Pidilite Industries, the 60-year-old speciality chemical company, offers a range of adhesives for the rigid packaging industry, including Fevicol CPW; Fevicol 2000L and Fevicol 3000L UV. These are water-based emulsions with high solid content and at various viscosities, depending on the type of applicators used on production lines. Pidilite is the largest adhesive company in Asia and specialises in adhesives and construction chemicals. “We make water-based, solvent-based and hotmelt adhesives for retail, institutional and industrial applications. Our group turnover is close to USD 1-billion,” Sanjiv Kalra, business manager – industrial adhesives, Pidilite Industries, says.
For industrial applications, the company specialises in a wide gamut of technologies, such as EVA, acrylics, PVac, polyurethanes, and polyolefins. Pidilite has eight R&D centres located in India and abroad which enables the company to focus on innovations and faster go-to-market approach. Kalra says the industry is going through a phase of consolidation leading to vast expansions and technological advancements in machine speeds and outputs. This puts a challenging requirement and expectations on the performance of adhesives. “The product chemistries which we worked on are based on ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers, acrylics and vinyl acetates. These, when formulated, meet the technological expectations to give desired output on high-end applications,” he adds.
Kalra says these technologically advanced polymers give trouble-free smooth running on high speed machines without any machine stoppages, meeting customer’s requirements of optimum productivity. “The product gives instant bonding on high speed converting lines. The packaging material when used by brand owners ensures that the end product reaches its destination without any pilferage and bond failures. The products work in all extreme climates we encounter in Indian subcontinent and also work on a wide variety of surfaces,” he says.
He says the products were first launched about 20 years back and they have a proven track record of working on various machines, surfaces and climates over the years. “They have undergone product advancements over the years as the technological requirements changed and as we moved from slow speed machines to high rates of conversions. A couple of products were also launched in the last two years, like Fevicol 3000 L UV and Pidivyl 3110, for new requirements,” Kalra adds.
The adhesives are designed for converting machines to make cartons at the speed of 450-m/min. These can also be used for the latest state-of-the-art machines for making staple-less shipper boxes with UV glue detection systems.
Kalra says the products are competitively priced despite having a clear technological edge. “These products, with a proven track record, are designed for high-technology machines. It enables converters to run their machines at full capacities and maximise output,” he adds. The company’s adhesive division has a widespread technical service team across India and Asian countries. The products are available in company warehouses in various cities in India and with channel partners in the Indian subcontinent, GCC and Africa, thereby making on-time delivery a big differentiator for its customers.
Kalra says the products are being used by almost all top and medium-sized customers in India and in overseas markets.
Kalra says in adhesives, customer’s use products which give them the value for money, clean machining properties, suitability for a variety of substrates, end-product durability, among others. He adds that Pidilite’s products meet all these criteria.
He says USPs of Pidilite’s products include consistent performance, proven track record, and the ability to stay on track with technological advancements, like the latest UV detection system. The company’s products for food packaging applications are also compliant to various FDA norms. The unique characteristics of Pidilite adhesives include high green bond; optimum final bond strength; high heat resistance and food grades compliance.
“If a packing material is made for hot filling (like ghee), the adhesive should sustain the heat during filling operations and that’s why heat resistance is important. Pidilite’s range of adhesives has these properties,” Kalra explained.
He added that in the case of products like Fevicol 3000 L UV, which is a UV detection grade, there is no alternative made in India product. Since the product is made in India, it is also rightly priced.
Kalra says Pidilite’s products work on high speed lines of 450+ m/min on folder-gluers and also at speeds of 25,000+ shippers/ hour on flexo folder-gluers. “Some of our customers have also run their lines at speeds that are considered to be benchmarks in the industry,” he said, adding, “As performance expectations grow with technological improvements in machineries, we keep upgrading our range of products.” The company designs ready-to-use solutions which need not be altered on shopfloors. As the adhesives are water-based, they are also easy to clean. Kalra says the company works closely with various machine manufacturers as well as the customers. “We are with the customers while their production scale-up trials are on. During the course, we update and train the production teams on the products we offer in terms of their properties and specifications,” he adds, “Our sales and technical support team, being widespread pan-India, are always close to our customers.”
On the recent trends in the adhesive industry, Kalra says high speed automated lines will disrupt the market and will replace the existing slow speed ones in the medium to long-term, thereby posing new challenges to all the key consumables that go into packaging. As for future plans, Pidilite plans to keep growing, matching up to the expectations of the customers’ requirements. It also wants to innovate new products for technological advancements in terms of machine speeds, and new surfaces which will replace the existing ones, particularly keeping in mind the sustainability trends.
CUSTOMER LEVERAGING BENEFITS
Says Kalra, “One of our key customers installed a state-of-the-art high speed machine with UV glue detection system. The advantage is that it can do quality checks on glue application and camera verification of each and individual shipper box. UV detectable adhesives were not available by any Indian company, although few import options were available. We, being a strong player in this segment, took the make in India approach and developed a product in a very short time. As we understand Indian climatic conditions more than anyone else, the product gave excellent performance in addition to satisfying the key requirement of UV glue line detection requirements of the customer.”