How we make innovation a priority at Etex

To achieve profitable growth, one of Etex’s three-pillar agenda, we build strong ties with our customers. And what better way to do that than by innovating and adapting our portfolio in line with their needs and changing market demands – the driving force behind both their success and ours?

An integrated, global network for innovation and technology

Situated in three separate locations, Etex’s Innovation & Technology Centres set the course of our worldwide innovative efforts for:
  • fibre cement materials, clay and concrete tiles, paints (Kapelle-op-den-Bos, Belgium)
  • passive fire protection and high-performance insulation (Tisselt, Belgium)
  • gypsum products (Avignon, France).

On top of that, we rely on six affiliated application and development centres to accelerate our innovation processes and routes-to-market.

Constant focus on customer needs

The story of Etex is one of technical ingenuity and cutting-edge engineering. That’s why in recent years, we have dedicated ourselves to increasing the customer and market intimacy of our Innovation & Technology Centres. Guided by the megatrends we observe– rapid urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity, disruptive technology and sharing global responsibility – all our local companies contribute to our overall innovation pipeline and business plan with specific market insights and expertise. As a result, we develop well-targeted building solutions that resolve our customers’ challenges.

The bedrock of our culture and processes

Innovation is embedded in many of Etex’s internal processes, with the goal of supporting our ambitions. To highlight only a few examples:
  • Our divisional marketing teams work closely with our Innovation & Technology Centres. Together they translate market needs into new and relevant product and systems requirements while speeding up the time-to-market of our innovations.
  • Our Intellectual Property Service Centre goes to great lengths to protect our patents and foster the development of new innovations.
  • Our intranet is designed to boost collaborative spirit, share best practices and enable colleagues to come up with new ideas regardless of physical location.

A sample of our innovations

Reshaping the world of slates

At the end of 2017 at the Batimat exhibition in France, our Eternit France company unveiled the new Tecta roof slate: a one of a kind product for pitched roofs. Sealed with an ingenious UV-coating, the slate is protected against damage and discolouration. The result is higher durability and stability, and increased resistance to dirt and moisture that can withstand harsh winter weather and extreme summer temperatures. This unique coating is also scratch and graffiti resistant. On top of that, the boasts great aesthetics.

Changing how we install ceilings: Prégy XL high span ceiling

Further highlighting Siniat as a technical innovation expert, the Prégy XL is a dry construction system for ceiling applications. Developed based on positive customer feedback from an Open Innovation day at the Etex ITC in Avignon, this system combines anti-sagging plasterboards with a wider channel spacing. The resulting system leads to improved job site productivity leading to lower installation costs.

Aquaboard steals the show at Expo Milano

At Expo Milano, Etex Building Performance showcased its technical expertise in dry construction. Its Aquaboards, manufactured by Siniat Italy, were used in many of the world fair’s country pavilions. Thanks to the unique, patented plasterboards, a render finish can be applied to a construction’s exterior in less time than with traditional methods. In addition, the boards are lightweight, do not require special tools to be cut, and can be installed on a radius curve that makes architectural design possible and easy.

Equitone Materia, developed with and for architects

One of Etex Facade’s main brands – Equitone – developed with and for architects a unique fibre cement facade material for architecture. Equitone Materia is an uncoated panel that receives a special mechanical surface treatment to achieve an eye-catching result. The material also comes with its own, one-of-a-kind manufacturing process.

Innovation is an essential part of our company strategy and values, that much is certain. To find out more, browse through our three-pillar agenda or discover the Etex values