South Korea Business Report

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Discovery Reports

Melatone captures Asia’s eye and feel for innovative, textured high-pressure laminates

Incheon-based Melatone continues to pursue distinctive breakthroughs despite more than 40 years of experience

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 March, 2018, 11:48am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 March, 2018, 11:48am

[Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports]

As versatile as they are durable, high-pressure laminates (HPL) are increasingly becoming the material of choice for wall panels, flooring, furniture and other surfaces across diverse applications – from home kitchens to hotels, ships, laboratories and health care facilities. Rapid growth in new residential and commercial offices, especially in flourishing markets such as Asia, means that the opportunities for HPL manufacturers are endless – and so is competition.

Standing out means offering truly distinctive breakthroughs: a feat that Incheon-based Melatone continues to pursue despite more than 40 years of experience, producing in excess of 20,000 sheets per day and carving a name in six continents.

Melatone’s products are resistant to fire, bacteria, chemicals, abrasion and impact, and are guaranteed by GreenGuard certification to emit extremely low toxic chemicals. These make them one of the most environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost-effective materials that complement the widest range of colours, designs and textures any engineer, architect or decorator can conceive.

“The key is a close eye on the latest global trends and a finger on the pulse of local markets,” says Melatone CEO JY Sung. “Every country has a different taste. Having a big brand in one country does not guarantee success in another market. Our localised approach has made Melatone’s products resonate beyond South Korea and even Asia.”

Targeting niche markets with fancy, elaborate and exceptional designs, Melatone takes pride in being one of the most sought-after HPL suppliers in high-end markets such as luxury resorts and hotels in Las Vegas in the United States.

Among Melatone’s breakthroughs is its Clean Touch series, a surface that leaves no traces. It features anti-fingerprint, thermal self-healing, anti-static, mould-resistant, water-repellent, low-light reflection and semi-antibacterial properties. These make Clean Touch laminates particularly suitable for use in kitchens as well as hospitality, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, health care and other industries that require hygienic surfaces.

The key is a close eye on the latest global trends and a finger on the pulse of local markets
JY Sung, CEO

“What distinguishes the surface of Clean Touch is its electron beam coating, in which one of our German partners specialise,” Sung says. “Strategic collaborations such as this – combined with our research and development, timing and speed – enable us to bring together the finest ideas and produce innovations that showcase the best the industry can offer.”

Another bestseller is the Dong-Jo series, also dubbed by Melatone as its “masterpiece of wood perfection”. It features an embossed texture synchronised with the flow of the grains – making it look and feel like real wood. Among other latest products is the Urban Rustic series, which boasts an authentic raw feel that blends well with contemporary urban designs.

Since opening its first overseas branch in Bangkok in 2015, Melatone has recognised Thailand as well as its neighbouring countries as key growth markets, including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Reinforcing its commitment to the region, it opened a factory in Malaysia’s Johor Bahru last year, knowing that the strategic location bordering Singapore can help reach a wider clientele.

“Asia is an extremely important market not only for the quantity in terms of the population size, but also because of the quality of the market,” Sung says. “The region has the most diverse taste, feel and culture. We want to capture these and reflect such diversity in our portfolio.”

With the region becoming the largest HPL market representing 50 to 60 per cent of the total global demand, Melatone is optimistic that the growth will also bring more technological breakthroughs that will address the needs of the future.

“People see Melatone as creative and innovative, but the truth is we always want to keep learning about new technologies and creating new surface materials,” Sung says. “We look forward to working with more similarly open-minded, innovative and forward-thinking partners.”