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L.D. Davis Utilizes Ground Hard Cap

Posted on September 09, 2014 by Kelly Benjamin

The number one request we receive from customers is how to lower costs without impacting the superior quality and performance of their adhesives. Our lab took on this challenge and worked on an alternative to one of our most popular products.  The product NW139C is traditionally an amber color (see far left in photo) used by the rigid box industry for end products that vary from game board boxes to a perfume boxes.  By incorporating colored raw material we are able to save 6% and up off the glues per pound price that we pass directly to our customer.  That might not sound like a lot but for our average customer they can save more than $60,000 annually.
Colored Product We interviewed L.D. Davis’s Vice President of Technical, Mike Drewery, for
details on this innovation.
What causes the color Variation? Traditionally, we use a raw material called technical gelatin in our adhesive manufacturing.  Another source of gelatin is ground pharmaceutical capsule shells and is referred to as ground hard cap.  This is a recycled raw material that we have used in our formulation for over 40 years.  Our traditional products is made by using clear gelatin.  The new colored product uses the ground hard cap that is dyed a variety of colors, all being blended together randomly.  As a result when this material is processed a broad range of color can be obtained in the final adhesive.  We do the best we can to blend this feed stock and limit its color palette from a pinkish to light purplish hue.
Is there a difference in formula of the product? The ground hard cap is 100% gelatin, equivalent in all physical properties except color to standard technical gelatin.  The glues will perform and process the same way.  This is accomplished by offsetting technical gelatin with the exact level of hard cap required to maintain the same physical properties of the glue.  We have a 12 point quality control process to insure there is no difference between the traditional product and the colored product.
Do you have current customers now using this product? Do you have other protein products that can be changed to colored variations? We have numerous customers using colored versions of standard glues.  One customer uses the colored version in bookbinding for white bible covers. They were at first concerned with the bleed through on the white covers, but once we trialed, their concerns were gone. They are now saving 8% that has saved them $11,000 since they made the switch. The cost saving while keeping up the performance is a key advantage.  Almost all of our products can be formulated using a portion of recycled hard cap.
Why should I switch from the NW139C to NW139P? NW139P uses a recycled stream of ground hard cap as a key component.  It also sold as a lower price and is equivalent to NW139C in terms of performance.  All in all it is a “win-win” for everyone.
This all sounds too good to be true, why would customers hesitate on switching? Customers initially were concerned the color of the dried glue will impact the appearance of the top laminate or wrap over the chip board.  We have not seen this as an issue.  However, our lab would be more than happy to test your substrates to ensure you’re a good candidate for this alternative product.  If you are using thinner wraps, they should be tested over the colored glue to ensure there are no issues.
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