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“UAFM in the faces”: the story of a small Cherkasy company that has retained its individuality and gained more authority as part of a European concern and a Japanese group of companies. Interview with Vitaliy Tyulkin, Head of the Industrial Coatings for the Furniture Industry Program at Helios Ukraine

Develop the production of paints and varnishes

If it was not about the history of the company, but about the biography of a certain person, we could say that it has a long and glorious pedigree. Continuing the analogy with human relationships, the birth of the Cherkasy company “Helios Ukraine” – a well-known national manufacturer and supplier of paints and varnishes, including for use in the manufacture of furniture – took place as a result of “marriage of convenience”.     

Vitaliy Tyulkin, head of the Industrial Coatings for the Furniture Industry program at Helios Ukraine, said that back in 1933, a small enterprise for the production of paints and varnishes was established in Cherkasy, which was called the Aurora Paint and Varnish Plant. In 2008, the Aurora plant became the property of the well-known European paint and varnish concern Helios, which has its production facilities in many European countries. However, Aurora did not disappear at all but became a trademark of LFM for coating metal surfaces.         

In the history of “Helios Ukraine” more than one “marriage of convenience”: four years ago, “Helios” became part of the Japanese group of companies KANSAI PAINT “, which is in the top ten world manufacturers of LFM, so “Helios Ukraine” eventually found itself in the Japanese subordination, which gave it even more authority.   

– As the former “Aurora” was a paint and varnish production with experience and traditions, – Vitaly Tyulkin continues the story, – the new owner trusts not only to be the supplier of  Heliosproducts, but also to continue and develop the production of paint and varnish products both own development, and recipes of the main company.   

– Varnishes, paints, other covering materials of woodworking purpose are presented in “Helios” by a rather wide range. What exactly are Helios Ukraine’s products introduced into production?   

– For the fourth year we have been producing polyurethane varnishes at our own production facilities, products that are almost the most widely used in the furniture industry.

In fact, the parent company has such a wide range of finishing materials for furniture production that we cannot completely “master” our capacities. However, in polyurethanes, we have not yet exhausted all possibilities and have not covered all varieties. There is still enough space to increase the range of these materials. It happens that customers need exclusive finishing systems for their specific needs, so in this way, you can increase the range.     

In the future, we still plan to go beyond PUR products. Acrylic materials are next, and it will be the turn of water-based coating systems and polyester materials.

Despite the fact that the production of high environmental (water) systems is still in the future, the safety component of products for us is relevant today. The quality of our polyurethanes is such that it fully complies with the European standards ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 14001: 2015. This is achieved through the introduction of an integrated system of control over compliance with these standards, in particular for the absence of harm to the environment. Moreover, our specialists are actively involved in the development of state standards for water-dispersion materials that meet European counterparts, – says Mr Vitaly.     

– For the second year we live, and the industry works, feeling inconveniences and suffering losses, in the conditions of permanent quarantine. How does your production feel in such conditions? 

– We try our best to create conditions for efficient work, so we work without downtime, at full capacity. And this is largely due to the fact that we are not limited to the production of paints and varnishes only for woodworking. We also produce coatings for metal surfaces, decorative coatings for house facades, materials for interior decoration, for road markings, etc., – concludes Mr Vitaliy. 

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