Glues producers disunity leads to fall of market`s technical level, slowdown of its technological development and domination of one company.
On Wednesday, 28 May in Moscow the First International Conference "Glues and Adhesives 2011" was held by Creon. The event was supported by Bostik Group and NII Polymerov. Glues industry is important, but relatively obscure part of chemical field, its players do not gather to discuss problems and development prospects. The event, organized by Creon, became the first event of its kind for many years. According to Sandjar Turgunov, CEO of Creon, just this disunity leads to glues industry is paid much less attention than it deserves. Officials` indifference leads to trouble of working-out industry standards of quality developing. Obviously, the industry already has the clear leader in the face of Henkel, however, it`s quite obvious that the company uphold it`s own interests, but not all industry on the whole. Moreover, that glues production is just one of its many businesses.
German Komarov, professor of MATI-RSTU, noticed there is no still center which would collect data, design the industry standards, certify products and represent the interests of producers in the state structures. This role is played by large transnational corporations, however, they act in their own interests. According to Mr. Komarov, that`s the reason of relatively small number of domestic developments in glues industry, their focus primarily on packaging and furniture industry needs but not on engineering which is more innovative.
At the same time, technological progress in industry is developed fast enough: cure speed adhesives are appeared. They are convenient for conveyor assembly of different products. In addition, curing the adhesive with UF- radiation is used widely and glues for disassembly products are created. Hybrid, foam, conductive adhesives, glues for wet surfaces and with nanomodificators are new advanced developments, which came into Russia as well. However, general level of technical culture in Russian industry along with the dissemination of new technical solutions, for example, laser and plasma surface treatment before bonding, dropped hardly. Majority of audience agreed with this thesis. The suggestion that universities and institutes could play a role of industry center in the current lack of it provoked controversy among audience. By producers` opinion, academic science and higher educations are too distant from production realities and graduates chemists have no enough practical knowledge in related industries where the glues are used. Separate training of adhesives specialists isn`t implemented, that`s why researches in this field are done by those who studied the varnish and paint.
The delegation of Dzerzhinsky NII Polymerov headed by the Dovid Aronovich, deputy head of polymeric adhesives, told about Institute`s advanced development for Industry. Mr. Aronovich in his presentation made overview of major destinations of activity and described anaerobic acrylic adhesives for engineering more specific. Anaerobic glues are cured in air when released into the cracks and various metal gaps, metal is a reaction catalyst. Glues are used widely for sealing, for example, in thread connection. Chemically resistant aluminum, titanium and stainless steel are glued less, that`s why they require special glues with activators. Anaerobic sealants are used widely in nuclear and space industry in addition to automotive. There are grades, resistant to radiation and high temperatures. Acrylic sealants grades have been designed. These ones allow to repair steam lines without its disconnection. Irina Tulkina, Head of the group of polymerization department, told about acrylic adhesives for floor coverings. Eugenia Fomina, scientist of organization, represented report about amide derivatives of dimerized fatty acids, polyamide adhesives-melts, which are obtained from natural raw materials (tall and soybean oil). These niche products are used in radio electronics, instrumentation and other special application fields. According to reporters, glues, designed by Institute, are cheaper at least 33% than imported analogs.
The question of competitive advantages of domestic glue products caused heated debate. The participants agreed there is deficit of quality raw materials for adhesives base in Russia and many components are purchased abroad. However, domestic production is cheaper than foreign as own developments are used in the formula. The representatives of significant Russian player Group Homa told about their point of view on industry development and recipes for survival on the market. In contrast to NII Polymerov company focuses not on niche, but on mass demand by woodworking, furniture industry and producers of packaging. Company has two scientific research centers in Dzerzhinsk and Scherbinka, produces glues for gluing solid wood, facing, upholstered furniture, flooring and finishing of walls and ceilings. According to Gennady Dvoretskov, chief of scientific research center of company, universal glues don`t exist. Every appointment requires definite composition and that`s why the company production range is rather wide. Homa competes with import successfully, as according to company`s representatives, import glues, having a higher cost, often don`t meet required characteristics and consumers don`t want to pay for the label. At the same time, Homa purchase actively import raw materials, which accounts to 30%, and produces glues and melts for profiles in Italy on outsource base. Domestic raw materials are cheaper than import, but isn`t stable in quality, that`s why even Henkel purchases above 50 % of raw materials abroad for its own plant.
