °C, relative air humidity 60 ± 20 % and wood humidity under 15 %. The oil is applied to both sides of the horizontal surface using a cloth, a velour roller or brush.

After 5 minutes, when the oil soaks in, the access oil is removed using a dry cloth. After 24 hours the following coat can be applied. To achieve high-quality protection, it is recommended to apply 2 coats of oil. If you are building a new terrace, keep in mind the last coat should be applied on one side when the terrace is fully mounted. Make sure the oiled surface does not come into contact with moisture (rain, fog, etc.) during drying.

Important after the application process

When you finish oiling clean the tools using Bio Impregnol thinner. The oiled cloth, however, must be burnt or completely immersed into a metal container with water to prevent spontaneous combustion.

To maintain the quality and beauty of wooden surfaces, we recommend repeating the oiling process every year.

Environmental Social Governance – The core direction of the new KANSAI HELIOS Group Management Board

From April 1, the new KANSAI HELIOS Group Management Board has been performing its function. Four executive directors joined their strengths to support the growth strategy of the KANSAI HELIOS Group. A strong focus on environmentally friendly products and processes, employee health and safety, continuous research and development as well as strategic investments represent big steps towards future success on the European market.

In recent years, HELIOS has been intensifying its activities for environmental protection. The company developed and designed solutions, which not only protect objects, but also extend their lifetime significantly. New coatings solutions to reduce the consumption of all types of resources and the products’ carbon footprint have been launched. Raw materials from renewable resources are step by step replacing conventional materials. Energy is generated entirely from renewable sources or produced in our own solar power plants. Production processes are continuously improved to reduce waste and respectively reuse the waste in the production process. A year ago, we launched our internal initiative “We turn it green” to raise awareness of each individual employee, because even the small actions in terms of environmental protection, such as reducing water or paper consumption, contribute to the realization of KANSAI HELIOS’ sustainability goals.

All of these efforts take an even greater importance with the start of the new KANSAI HELIOS Group Management Board in early April. The board is formed by four Executive Directors, who not only embody the further strategic growth course of HELIOS, but also express the closer cooperation and collaboration with both shareholders, KANSAI PAINT and MITSUI.

Mr. Junichi Kajima, President, Executive Director

Mr. Mitsuru Masunaga, Executive Vice President, Executive Director

Mr. Dietmar Jost, Executive Director

Mr. Bastian Krauss, Executive Director

Mitsuru Masunaga, Dietmar Jost and Bastian Krauss will split their focus to strategically important key areas according to their professional background, while Mr. Junichi Kajima, the President, will supervise all areas. The new structure will further improve management efficiency and support KANSAI PAINT’s growth strategy towards a unified global company group. Environmental Social Governance will play an essential role on that journey.

Junichi Kajima has made it his goal to further sharpen KANSAI HELIOS strengths and additionally improve its profitability:

“The KANSAI HELIOS Group has been delivering sustainable profit growth while building a solid business foundation in a challenging business environment. This is the result of excellent teamwork and ongoing investments in new technologies, products, and research & development. And these investments, as well as investments in human resources coupled with a safe working environment, will continue. Our responsibility as a chemical company is also to make a valuable contribution to the future of our planet and society. Together with the KANSAI PAINT headquarters in Japan, we are working on joint sustainability projects as part of our ESG management. And in this context, the area of compliance is fundamental, because it is our basic management principle to develop and implement honest and fair corporate activities. My mission is to extend and sustainably expand the company´s success into the future and thus contribute to making the KANSAI PAINT Group a leading global company.”

Mitsuru Masunaga will have a strong focus on upholding and maintaining the company’s reputation and will further strengthen and support the company´s growth strategy through organic and inorganic approaches:

“We live in rapidly changing times where employee values and corporate integrity are constantly being tested. At KANSAI HELIOS, we have defined our core values and a standard of expected business behaviour in our Code of Conduct, which helps our employees make the right decisions. As ethical behaviour is an integral part of our culture, we will continue to put a strong focus on its further development and implementation. How the public perceives us is a key success factor for the further growth of the company, which will be one of my main targets. Leveraging closer cooperation and collaboration with KANSAI PAINT and MITSUI will additionally open up new opportunities and synergies for us and our business partners.”

