Kronospan is installing a £5.5m melamine embossing line with annual capacity of 7 million m², which it says is the first of its kind in the UK.

The “natural authenticembossing press will enable the company’s Chirk plant to produce what it describes as “next generationembossed-in-register melamine-faced panels, which will be targeted at the furniture, interior design, architectural and specification sectors.

The technology gives panels texture by pressing a pattern into the melamine or laminate resin film surface that synchronises with a printed grain image on decor paper sealed between it and the high-density board below.

The result, said Kronospan’s works manager Jason Dwan, is a product that looks and feels like a totally natural material.

“We’ve already introduced the product into the UK from our Salzburg factory as the Natural Touch range, so we know there is a strong market,he said.