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Anticipating Labelexpo Europe 2009, Dow Global Vice President Describes PSA Business as a Powerhouse

Published on 2009-09-22. Author : SpecialChem

PHILADELPHIA -- With the recent acquisition of Rohm and Haas, The Dow Chemical Company's Adhesives and Functional Polymers business is a powerful resource for pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) customers confronting challenges like specialization, consolidation, fierce competition and a slow economy, says Patrice Barthelmes, Dow's global vice president. "Two world-class forces have come together to provide unbeatable innovation and service for companies producing paper and filmic labels, graphics, specialty tapes and protective films," Barthelmes says. Barthelmes spoke about Dow's PSA business on the eve of the Labelexpo Europe 2009 event in Brussels, September 23-26, emphasizing that the Company's commitment, investment and global presence are critical to Labelexpo attendees.

According to Barthelmes, Dow's PSA research and development is robust, matching superb research tools with applications know-how and a deep understanding of a customer's business. "Our high throughput research model employs robotics to precisely test multiple variables simultaneously," he explains, "For instance, we can test water-resistance on an aqueous PSA formulation and evaluate 10 tackifiers simultaneously. It also removes variability from testing parameters such as peel that have traditionally been more subjective." Innovation is absolutely essential to PSA customers participating in arenas like flexible packaging, which has options such as direct printing instead of labels, Barthelmes points out. "The flexpack industry has been among the first to try newer label technologies and Dow is in a position to help label makers seize these new opportunities as they arise."

Dow is also collaborating with its label and tape customers to help navigate increasingly dynamic business conditions. "Competition, consolidation and smaller order sizes continue to squeeze margins in these industries, while pressure for faster delivery, tighter deadlines, smaller runs and specialized products ramps up," Barthelmes observes. In response, Dow has introduced several new cost-efficient products that help manage costs in general purpose paper applications, and several that suit specialty applications like film labels. Additionally, the company continues to innovate with curtain-coated PSAs - a technique Dow pioneered that improves production efficiency. "We're also customizing products for customers with specific needs such as battery, drum and beverage applications," says Barthelmes. "This flexibility allows them to offer more targeted solutions for niche markets and higher-margin customers."

Dow continues to build on its strong position as the world's leader in environmentally advanced acrylic water-based PSA chemistry. "Our customers tell us that sustainable solutions help them attract new business and retain current business," Barthelmes says, pointing out that Dow also offers a broad range of urethane, epoxy and polyolefin adhesives. "We're honing our aqueous offerings through routes such as increasing solids to reduce drying needs and exploring PSAs that facilitate container composting and recycling. Further, we're closing that ever narrowing gap between solvent-based and water-based performance."

Dow representatives also look forward to greeting customers, converters and co-suppliers at the upcoming Labelexpo. "PSAs remain a preferred technology with lots of room for growth," Barthelmes concludes. "We can achieve communal goals by working together, producing labels and tapes that are innovative, functional, timely and affordable."

About Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers

Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers is a portfolio of three businesses - Packaging and Converting, Tape Labels and Textiles and Industrial Functional Polymers - primarily made of sticking and bonding solutions, serving the flexible packaging business, adhesive tapes and paper labels, and a mixed range of applications including auto, imaging & leather. Together these businesses offer an integrated technology platform with formulation capabilities and a capacity to serve tailored needs globally.

A business group within Dow's Advanced Material Division, Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers generates $1B of revenue while operating a network of over 40 Technical, R&D and Manufacturing sites to serve local customer needs globally.

About Dow

With sales of $58 billion in 2008 and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. On April 1, 2009, Dow acquired Rohm and Haas Company, a global specialty materials company with sales of $10 billion in 2008 and 15,000 employees worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

Source: Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers


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