Dietmar Jost will primarily focus on the further development of the sales strategy in Europe:

“We are striving for long-term partnerships with our customers throughout Europe. A well-educated sales team is essential and sharing our know-how with customers goes one step further. Within the framework of our HELIOS Master Classes, we will further strengthen our training and information program and thus intensify our partnerships. Integrating and exchanging state-of-the-art products and technologies with KANSAI PAINT and MITSUI will continue to enrich our assortment and to create innovations which strengthen HELIOS’ position as a system supplier on the European market. Furthermore, we will continue to promote cross-industry partnerships with the potential to develop solutions that contribute to society.”

Bastian Krauss will work intensively to further upgrade production technologies and safety:

“Technologies in the industrial manufacturing change extremely rapidly in order to deliver products faster and create a more flexible production process. The size of our group allows us to draw on a pool of experience and integrate it into our production processes in line with our growth strategy. Best practice learnings, new technologies and optimized processes are steadily entering all our entities and operational fields. Additional investments will intensify our effort in environmentally friendly activities and developments. In these dynamic processes we will be regularly monitoring the safety and health of all employees by continuing and advancing our occupational zero-accident-policy.”

The company’s intense focus on environmentally friendly processes, a strong cooperation between all KANSAI HELIOS Group members and smart investments in new technologies as well as human resources can only intensify our good results. The new Group Management Board is using their expertise to further develop and improve all sides of business operations, our position on the market as well as our sustainability goals.

www.helios-group.eu  |  www.kansai.com  |  www.mitsui.com

 

Caring for nature and wellbeing go hand in hand – explore our eco-friendly line of oils and waxes

We are presenting a line of products under the BIOHEL brand, which are an excellent choice when we need environmentally friendly methods of wood protection.

Advantages of using BIOHEL products:

  • Wood, protected with natural vegetable oils and waxes, retains its natural color and appearance.
  • The wood is deeply protected, and natural ventilation of the substrate is enabled.
  • They do not burden the environment, as these products are completely biodegradable.

In the video below, you can see the application of BIOHEL products on different substrates. For more information, please contact us at wood.coatings@helios.si and we will be pleased to help you.

How to protect exterior wooden surfaces for a long-lasting durability

Wood, as a natural organic material, is exposed to degradation processes in outdoor products caused by non-living and living factors. Precipitation, water, high temperature fluctuations and UV sunlight cause alternating shrinkage and swelling of wood and relatively slow damage to wood, which can become visible only after a few years in the form of colour changes, cracks and relief structure of the wood surface.

Wood products can be protected against these degradation factors for a long time with various surface coatings. Indirectly, coatings also protect wood from wood fungi and insects, which cause more pronounced and faster changes in the wood and can destroy it in just a few months.

 

Preventive natural protection measures begin at the planning of the facility. With the right construction solutions, we can ensure that the wood remains permanently dry. Air-dried wood is completely safe from infection by all types of wood fungi and insect attacks.

Unfortunately, we cannot always provide such conditions that the wood is constantly dry. Various fences, window frames, external formwork, and especially wood in contact with the ground (pillars, poles, thresholds), represent favourable conditions for wood pests.

Therefore, in such cases, it is necessary to preventively protect wood products before installation with chemical preparations containing biocidal components – fungicides and insecticides.

The most effective preventive protection of wood is achieved by the process of deep impregnation in boilers, which is carried out at impregnation stations. Since such a method of protection is demanding and tied to a specific location, it makes sense to use simpler, but still sufficiently effective surface protection procedures. These are mainly coating, spraying or dipping. Of these three procedures, coating and spraying impregnating biocidal products are the simplest, but also slightly less effective than dipping, especially if it takes longer (a few minutes or even hours).

The advantage of further surface protection with coatings is that it covers the entire surface of the wood and thus prevents the leaching of biocidal components from the wood, and at the same time the product is also aesthetically enriched.

From our many years of experience, we advise that surface protection be carried out on suitably dried wood in finished elements or products. The impregnating agent with biocides will penetrate the wood and effectively prevent all surfaces, including possible cracks. If we coat or. we inject elements of fresh wood, which later cracks, then the protective layer is broken locally. The protection of the wood will be poorer in this case, as deeper cracks in the wood can infect unprotected wood with fungal spores or lay the eggs of wood insects.

Which products to choose for protection

To protect wood against insects and fungi, we offer Lazurind base and Aquavita impregnant extra. Lazurind base is based on solvents, and Aquavita impregnant extra is water-based. For the treatment of windows where protection against insects is not required, we recommend the use of Aquavita impregnant dip & brush, which protects the wood well against blueing and rotting. After drying, transparent and top coatings based on solvents or water can be applied over all products to prevent the smooth penetration of water into the wood and to protect surfaces.

