Andreas Kanz

Andreas Kanz, Business Development Manager, and Kawaljeet Bumbrah, Manager-Technical service, India from Adhesives Technologies, Henkel, spoke to Wood & Panel about their presence in India, their expectations, thoughts on bio based materials and lot more during IndiaWood. Read the conversation:


How would you sum up 2019?

Andreas Kanz: Well, the financial results are yet to be published so I cannot give you exact statistics but for the woodworking industry, 2019 was a successful year. We, of course, had a lot of challenges, but challenges can be positive too. This is because, whenever a new regulation comes up new innovations are required. And that is something we constantly do; bringing out new products; innovate for our customers in tandem with the regulations they have to face, wherever it is in the world.


How has been your presence here in India?

Kawaljeet Bumbrah: Indian market is a growing market. Traditionally Indian market is a water based market for the home made furniture but now slowly people here are moving towards a state of customised solutions. Furniture are made in the factory for the taste of the people. But now the taste of the people is changing. With the uprise of online retailers, they are changing the entire scenario of Indian furniture industry.


What are you showcasing in this edition of IndiaWood?

Kawaljeet Bumbrah: We are showing here hotmelt PUR adhesives. We are also educating our customers on a micro emission grade of hot melt PUR. Henkel has developed a product which is micro emission free. So these products are very safe products, and because of the presence of safe chemicals this has got no hazardous label.


Andreas Kanz: We invented this technology and launched it in the market already more than 15 years ago. Now that other companies are following us shows that we were on the right path.


If I may ask, what are your expectations from IndiaWood?

Andreas Kanz: I think first of all when you participate in an exhibition; it is a commitment to be a part of the industry. So we are part of the woodworking industry in India and also that we are manufacturing locally shows we are committed to the market. An exhibition is a marketplace where everybody meets each other – unfortunately this year, people are less from some countries because of the crisis and that some countries are not allowed to travel. We are not only here to meet our customers or potential customers but also here to interact with our partners and allied suppliers as they are machine manufacturers and manufacturers of materials, panels, edgebanding materials, laminates. We can exchange knowledge and understand what the need of the customers today and what best solution we can offer. Environmental aspect, cost efficiency, availability of raw materials, everything is important as all these impact our business. In our sector, normally our role is to bond two materials. However, these days, not only in Europe, but globally- as I also spoke to some Indian companies and our partner companies here in India, it’s also about Recycling, i.e what can you do after the life span of the product. They also ask about rebonding- how to separate things and we have the answers to that depending on the technology and how much glue is inside the product.


Another topic is bio- based materials. If you talk about water based adhesives, 50 percent is water, water is a natural but of course there is a lot of chemistry. Oil is also a natural raw material. Though it takes million of years to build up, it is a natural raw material. Instead of oil based, there might be starch based, they might be sugar based so then theoretically you could make a lot of polymers out of materials that is normally consumed by humans for eating. We don’t want to take away the food from the people therefore we have to find the right balance and therefore our products are very durable and our customers can use these for many decades. We can also help our customers when they are designing new products what happens at the end of the life cycle of the product as it is furniture or something, so in 2019 the biggest goals was in plans for recycling woods, separating it to the very small fibres and then recycle it into fresh raw material bringing back to the cycle. I think this idea is important that we think more on not when the product leaves the factory but one day when it comes back again and we see these questions are more and more.


What are your plans going forward in 2020?

Andreas Kanz: For us the biggest show in Europe is the LIGNA and as you know, that happens in every two year but this year we have also participated in the woodworking exhibitions not only in India, but when it comes to Europe we have been to other shows in Germany, we have been to France, we have planned to be in Fimma Maderalia and that has been postponed, we want to be at Holz Handwerk. We will be at Xylexpo in Italy.


And as I have said, it is our commitment that we should be a part of this exhibition as we are a member and part of this industry and yes of course at this stage with coronavirus a lot of people are not allowed to travel and are not allowed to enter a country so I was very happy to be here because I think it is also important that you are not afraid of the future that you have to face it.


How do you think that this health crisis will affect the global woodworking industry?

Andreas Kanz: Well, I think the good thing about our industry is that if you wish to buy products and if you can’t buy it in January you can still buy it in August. It will definitely be okay in sometime. But for companies on appliances, fittings for furniture and the supply whose parts come from China what will they do? They still have stock, still ships are arriving but what will happen in six weeks, when there’s no more ships coming because they are all in the harbor. So, that can be really bad for some companies. I hope this does not happen, I hope not.

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