Flexible Packaging sat down with John Norder of Rohm & Haas to get his thoughts on the current coatings/adhesives market and what innovations may be on the horizon.
Q: What has made Rohm & Haas such a successful
supplier of coating and adhesives technology?
A: We have always
considered ourselves a part of the industries we serve, not just as a
supplier of materials. With this focus on the industry and our customers,
we have been able to really focus on creating solutions that will move
packaging forward. Our goal is to be the first in bringing new adhesive and
coating technology to the marketplace. This innovative focus has led to a
product line of adhesives and coatings for packaging that provides a broad
range of differentiated performance.
Q: How are Rohm & Haas’ equipment and
services different than others in the industry?
A: What stands out
as being a unique offering from Rohm and Haas is having the “total
package” to quickly solve any adhesive problem or opportunity. First,
we have superior technical expertise in our field technical service team
where each individual has more than 20 years of industry experience working
one-to-one with packaging converters. Next, we have the ability to trial
new adhesives and materials in-house at our midwest pilot coating facility
where we can simulate any converting process, including high speed, full
production scale solventless laminating. Finally, our analytical
capabilities are state-of-the-art. Having experts armed with pilot line and
analytical capabilities is what sets Rohm and Haas apart.
Q: What flexible packaging materials or circumstances
cause specific difficulties with regard to adhesives? How are those
A: As the industry
moves to reduce packaging costs, there is a trend to reduce packaging
materials by using thinner films, reducing adhesive coating weights or
eliminating a layer in the total package altogether. All of these provide
significant technical challenges for adhesive performance that can be met
with higher performance adhesives or by working directly with a converter
to select the right product and/or adjust their process to handle these new
Q: Has the pendulum of the flexible packaging
industry swung toward solventless adhesives, or do solvent-based adhesives
still play a major role in the market?
A: We are
certainly seeing stronger growth in solventless adhesives and expect this
to continue as converters seek to lower their solvent usage and increase
line speeds. However, solvent-based adhesives still play a prominent role
and will continue to do so, particularly in more demanding applications. As
a supplier of both technologies, we strive to provide the best range of
performance in adhesives regardless of whether it is solvent-based or
solventless. To that end, we have expanded our solventless product line to
cover high performance areas such as hot-fill and retort. These advances in
solventless technology will further fuel the growth.
Q: What are the newest
and most significant advancements in the adhesives industry that are
currently being used?
A: One of
the most significant recent advancements in the adhesives industry is the
emergence of high performance water-based technology for laminating
adhesives. New water-based adhesives offer converters who want to reduce
their solvent usage without investing in new equipment an opportunity to
make a change without sacrificing overall adhesive performance.
Q: What breakthroughs or advancements lie in the
near future for the coating/adhesives market?
A: The next real
advancement in adhesives will involve curing technology. There is a real
need for faster cure, particularly for solventless adhesives. The next new
product we will be introducing will be a fast cure solventless adhesive
that can meet hot-fill requirements. This product cures at room temperature
in about three days or 50 percent faster than typical systems, and can
allow for same-day second pass. It can give converters a significant
productivity advantage and the ability to simplify their operation.
Sticking To It
February 14, 2008