Stuart Jenkinson, Business Director, H.B. Fuller
From the car you drive, to the smartphone that connects you to every corner of the globe, it is clear to see adhesive performance is fundamental to the quality of most of the products you use. H.B. Fuller is creating adhesive solutions for nearly every type of finished good, from the everyday to the exceptional. So Perini Journal asked its business director for tissue and towel, Stuart Jenkinson, to explain how its extensive global expertise and experience is boosting the performance of tissue and towel manufacturers in the region.
With toilet paper sales remaining strong, growth in the luxury sector, and a healthy growth forecast for tissue paper, there is plenty of opportunity and optimism in the market place. This has led to a rise in successful independent labels, and constant product innovation from key players. However, Jenkinson explains, business success is very dependent on managing costs. “Cost control is a major challenge for manufacturers,” he stresses. “Yes, there is growing disposable income in the region driving up sales, but the end-customer wants more for less. This creates a downward pressure on spending, and an upward pressure on production. In addition, manufacturers cannot compromise on quality, if anything quality is becoming more important.”
SO, HOW CAN ADHESIVE SUPPLIERS HELP DRIVE MANUFACTURING COSTS DOWN?
“Tissue and towel products mainly use water-based adhesives, which can be 70% to 90% water. If you are a long way from your supplier, then you are wasting money moving volumes of water,” comments Jenkinson. “This is why we have facilities located throughout Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa. We strive to be located in close proximity to our customers, while still giving them the benefit of using a global supplier, with a reputation for high quality adhesive products that conform to all the necessary regulatory requirements.”
“Adhesive innovation is really at the core of solving this challenge”, he stresses. “We have focused on developing high solid content adhesive products for the tissue and towel market. This cuts down the amount of water in transit. For example, our high performance Swift®tak 1221 water-based lamination adhesive can be diluted with up to 11 parts of water, without compromising the desired lamination performance on multiple-ply products. And Swift®tak 1121 can be diluted with up to 7 parts of water, and its performance can help enhance the tissue softness of the final product.
Tissue and towel manufacturers are increasingly moving to accurate nozzle application systems for corewinding, which is helping to cut costs. Jenkinson explains, “To support the successful transition to a nozzle application system, we have developed adhesives that have the ability to work well with many different machine conditions, delivering a good wet tack profile for strongly bonded cores. This helps save money, as nozzle applied adhesives offer manufacturers significant advantages over the conventional open pot systems, reducing both adhesive usage and adhesive related downtime. The potential savings in adhesive usage are up to 30% reduction on 2-ply production and up to 80% for those customers who convert to single-ply cores. This improvement is vital in today’s intensely competitive and cost sensitive marketplace.”
HOW DO MANUFACTURERS ENSURE THEY GET THE BEST PERFORMANCE AND COST EFFICIENCIES FROM YOUR ADHESIVE PRODUCTS?
“H.B. Fuller has a team of application specialists who collaborate with customers, both in our laboratories and on customer sites,” explains Jenkinson. “This partnership approach can help customers increase performance and profitability. From the first enquiry, to implementation and ongoing support, we ensure the right products are chosen, and the production line is fine-tuned to maximize efficiency. This is an ongoing process. As customers encounter new challenges, we connect the latest adhesive innovations with their production needs and business goals. One such innovation relates to nozzle applied corewinding and compliance with food contact regulations. We have developed two new adhesives that enable customers to meet, or leap ahead of, current regulations such as BfrXXXVI. Swift®tak 1640 is free of boric acid, and Swift®tak 1011 is uniquely free of both boric acid and plasticiser. These innovations enable customers to achieve their production and efficiency goals, and have reassurance that the products they purchase more than comply with current regulations.”
“Partnerships underpin how we connect businesses with a competitive edge. With the innovative Swift®tak 1221 high solid adhesive lamination solution, we have worked with a leading machine manufacturer to develop an automated dilution system. By removing the need for manual dilution, the whole process is streamlined, saving on labor costs, while ensuring the consistency and quality of the diluted adhesive. Not surprisingly, this new system received a lot of market interest when it was launched at MIAC late in 2013.
Manufacturers understand that their choice of adhesive products, and the supporting processes, can help make their businesses more competitive.”
HOW IS H.B. FULLER HELPING MANUFACTURERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GROWTH AREAS IN THE TISSUE AND TOWEL MARKET?
“The answer to this question is two-fold,” Jenkinson says. “Firstly, machine speeds are forever increasing to meet demand. Manufacturers need high performance adhesives to be able to run cleanly at high speeds, without compromising on quality. H.B. Fuller’s proven Swift®tak adhesive range benefits from the research and development investment you would expect from a global company.”
“Secondly, H.B. Fuller is in the process of completing a significant three-year investment program across Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa. Upgrading plants, including Nienburg in Germany, Dukinfield in the UK, and Lamia in Greece, will increase production capacity to meet the regions’ adhesive needs well into the future. And, we are creating new technical laboratories, such as the state-of-the art technical center being opened in Lüneburg, Germany, later this year, to futher enhance our ability to innovate new adhesive solutions for the future.”
As Jenkinson concludes, “Once you realize the critical connections that are made by adhesives in every area of our lives, it becomes easier to see why adhesive choice is essential to a successful production line, and to a manufacturer’s business performance. H.B. Fuller is committed to perfecting adhesives, and we are here to help our customers rise to their challenges and succeed.”
We’re H.B. Fuller, and we’re connecting what matters.