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History of innovation

 

1977-79

 

Birth of the laminate flooring

Swedish company Perstorp AB develops the first laminate flooring which consists of a paper-based decorative surface with aluminum oxide (HPL), a particle board core and a tongue/groove joint. The development was made on the initiative of Darko Pervan, at that time the general manager of the Perstorp laminate division. He also initiated the "idea-77" project together with Mr Gerhard Schultze as project manager and main inventor of the first laminate flooring panel. This development was the foundation of Pergo and the whole laminate flooring industry.

Market introduction by IKEA

Laminate flooring is introduced on the market by IKEA in 1979. In 1981, Darko Pervan leaves Perstorp (later Pergo) which develops and maintains a world leading position in laminate floorings until late 1990's.

1993/94

 

1:st lock patent

Välinge is founded in 1993 by Darko Pervan. The same year, Darko Pervan leads the development of the world’s first mechanical locking system that enables installation of wood and laminate flooring by combining angling and snapping. The first patent application, partly based on computer simulations, was filed by Tony Pervan. Gerhard Schultze, who joined Välinge in 1994 after his retirement from Pergo, made major contributions related to the production technology. Several of the first patents from 1993/94, which protects locking systems made in one piece with the core or of separate materials, have successfully passed the final appeal in EPO. These decisions clearly show that Välinge was first to develop a one-piece and a two-piece locking system for wood and laminate floors which could be locked with angling and/or snapping.

1994

 

First license agreements

Välinge offers the first license to Pergo who is not interested. Välinge signs its first license agreements with Norske Skog (Alloc) for laminate floorings and with Kährs for wood floorings. The basic Välinge principles for locking floorboards mechanically gradually develops to a world standard. About 10 years later close to one billion m² of laminate and wood floors have been installed with mechanical click systems.

1996 

 

Goodbye glue

Välinge (together with its licensee Alloc AS) launches the world's first glue free laminate floor with an advanced mechanical locking system at the Domotex fair. This floor panel showed that an underlay could be attached to a laminate floor as a sound insulation and that the edges could be sealed with wax. The new glue free technology starts an evolution that eliminates 100 million glue bottles that annually would have to be used to glue floating laminate and wood floorings. Several major improvements of the original locking system were made and patented by Darko Pervan during 1996-2001.

Alvesta training centre

Välinge opens its first lab, training center and exhibition in Alvesta, Västmanland outside Stockholm. Many distributors from several countries are trained to install floors with Välinge's mechanical locking systems.

1999

 

1:st Veneer Lock

Välinge (together with its licensee Kährs Group) launches the world's first glue free wood veneer floor with a mechanical locking system formed in an HDF core.

Production of 1:st loc for parquet flooring

Välinge (together with its licensee Kährs Group) makes the first full-size 14 mm parquet floor with a mechanical locking system in Välinge's Alvesta lab and training centre.

2000

 

Launch of 1:st Wood Lock at Domotex

Välinge is first in the world to show that long parquet planks can be connected with various combinations of angling and snapping.

Tongueloc

Välinge develops a compact Tongueloc system for laminate and wood floorings.

2001

 

Only angling

Välinge (together with its licensee Berry floor) introduces the world's first angling-angling installation method which enables floorboards installation without tools, for instance hammer and taping, which have previously been used to snap the short edges.

1:st resilient floor with mechanical locking

Välinge develops floating floorboards consisting of resilient plastic surface layers attached to an HDF or plastic core which, combined with a mechanical locking system, allows installation with combinations of angling and snapping.

2002

 

First R&D center

Välinge moves to its new 5,000 m² R&D center in Viken which is the largest R&D center in the world for development of mechanical locking systems.

1:st small strips

Välinge introduces the world's first small strips in laminate and wood with a mechanical locking system. Välinge also presents the first advanced mechanical locking system for wood and laminate floors, which allows installation in herringbone pattern and a variety of other advanced classical patterns.

2004

 

3G, Semi floating, Soft floor, Decorative grooves

Välinge introduces several groundbreaking products at the Domotex fair in Hanover, Germany:

The 3G locking system, which utilizes a separate HDF strip integrated with the floorboard to achieve cost efficient production and superior locking functions and strength. 


