Viken, Sweden—Kingfisher Decorative Material is the latest licensee for Välinge Innovation’s new Liteback sustainable core technology. 5G licensee since April 2019, Kingfisher has now extended its collaboration with Välinge to include Liteback for its SPC products.
“Välinge’s Liteback technology is a perfect match for Kingfisher and our customers,” said Lucas Zhu, general manager of Kingfisher. “Reducing weight while keeping the same performance is much appreciated, especially today due to increasing fright costs and increasing efforts toward a more sustainable lifestyle.”
Liteback reduces the product’s weight by up to 20% by removing a portion of the core material from the back of resilient flooring with a grooving unit machine. The product becomes lighter, which means fewer transportations will be needed as more square meters of flooring can be squeezed into each shipping container—lowering CO2 emissions in the process. The removed material can be recycled in the next production process, reducing material consumption by up to 20%, thus improving raw material efficiency and saving production costs.
A lighter product will also benefit the installation process, both when it is performed by a professional installer or DIY installer, the company said. Also, with the increasing trend of online buying, a lighter product can enable “one man delivery.”
“The whole process from the factory to end-user installation becomes much more efficient, sustainable and easier,” said Per Josefsson, director business unit plastic floor technology at Välinge. “Liteback opens up for using a higher degree of pre-consumer waste than in traditional resilient flooring production.”
Apart from the benefits Liteback brings in sustainability, it is also a helpful add-on in the new tariff landscape, the company said. Flooring companies importing from China to the U.S. have seen large cost increases since the imposed 25% tariffs on some products that were previously on the exemption list.
“We believe Liteback will, to some degree, offset the impact the new tariff situation has brought upon the flooring business as well as the increased freight costs influenced by the pandemic,” Josefsson said. “Using Liteback is one way to lower transportation costs, evening out the uncertainties and increased costs caused by the new tariffs.”