Western companies` officers told about work experience in the Russian market. Pavel Mendelev, development manager of Bostik Group said: "I doubt that the Russian glues and adhesives market is developing as required by new requirements and innovations especially taking into consideration annual raise in quality standards. He feels that all market participants are confident with the current situation when on industrial glues market one company dominates. Domestic suppliers, offering much cheaper product, follow it. Bostik offers glues for hygiene products, automotive, aviation industry, shoes industry, glass production and other industries and applications, however, in Russia it sells only adhesives for flexible food packaging and starts sales of furniture glues. Production localization in Russia is in company interests, however, according to Mr. Mendelev, there is no quality starch for wallpaper glues. Nikolay Kechaev, CEO of German Jowat`s Moscow Office told that company prepared for own plant construction in Nizhny Novgorod region for few years. That plant would produce furniture PVA glue; however, company couldn`t find acceptable raw materials and shut the project down and built new plant in Malaysia, but not in Russia. However, Alexander Reznichenko, chairman of the board of Group Homa suggested that Jowat`s and other companies` production localization doesn`t occur because of lack of demand from furniture producers to expensive and quality glues and not due to problems with quality raw materials. Example of Henlel is an exception, as German company sells actively traditional brand of glues "Moment" in Russia in addition to early arrival on the market and loyalty of customers who are not sensitive to the price. Besides, to market participants observing, company was suggested to remove components from the adhesive formulation which made the adhesive to be used not for its intended purpose. However, it could reduce sales by a third and that`s why structure is old in spite of reputational risks.
There is a demand on expensive PVA glue grades in Russia, however, it comes not from the furniture industry. Vyacheslav Rumyantsev, head of printing machines department of NII Poligrafmash told about glues usage in printing industry. According to him, replacement of clips by glue in printed production allows increased lines performance and easier processing of wastepaper. However, in general, bonding is used for small glossy brochure, which requires special PVA glue, not produced in Russia.
To participants view, the one of the domestic and world glues industry main problems is fragmentation of the market, which is a result of technological and organizational reasons. In terms of technology, every company works in narrow market segment and glues, used in automotive, will not be used in furniture production. Due to fragmentation of the market majority of participants are not specialized companies and diversified chemical holdings, each of which glues launch is one of dozens of activities.
There were delegates of several rubber companies at the Conference. They presented their own developments. Feodor Sbrodov, Sales manager of Lanxess in CIS presented additives for two-component solvent-based polyurethane adhesives produced by company. According to reporter, shelf-life glues properties is increased in three times at the expense of special carbodiimide additives. German Polsman, CEO of Elad-Hermes told in his report about special rubber glues. They are used in military aviation industry; technology and quality control standards applicable for them are so stringent that they could be applied to civil production too. The best glues of such type are produced on the base of polychloroprene. Rubbers with plastisizers, which are used, for example, in gumming pickling baths for steel plants, require special glues. Svetlana Kotova, the Senior specialist of Sibur, presented the audience market review of glues based on nitrile rubber, which don`t inferior to chloroprene and are significantly cheaper. Copper chelate and PVC inject in glues for strength increasing, improve adhesion and reduce the temperature of curing. Petrochemical holding conducts researches in this area together with MITHT. Galina Michailova, CFL Head of the Kazan Synthetic Rubber Plant told about silicone glues for automotive industry and installation of plastic windows; plant products for the impregnation of industrial fabrics and footwear.