HELIOS’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

At HELIOS, we are daily monitoring developments regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and implementing various preventive measures aligned with the recommendations of state institutions. Below please find the latest updates, measures and guidelines related to the topic.

The global health situation continues to be extremely tense also in 2022, with a new wave of Covid-19 infections spreading rapidly across Europe. According to specialists Omicron is much more transmittable than other variants so far, albeit with milder symptoms. The health and safety of our employees and stakeholders remains our primary concern. To counteract a spread of the new Covid-19 variant among our employees, we are doing our utmost to reduce physical contacts within the company.

  • Employees are still working in home offices, where possible.
  • We split employees to shifts/team, where possible, to minimize the possibility of critical contacts.
  • Business trips, meetings, trainings, educational activities and events are still preferably conducted via virtual communication platforms.
  • We follow the official recommendations regarding the wearing of FFP2 masks, distances and hygiene measures at all KANSAI HELIOS locations.

Unfortunately, we cannot promise that the number of infections and thus employee absences will not also increase in our company, which might result in delivery delays as well. But we assure you that we will do everything in our power to meet delivery dates and keep business operations efficiently.

As government restrictions to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) are loosening in majority of countries where HELIOS operates, employees working from home are gradually returning back to the offices. At the same time, several measures and guidelines concerning hygiene standards, organization of meetings and events, visitors and external contractors at HELIOS premises as well business trips limitations still apply.

Your standard contacts within HELIOS companies remain available to you, however we are still preferring long-distance alternatives, such as phone-conference calling or Skype calls, rather than meetings in person. We will inform you through your standard contacts about new dates or alternative options for events, meetings, conferences and trainings that were postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

At HELIOS, we have introduced several measures since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to avoid disruptions of our operations as well to ensure safe working conditions for our employees. During these challenging times our core values, responsibility, customer focus, speed & efficiency and professionalism reflect more than ever in everything we do. We are consistently doing utmost to provide best possible service and to meet our customers’ expectations.

Our production sites are operating with only minor disruptions, considering local restrictions and measures. Similarly, we are experiencing minimal disruptions to our raw material supplies. As the situation with the suppliers across the Europe and transport companies changes daily, please note that some delays in our deliveries and longer waiting times are possible.

In accordance with local government ordinances, this week we have reopened our retail stores for DIY customers in Slovenia, while our retail stores in Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia have already been opened in previous weeks.

Furthermore, we would like to inform you that our production site Helios TBLUS in Slovenia will not operate between April 27, 2020 and May 1, 2020, due to the public holidays. However, our logistic operations will remain undisrupted, therefore please align your shipments through your standard contacts.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this exceptional situation.

 

At HELIOS, the situation regarding operation of our productions sites and raw material supplies remains unchanged and is very much the same as last week. The same applies to the measures taken to ensure health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders.

To stem the spread of coronavirus, Russia prolonged its preventive measures and non-working period until April 30, 2020. Since the authorities draw up different measures by regions, please turn to your standard contacts within HELIOS for more information and updates on shipments and deliveries.

All HELIOS production sites are currently running with only minor disruptions, despite many of our employees now working from home. Similarly, we are experiencing minimal disruptions to our raw material supplies. We are still increasing the inventories and doing our best to provide a high level of service for our customers. However, as the situation with the suppliers across the Europe and transport companies changes daily, please take into the consideration some delays in deliveries and longer waiting time. The same applies to the limited possibility to confirm orders since many countries within Europe as well as the CIS region are turning to border closures. The latest country closing its borders is Russia, starting March 30, 2020. In case there are some significant obstructions to our deliveries, we will keep you informed.

While ensuring uninterrupted flow of our operations, health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders is our primary concern. All measures we have taken in the past weeks still apply.

At the moment, all HELIOS production sites are running without disruptions, with exception of the Ecopolifix SRL company in Italy. In the last week, we additionally increased our inventories, as well packaging levels at all production sites. We are also in close communication with our suppliers in order to assess possible risks in the supply chain. At this time, we are experiencing minimal disruptions to our raw material supplies. We are doing our best to keep our service levels high. However, as the situation with the suppliers across the Europe and transport companies changes daily, please take into the consideration some delays in deliveries and longer waiting time. In case there are some significant obstructions to our deliveries, we will keep you informed.

Due to the current situation and in accordance with government ordinances from Slovenia and Austria, our retail stores for private customers are closed as of March 16, 2020. This applies to Mavrica shops in Slovenia and Fritze Lacke shops in Austria. All customers who are due to this exceptional situation unable to access our stores in Slovenia, are kindly invited to make their purchase in our online store.

