The GlueTalk Blog

H.B. Fuller product manager at a tradeshow.

Challenging the Industry Standard with High Quality Woodworking Products

Posted 11/16/2016 by Clint Zhang, Marketing Manager, Durable Assembly China & Korea

Sean Kong is the Sales Manager at the H.B. Fuller location in Guangzhou, China. He and his team realized that water-based adhesives were not meeting customer expectations in setting time and product quality, and they knew that the woodworking industry was eager to access new alternatives. Recognizing this need in the market, they set out to provide a solution that had shorter setting times (current manufacturers have setting times that average 4-6 hours with water-based adhesives), offer weather resistant adhesion, and enable greater efficiencies in product lines.

In the traditional paper honeycomb panel process, there is low production efficiency and product quality. It is equally more difficult to improve it by using water-based glue as it has a long setting time. Knowing this, the team saw a great opportunity to improve the water-based process in paper honeycomb panels in two ways. First, the adhesive needed to have a shorter setting time and better adhesion brought about by the inclusion of weather resistance properties. Second, the production efficiency process itself needed to be improved upon, including the use of an automatic production line.

Not only was this initiative geared towards creating a valuable solution for the industry, but a byproduct was that it would furthermore position H.B. Fuller as innovative and a competitor in the market.

Product Quality Up, Costs Down

At the onset of the project, Sean worked with his manager, Tony Wu, who oversees the Durable Assembly teams in China. Together, they brainstormed a solution and decided upon the hot melt moisture cure (HMMC) product for the application. According to Sean, “In the beginning our HMMC product was not suitable for the process, but we made a few modifications that corrected the problem. We also worked with a team of equipment manufacturers to create a new automatic production line for the application.”

By utilizing the polyurethane (PUR) hot melt, which is strong, durable, and ideal for a variety of applications, now both the HMMC product and the automatic production line trials are hugely successful. The team is currently working to promote the solution to the market in China, and already customer feedback has been incredibly positive. Not only is it helping to solve their production efficiency and product quality problems, but it also provides cost-savings value as they are enabled to earn more when efficiency is high.

Delivering on Demands

According to Sean, ”Both the solution and the business model are new. Once we’ve convinced a customer to change his or her process and purchase the automatic machine, they are able to fully realize the benefits. Getting to that point, however, can be challenging as it is a huge investment on their part, which is why we work so diligently to show them the product in action.”

The HMMC solution inspires confidence in H.B. Fuller customers about its products. In creating a new solution to paper honeycomb panels, the global adhesives manufacturer has helped deliver on the demands of the industry. Additionally, the HMMC wood adhesive furthermore solves the problem of water waste, ultimately aiding in H.B. Fuller’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Follow the hashtag #IAMConnectingWhatMatters on Twitter to see more H.B. Fuller success stories. Contact H.B. Fuller today to discover more about our employee projects as well as job opportunities today.

Paper Honeycomb Lean Process Infographic


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