With headquarters in Portugal, and ca. 300 employees, Proadec is a worldwide reference as a global manufacturer and supplier of thermoplastic edgings for the furniture industry, based on multi-site production and distribution centers. The company is recognized for the skills in terms of ethics, quality, competitiveness, innovation and customer service. PROADEC has a worldwide distribution network, providing a close link with its customers spread across 70 countries in the 5 continents, being 95% of its production aimed for exportation.

Interview with Clara Cruz, Marketing Coordinator at Proadec.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Clara Cruz: Proadec started its activity in 1977 and since then it has been exclusively dedicated to profile extrusion and sheet calendaring to be used as edgings in the furniture industry. Edgings are one of the most important components for the furniture industry, not only because the decorative finish, but also for its technical features, protecting boards from the impact and the humidity. For decades, the company was the only industry of its kind in Portugal, the biggest in Iberia and one of the world’s largest. 

All the raw materials used in the production process are of certified quality and before going into initial production are extensively controlled by specific tests procedures, based on the REACH program and to internal rigid specifications. Proadec edgings are produced with environmental and human friendly technologies and are 100% recyclable. About 90% of the company’s production waste is recycled and the volatile emissions released across the production processes are being monitored and reduced. Proadec Portugal is certified by ISO 9001 and by ISO 14001. 

 In 2017, a new era began for PROADEC, with the acquisition of its entire capital by the German SURTECO GROUP SE, a global supplier of integrated solutions for the furniture industry sector with a turnover of around 800 MEUR. By joining a world-leading industrial group, Proadec Portugal has strengthen its ability to concentrate knowledge and resources to provide products and services with even higher quality standards and greater capacity to react quickly and efficiently to the challenges and the demands posed by the global market, where PROADEC edgings can be found.

Environmental issues have always had a prominent place in the company’s strategy. Since January 2022, Proadec Portugal is a CARBON NEUTRAL certified company, being one of the first in its sector to reach this important milestone, associating itself with a greater cause, the fight against climate change. The challenges under the Paris Agreement and the goal of carbon neutrality require more radical and daring measures, and Proadec Portugal answered the challenge, paving its way towards zero carbon emissions, thus reinforcing and adopting environmental sustainability measures. As electricity was the main source of GHG emissions (greenhouse gases), this was one of the priorities. Today, all the electricity the company buys comes from 100% renewable sources and the more than 1000 photovoltaic systems that the company installed in 2019 already meet 4.3% of its energy needs.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

C.C: PROADEC has always been exclusively dedicated to the extrusion and calendaring of thermoplastic edge bandings to be used in the furniture industry. The company was pioneer in calendaring production of thin edging up to 810 mm width and thick edging up to 410 mm width and for many decades was the only one of its kind in the world.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

C.C: Ultra matt surfaces is a trend that has grown and consolidated in the market. Proadec developed a range of premium ultra matt edgings featuring a sophisticated and velvet-smooth surface with very low gloss level. It differentiates from other matt options in the market for its anti-fingerprint properties and resistance to scratch.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

C.C: Proadec produces all kind of thermoplastic edge bandings in PVC, ABS and PP from thicknesses ranging from 0.40 up to 3 mm and widths from 14 mm up to 810 mm. 

Proadec Portugal developed the most sustainable edging ever, combining the green plastic “ABS” with cork. The result is a unique edging, with extraordinary beauty and with all the technical features that only cork can offer. It was presented at the Interzum fair in Germany and was highly acclaimed by the industry.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

C.C: PROADEC has a worldwide distribution network, providing a close link with its customers spread across 70 countries in the 5 continents, being 95% of its production aimed for exportation. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

C.C: Ultra matt surfaces, greys and warm neutral colours are very sought after for the kitchen, as they can provide a more refined feel without being clinical. Surface textures also play an important role in all aspects of furniture design as they reproduce the natural elements of wood or stone, for example, bringing home décor closer to the natural environment.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

C.C: Although still in its early stages as far as edging is concerned, digital printing is a trend that cannot and must not be ignored. With this in mind, Surteco Group is already operating several digital printing lines in Germany.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

C.C: Economic dynamics have changed abruptly and unexpectedly the past two years. There has been a mix of health concerns, high demand, supply disruptions, price pressure, labor shortages, etc. Early in 2022, the unexpected scenario of war in Europe induced commodity price increases and broad price pressures leading to inflation projections significantly higher than projected last January and growth is projected to sharply decelerate. Like most industries, the challenges are many, but we believe Proadec has the ability to reinvent itself and adjust to the circumstances.