At HELIOS, we are daily monitoring the situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and implementing all necessary measures while ensuring uninterrupted flow of our operations. At the same time, health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders is being our primary concern. In the last two weeks, we have prepared several guidelines and measures to maintain appropriate hygiene standards in offices, common areas and production facilities. We have also prepared additional guidelines and measures for all visitors and external contractors of HELIOS locations, and arranged dedicated areas for truck drivers.

With the aim of reducing physical contact, we have enabled our employees to work from home, where possible. We have cancelled all business trips, trainings, educational activities and events, as well other non-urgent meetings. We are still available for you through our standard contacts within HELIOS companies via emails, mobile phones and other alternative options of remote communication, such as teleconferences or Skype calls.

We hope that above mentioned measures will cause least possible disturbance on our communication, delivery and efficiency of business operations. We believe that together we will overcome the difficulties and build even stronger foundation for the time when the situation will return to normal.

For the past two months, we have been monitoring the developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak situation daily, offering guidance and regular updates. However, with the virus now detected in several places across the Europe, we are intensifying our organizational response.

All HELIOS production sites are based in Europe and are continuously running without any disruptions. At the moment, we are not aware of any cases of coronavirus spread between our employees or within our locations. In addition, HELIOS also maintains a strong position in terms of inventories and strongly developed network of multiple sources. We are also in close communication with our suppliers in order to assess possible risks in their supply chains.

At this time, we still do not anticipate any impact on our supply chain as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. As the situation in Italy changes daily and may have some impact on our supply chain, we will keep you further informed. The same applies for the operations of our company Ecopolifix, located in Italy, which currently runs separate communication with all customers and business partners.

At HELIOS, safety and health is important. That is why we have drawn up several measures and guidelines to prevent possible spread of coronavirus infection at the workplace and business trips, as well guidelines on meetings and events and visitors.

At the workplace:

  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water or disinfecting hands if water and soap are not available (as directed by the national public health institutes).
  • Avoiding close contacts with people who show signs of infectious disease and visitors from Italy or other high-risk coronavirus areas, Italy, China, South Korea.
  • Following the rules of cough hygiene (as directed by the national public health institutes).
  • In case we feel sick, we stay at home. If any employee has a family member with a coronavirus infection, they should notify their superiors.
  • Avoiding enclosed spaces/rooms with large numbers of people and provide regular ventilation of enclosed spaces.
  • Cleaning and regularly disinfecting objects and surfaces that we frequently touch.

On business trips:

  • All trips to Italy or other high-risk coronavirus areas are banned until further notice.
  • Preventive hygiene measures should be followed on all business trips. Close contacts with people who show signs of infection should be avoided.
  • After returning from all business trips, we monitor our health for about 14 days – if fever, malaise and cough occur during this time, we consult doctor and stay at home.
  • Employees who have been in high-risk coronavirus areas, Italy, China, South Korea in the last 14 days should immediately report this to their superiors and stay at home.

Meetings and events:

  • The number of meetings, events and trainings at our locations will be reduced as much as possible and postponed to a more convenient time.
  • If possible, we are using long-distance alternatives, such as phone-conference calling or Skype calls.
  • We will postpone all meetings and visits of customers and business partners coming from Italy and other high-risk coronavirus areas until it is determined that the corona-situation is under control.

Visitors from outside of HELIOS: 

  • All visitors at HELIOS locations (customers, business partners, suppliers, contractors) must inform us whether they visited high-risk coronavirus areas, Italy, China, South Korea in the last 14 days. In such cases, the visitors are not allowed to enter the premises.
  • All visitors at HELIOS locations should have their temperature checked before entering our premises. Visitors with a fever are not allowed to enter the premises.
  • HELIOS will provide designated areas and facilities for suppliers, e.g. truck drivers.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this exceptional situation. Should you require any update, your regular contact persons within all HELIOS companies are at your disposal.

Visit us at the LESTECH fair

End of March we will be exhibiting at the LESTECH fair in Celje, Slovenia, presenting Helios wood coatings. Helios experts will welcome you at booth 18 in Hall D.

LESTECH is a fair of woodworking machines, tools and raw materials. It is intended for all wood processors and designers who will be able to get acquainted with innovations and solutions in the field of woodworking machines and technologies and raw materials. It offers insights into the state of the industry market and is a great opportunity for networking.

Looking forward to seeing you there!