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ESSE puts switch to powder on the front burner with Interpon powder coatings

It’s one of the most prestigious names in British manufacturing, and its premium-crafted cookers and stove are icons of design and performance on the world stage. So when ESSE was looking to switch from its enamel coating process in favor of something more sustainable, it had to be sure that its products would retain their renowned reputation for color and style. It needed a partner that didn’t just meet its expectations but exceeded them, at every turn. ESSE found its perfect partner in Interpon powder coatings.

With a history dating back to 1854, and with international customers from the Arctic Circle to the Australian Outback, ESSE is respected for its innovation in creating the cleanest burning, highest quality products. When it decided to further extend its portfolio to include a new range of electric-powered cookers, it also wanted to make the switch from an enamel coating to a powder coating, as ESSE’s Production Manager, Andy Pilkington explains: “An enamel coating gives our cookers the gloss and shine that our customers expect in a premium-priced product,” he says.

“But not only is enameling a complicated process, it can also ultimately be more costly for the consumer. Enamel chips can be very expensive to repair, and since powder coatings are less susceptible to chips and scratches, and are more sustainable, we decided to explore alternatives.”

Finding an alternative, however, was not as simple as it seems. The powder coating still had to perform and protect the cooker at high temperatures. It also had to deliver the same quality ‘feel’ that reflected the company’s brand ethos. In ESSE’s case, that meant not simply looking good in the most popular cream and black, but also matching bespoke colors, including a midnight blue and a vibrant orange. This is where the Interpon team excelled.

“Enamel has a reflective quality,” Andy continues, “and it was important in switching to a powder coating that retained the aesthetic appearance. It was also important that our partner could replicate existing colors in our range since they prove extremely popular in our showrooms and have the stand-out appeal people are looking for.”

Interpon was recommended as a partner for sharing ESSE’s passion for innovation. Since first being introduced four years ago, the two businesses have worked closely together to ensure the Interpon HT powder coatings deliver the exceptional levels of style and performance that Andy and his team were looking for.

The support is not limited to the product alone. It also included sending Interpon’s technical experts to advise and train Andy’s team on setting up the new line, and how the metal needs to be treated prior to the powder coating being applied to ensure the powder properly adheres to the surface. The support also included engaging Interpon’s color scientists to create a bespoke Interpon HT PEPA powder coating for ESSE’s six specialist colors. Interpon HT PEPA is ideally suited to stoves and domestic appliances in applications where excellent overbake stability and resistance to yellowing are essential to maintaining quality performance and appearance.

ESSE had very stringent requirements: “Color is very important,” says Mark Blewitt, Sales Director at ESSE. “Our products are high value items and are an important part of kitchen and interior design. The colors, therefore, have to be on-trend to meet our customers’ expectations.

“Sustainability is also key,” he continues. “The move away from vitreous enamelling has helped ESSE to reduce energy consumption and move towards its lower carbon target.”

Listening to and understanding the needs of the customer has been key to ensuring the success of the relationship between AkzoNobel and ESSE. AkzoNobel is by no means resting on its laurels, further trials are now underway with innovations to keep ESSE one step ahead of its competitors and ensure a world-renowned brand continues to excel on the global stage.

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