BANGALORE, India—Bostik S.A. has opened a new plant for hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives made with thermoplastic rubbers at its Bangalore campus to serve customers in the disposable hygiene sector.
The new site is the firm's third at its Bangalore campus and the first geared toward its thermoplastic elastomer-based hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives for the hygiene industry. The other two units focus on Bostik's other core product lines—polyurethane-based elastic bonding adhesives for the flexible packaging and footwear markets and polymer modified binders for the construction industry.
Jeffrey Merkt, Bostik's senior vice president of Asia, said the new Bangalore facility is just the first step in a two-part expansion process. Bostik has broken ground on another plant in Gujarat, India, set to open in 2016. At that time, the company's polyurethane-based adhesives used in the flexible packaging and footwear applications will relocate to that site to make room for increased hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive capacity.
Bostik did not disclose the size of the facilities, capacity figures, employment or the amount invested in the expansion, but Merkt said the investment will allow Bostik to service the region for at least five years without having to make another capacity investment.
“The India economy is doing well, and we're following many multinational companies that are making investments to produce hygiene products in India,” he said. “I've been in the hygiene market now for 25 years, and I've never seen the level of investment this high. Clearly they're all very excited about the population that exists and the low penetration rate. The growth rate is fantastic right now, and our investment in this technology platform is to follow them as they invest in India.”
Bostik's hot-melt pressure sensitive adhesives are based on styrene-block-copolymer thermoplastic rubbers, said a spokeswoman for Arkema S.A., Bostik's parent company. Merkt said the Bangalore expansion is 100 percent dedicated to this type of technology.
Bostik utilizes these adhesives to bond various components of disposable hygiene articles such as baby diapers, feminine care articles and adult incontinence articles. Another common use is the production of pressure sensitive tapes and labels.
Bostik said it's been active in India since 2001 and manufactures a range of adhesives and related products for the industrial manufacturing and construction markets. The new India facility will include state of the art equipment and employ the latest manufacturing techniques to ensure the highest levels of safety, quality and efficiency—including a fully automated packing operation, Arkema said.
“We wanted to have this new facility very close to the management team because of the importance of quality systems and management for these hygiene producers,” Merkt said. “We looked at a new site, and then we looked at how we could utilize our existing site.”
The new facility follows other plant openings in China, Malaysia and Brazil. Merkt said its Changshu, China, facility opened in 2013 and that it is Bostik's largest site in the world, focusing on hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives for the hygiene and tape and label markets.
The firm's plant in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, opened in 2014 and focuses on tile adhesive and cement-related powder products. Its facility in Brazil stems from its Usina Fortaleza acquisition in 2012, which has expanded to provide polymer modified binders for the construction market, Merkt said.
Bostik is a global adhesive specialist with 4,900 employees and a presence in more than 50 countries. It reported 2014 sales of about $1.64 billion. The firm is a unit of Arkema, a global chemicals producer that employs about 19,000 in about 50 countries with 2014 sales of about $8.22 billion.