Semi-Floating Floor, which can be installed in extremely large areas without expansion joints.

Floating soft floor with a mechanical locking system and a surface of soft carpet fibers glued to a board. 

Decorative grooves in laminate floorings with an appearance equal to solid wood floor, stones and tiles.

5G® fold down

Välinge introduces the first 5G fold down system with a displaceable bow shaped flexible tongue together with its licensee Rappgo. The technology is well-received by the market and 8 years later about 30% of all laminate and wood floors use this installation method. 

2005

 

Roll to panel, Solid Edge, Edge treating

Välinge introduces the following products at the Domotex fair:

Roll to panel floors which are based on the basic concept that surface materials such as PVC, linoleum etc typically delivered in rolls should be glued to a board material and delivered as floating floor panels with a mechanical locking system.

Solid Edge technology for laminate floorings. A bevel is formed by compression of the laminate edge at high speed with heat and roll forming. The decorative laminate layer and the core edge are pressed and formed into a bevel. 

Edge Treating Equipment for high speed in line coating of edges in laminate and wood flooring was introduced.

2006

 

5G® bristle tongue

Välinge introduces the first 5G fold down system with an advanced flexible bristle tongue that replaces the bow shaped tongue. Bristle tongues consist of a rigid outer part and an inner part with several flexible protrusions that bend in the length direction during folding.

2007

 

5G+Side Push

Välinge presents a new version of a fold down system - the 5G+ double slide side push system. 5G+ has a displaceable tongue that is automatically activated and displaced into a tongue groove with a side pressure caused by a long edge tongue of a new panel installed in a new row. 

Goodbye paper, Wood Fiber Floor is born

A new paper-free Wood Fibre Floor (WFF) is born 30 years after the first laminate floor invention. Thereby a new milestone is reached as Välinge develops a completely new flooring category. The same technicians that developed the laminate flooring in 1977 contributed to several vital parts of the developments. WFF is very cost effective and much stronger than any laminate flooring on the market thanks to the paper-free solid surface, created with Välinge's new Powder Technology.

Välinge also presents a new method for recycling used laminate floorboards into either new core materials or completely new floorboards.

2008

 

Nanoparticles

Välinge, together with Photocat AS, develops a method to incorporate photocatalytic nanoparticles into a floor surface in order to obtain anti-bacterial and easy-to-clean surfaces that reduces formaldehyde in the surrounding air. 

2009

 

5G-S® side push

A new side push system - the single slide fold down system 5G-S, is introduced. 5G-S is based on a new technology that enables locking with a linear sliding of a separate tongue along and parallel to the joint.

Wood Powder Laminate

Välinge presents the first Wood Powder Laminate – WPL. Välinge's Powder Technology is used to improve a conventional laminate floor by applying a powder layer of wood micro fibers and melamine under a decorative paper. The new technology provides improved properties, increased flexibility and a cost efficient production.

New R&D center

Välinge moves to its new 17,000 m² R&D center: the largest facility in the world for development of laminate, wood and powder based flooring technology.

5G-C® is introduced

Välinge presents 5G Compact - a new fold down locking system which is easier to lock. The flexible tongue is slightly inclined and pushed inwardly and downwardly during locking. 

Production of powder based floors

Välinge installs the world's first full-size production line for wood fiber floors (WFF) in Viken. The new line is able to supply considerable start-up volumes to Välinge's licensees, either as pressed blanks or profiled and packed products ready for distribution. 

2010

 

Launch of powder based floors at Domotex

Välinge presents the first commercial product range of wood powder-based floors with the paper-free solid surface Nadura®.

High quality powder printing

Välinge develops a digital powder printing technology that enables high-quality designs in powder-based surfaces. 

Nano and powder technology

Välinge develops a method to incorporate photocatalytic nanoparticles into powder-based WFF surfaces. 

Full size production of powder and nano particles

Välinge invests in a full-size production line to mill and mix wood powder and to produce nanoparticles.

