Enhancing the performance of adhesive
Source：Plastics News Asia
Date Published：11/14/2017 04:11:31 PM
To meet the challenges in the footwear sector, GRECO offers high-performance shoe adhesive
Footwear manufacturing is one of the sectors that still relies on intensive labor during the production processes as there are technical barriers that shoe-making machines are yet to overcome. Challenges also emerge as fierce competitions push companies to outsource productions to low cost wages regions globally. These characteristics in the footwear industry raised questions inevitably now witnessing technological breakthroughs and public awareness of workers’ right. The nature of footwear industry is at present undergoing fundamental changes. Apart from the improvement in workplace practices and regulation wise that ensure the workers welfare, there are equally urgent tasks for manufacturers and suppliers to target on refining the technology, constructing new formula of raw material components, in turn to reform the style of production from the upstream.
In order to acquire a greater picture of the reforms, one needs only to get the insights of GRECO (Great Eastern Resins Industrial Co. Ltd), a company that is known for being one of the first shoe adhesive manufacturers in Taiwan. Apart from its signature product – adhesive - GRECO has diversified its product lines and positioned itself as the supplier of TPU resins, dry film photoresist, and special chemicals. In adhesive, 90% sales of GRECO’s adhesive are sold to the footwear industry, and 10% used as bonding medium. Over 60 years since its establishment, GRECO has become the supplier of top footwear brands (Nike, Adidas, Clarks, Columbia, H&M etc. just to name a few). Having tight cooperation with footwear giants, the company therefore stays at the forefront of shoe manufacturing, sensitive of all major and subtle changes in trends or technology.
“As an adhesive provider, there are three main objectives at present regarding the reforms in the footwear sector,” said Mr. Ken Ho, GRECO Business Director. “The first is to continue developing water-based product package, secondly to introduce adhesive that is suitable for automatic production line, and thirdly to focus on energy saving and simplify shoe making process. These three goals highlight the trend of future shoe making adhesives development.”
GRECO’s water-based adhesive has already undergone research and development for over 20 years. The 6263S is a water-based UV primer, 65-70% of the item is composed by H2O with low organic solvent content (less than 25%) which is safer and more environmentally friendly. 6263S can be applied in spraying machine, and for CMP, IP, IU, traditional phylon and die-cut EVA surface treatment.
The second target is on exploring broader possibilities for automation to facilitate efficient footwear manufacturing. It is designed to improve the semi-automatic condition, and move on to construct a fully automatic production line. For GRECO, it is thus a priority to ensure maximum performance for machine-use-adhesive. The latest product is GE01H, a single component water based PU adhesive for spray application. GE01H is applicable in assembling of rubber, PU foam, EVA, leather, synthetic leather and fabric, etc. The benefit is that it does not yellow, and eliminates glue clot on rubber soles. By radically enhancing the performance of raw materials, manpower, extra resource and energy waste are simultaneously reduced, which runs in line with the concept of Industry 4.0.
Finally, the recent innovations have a common goal to achieve – that is to simplify the production processes. “For the footwear manufacturing sector, the factories of top shoe brands are all subjected to reconstruct production processes, equipment and raw materials in order to fulfill the requirements of automation,” Mr. Ho emphasized. “Automation implies a number of alternations from the raw material provider. We have thus formulated different options of adhesives to make them adjustable in machine and spray applications.” GE01H successfully eliminates the need of adding additional hardener. With narrow viscosity range and double filtration, GE01H demonstrates better cementing performance via automatic spray.
Once heavily relied on labor force, the footwear industry is trying to merge advanced manufacturing into the sector. More discussions will be on exploring adhesives with suitable properties to fit in the production line, without neglecting the delicacy of craftsmanship. These innovations from GRECO are constantly introduced into top shoe brands’ Asian factories; furthermore, GRECO will continue to explore market opportunities by setting up the distribution channels in central China (Sichuan, Guangxi), Southeast Asia, central Java and Southern India. Paving the way for a more sustainable footwear sector socially and environmentally, GRECO, like many other R&D driven companies provided the traditionally labor-intense footwear sector a completely new face.
For more information, visit: www.greco.com.tw/en/products.
Showroom: Great Eastern Resins Industrial Co. Ltd (GRECO)