Agents of change

20 June 2019


Fusoni is a Spanish-headquartered company dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of release agents and chemical additives for process industries and is especially active in the panel industry. We look at what the company can offer to panel manufacturers, worldwide

Fusoni is a chemical company headquartered on the northern coast of Spain, in Asturias, and says that it is the only producer of additives for the wood products industry in that country.

This Spanish family-owned company says it has become one of the leading producers of additives for wood based panels and decorative papers on a worldwide scale, delivering its products to more than 30 countries and co-operating with the biggest manufacturers in the wood based panel industry.

Fusoni initially focused on polyurethane systems, wood panels and plastic laminates and over the years extended its original expertise into other markets, such as casting, rotational moulding, construction and food.

Fusoni has more than 30 years' experience in the market, having established itself as a reliable partner for its customers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The company has manufacturing plants in Spain, Brazil, Mexico and the US; and distribution centres in China and India. It also has representation in France.

In the early 1980s, Fusoni, owned by the Garcia Arias family, initiated its activities in Mexico City.

In the beginning, Fusoni in Mexico was solely focused on the production of release agents for the automotive industry, shoe soles and rotational moulding, but nowadays it says it continues, successfully, to supply those industries as well as the wood based panel industry in the mid- and north- American markets.

The next phase in the company's expansion came in 1997, when its second production site was set up in Asturias (Spain) and it became specialised in release agents for the wood panel industry, including additives for the decorative papers employed by panel makers.

In 2002, after observing the strong growth in the wood based panel industry in South America, Fusoni started its third production plant in Novo Hamburgo in Brazil, in order to supply that domestic market, as well as neighbouring countries such as Argentina, Chile and so on.

"The expansion in these three locations in the world is the natural way for following the customers' demands to supply them locally," said Alfredo Garcia Arias, Fusoni’s president. "To fulfil customers needs and demands is our company policy.”

The Spanish plant is mainly focused on release agents used in the production of wood based panels, including particleboard, MDF and OSB.

These panels may be bonded with urea formaldehyde (UF), melamine urea formaldehyde (MUF) or MDI (pMDI and eMDI) resins. Fusoni supplies all European and Asian customers with its release agents.

"Thanks to growing production of MDI-bonded boards, and our successful co-operation with leading producers in the wood based panel industry, we became specialised in release agents suitable for this type of glue," said Cesar Garcia Arias, the general manager of Fusoni in Spain.

"Our release agents for pMDI/eMDI, with stable quality and low consumption costs, are giving us a very good position in this specific market, where customers need a high-quality release agent in order to avoid [adhesion to the press] during the production of panels with MDI/PMDI glues.

"Nowadays, our main target is still to work on new developments and improvements in this area and to propose to our customers alternative products at competitive prices.”

Over the years, Fusoni says it has worked hard in its research and development department, in order to be able also to provide a full range of additives for the production of decorative papers for high pressure laminates (HPL), low pressure laminates (LPL) and continuous pressure laminates (CPL).

These products include hardeners, wetting and release agents, anti-blocking agents and surface improvers.

The company says it has also developed some other very specialised products for these processes, such as flow improvers and anti-bacterial agents.

Additives for plywood have also become one of Fusoni's speciality offerings, for instance, fire retardants and anti-fungal agents to this market.

Around 70% of the additives that the company produces in Spain are exported to European and Asian countries, while just 30% of production goes to the domestic market.

Customer service is carried out direct from the Spanish headquarters, as well as through representatives in France and the Benelux countries, Poland and mid and eastern Europe.

Fusoni also has distributors in China and India, while customers in South and mid-North America are supplied by Fusoni’s plants in Mexico and Brazil.

"Technical support is one of our main advantages, with a very specialised technical team who have years of experience in this market and deep knowledge concerning the application and use of these types of chemicals on both panels and laminates," said Cesar Garcia.

The company also maintains long-term partnerships with experts and academic institutions.

"Our technicians are not only experienced in the application of additives, but they also have a deep knowledge about the processes and equipment, so they can support customers with any kind of technical problems in production, which in some cases are not directly related to the chemicals. Quick and professional technical service is our target,” he said.

Fusoni says it is logistically well-prepared to supply long distance customers, including on other continents, having a specific logistics department which is in "deep and continuous contact" with worldwide logistics partners, who are able to provide a fast and reliable service.

For several years, Fusoni says it has recorded constant growth in its production volume, at a level of around 20% per year.

"This is only possible thanks to the close relationships with our customers. We take any feedback or suggestions provided by customers very seriously," said Alfredo Garcia Arias.

"As a direct consequence, we achieve constant improvements in our product quality. We are investing a lot of energy and capital in our R&D department in order to fulfil our customers' demands. Our company is well prepared for increasing our production capacity and investing in new production buildings and machinery.

"Commitment to the environment is one of Fusoni’s main targets and we dedicate all our efforts to developing efficient and sustainable solutions,” concluded Fusoni's president.

Fusoni plant in scenic Asturias, Spain
Two of the laboratory staff at work
Carrying out a laboratory test
In Fusoni's laboratory