2011

 

3D powder printing

Välinge develops advanced high quality 3D powder printing for advanced stone and wood designs. A full-size digital printer with a printing capacity of 25m²/minute is installed in at the R&D center in Viken. 

Välinge Expo

Välinge presents Pressloc, Ziploc, Cliploc and a surface stretching technology.

2012

 

Powder backing and sublayers

Välinge presents the WPL powder technology. Powder backing and powder sublayer are used together with unimpregnated thin decorative paper to the reduce costs of conventional laminate panels.

Bjoorn starts selling WFF floors with Nadura®

The first commercial products based on the Powder Technology are produced by Välinge and sold in Sweden by Bjoorn: a leading Swedish web shop owned by Välinge Invest AB. The product range contains wood and slate designs with deep embossing based on an improved second generation of WFF floors. The new generation consists of a surface with a top and sub layer which is combined with a powder-based backing layer. 

2G Plus

Välinge presents a new one piece angling locking system, based on a new joint geometry and a new technology to separate floor panels, can reduce material waste with up to 50%.

Välinge Invest AB initiates R&D

The mother company of Välinge Innovation – Välinge invest AB - initiates R&D activities mainly related to a new type of digital printing technology for flooring. The intention is to sublicense the technology and patents to Välinge Innovation.

Powder backing

Powder can now be used to replace paper-based backing layers in conventional laminate floors in order to decrease material cost.

All time high IP activities

The total IP base developed by the Välinge group during the previous 18 years contains 90 different patent families that may provide about 4,000 different patents. 

2013

 

Digital Binder And Powder (BAP) printing

Välinge presents a new digital printing technology. Water-based transparent blank ink applied with conventional print heads creates a digital binder pattern on a surface. Dry ink particles containing pigments are scattered on the whole surface and on the liquid pattern. Non-bonded particles are subsequently removed.

Digital embossing

Välinge presents a new digital embossing technology. Major cost savings may be combined with outstanding production flexibility especially when digital printing is used to create the decor. 

Lamella core

Välinge introduces a technology that enables cost savings as well as improved locking for engineered wood products.

3D-core for LVT

Välinge presents technology for LVT and WPC products that enables material recycling as well as weight savings.

Digital overlay

Välinge presents the digital overlay technology. Aluminum oxide particles are positioned digitally in precise and pre-determined patterns.

Click furniture technology introduced

Välinge’s locking technology for easier and faster furniture assembly is presented for the first time. 

2014

 

Lindura®

Meisterwerke introduces Lindura: a tough and durable wood floor based on Välinge’s powder technology. 

Full-size digital printer

Välinge installs a full-size digital printer for the Drop On Demand (DOD) and Binder and Powder (BAP) printing technologies in Viken.

2015

 

Flexdura™

Välinge presents Flexdura: a waterproof core based on a dry blend of wood and thermoplastic powder combined with a melamine based powder surface. 

2016

Ownership changes

KKR acquires 40% of the Välinge shares from Krono and 9.7% from Pervanovo Invest that maintains 50.3% ownership.

New investments in R&D center

Välinge extends its R&D center with 4,000 m2 and installs a second full-size pressing line for Woodura® and Nadura® flooring.

Välinge parent company acquires parquet producer

Pervanovo Invest acquires all shares of the Croatian parquet producer Tehnodrvo - now Bjelin d.o.o

Pervanovo invests in Woodura® and Nadura® flooring capacity

Pervanovo initiates investments in Viken with a capacity of 5 million m2 of Woodura and Nadura flooring comprising an advanced 2.1 m wide continuous hot/cold press line from Hymmen, profiling machines from Homag and a surface treatement line from Burkle.

Woodura® receives German Design Award

Woodura® hardwood flooring by Välinge is selected as a winner of the German Design Award in the Special Mention Excellent Product Design Material category. The award honors projects that truly represent pioneering contributions to the German and international design landscape

2017

 

Threespine® click furniture technology receives award

Välinge receives the interzum award: an award honoring the best products in the international furniture supplier industry.

Välinge launches premium decking solution

Välinge launches ZENSE® together with licensee Södra Wood. ZENSE is a premium decking solution that resembles the look and feel of an indoor flooring.