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After a year of unmatched proportions, the world is slowly settling down post pandemic. While the future is still somewhat veiled by the shroud of Covid-19, pockets of light are piercing through. The global pandemic was especially harsh on the manufacturing sector where lengthy shutdowns and travel restrictions caused factory activities to shrink drastically. Thrown into a new and disruptive environment, manufacturers have had to react quickly and embark on a new but steep learning curve on how to do things a little differently during this crisis.
While Asian economies were already one of the most technologically advanced in the world pre-pandemic, remote work was still an unthought of situation in the factory setting previously. Covid-19 has caused a reversal of expectations in this area. Rather than concede defeat, many manufacturers are instead seeing this as an opportunity for value creation in the industry.
Manufacturers are increasingly looking toward contactless processes in efforts to reduce person-to-person interactions in handling equipment and the overall production process. Adoption of digital technologies is increasingly becoming more sought after with its feature of remote workers in the wake of the pandemic. In the digitalisation of production processes, industry players have found that the benefits are far surpassing their expectations. Other than the expected value of safety and reducing physical risk, manufacturers have found that they have been able to maintain and even increase efficiency and proficiency as they dove into these new and innovative production processes. While initial apprehensions were valid, the value that the digitalization of the production process brings is becoming increasingly evident and we are seeing more and more players jumping on the digital bandwagon.
Leading the charge are economies which were already dipping into the digitalization pool, such as China and Korea. These two powerhouses had already laid the groundwork for the digitalisation of their manufacturing processes even pre pandemic and are now striding swiftly forward to transform their economies towards a more digital and green economy.
Take South Korea with its “untact” or no contact economy which has been one of the more dynamic nations that has been agile in adapting to the new normal post pandemic. They have readily adopted new manufacturing technologies and have the second-highest density of robots in the world per 10,000 employees. The expansion on ICT use throughout the economy is seeing a raise in productivity and the focus is now on strengthening the training of its workforce to quickly adapt itself to this new landscape. China’s embrace of new and emerging technologies in an effort to exponentially grow its industries has seen it sturdy in staving off challenges from new and emerging economies. This focus on innovative manufacturing has seen the country’s industry bounce back more rapidly than most other players.
The rest of Asia is not far behind. Singapore is proactively pursuing automation, second only to Korea in its concentration of robots and is wooing SMEs with its Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative to help implement digital use cases and redesign jobs. Industry players in Southeast Asia have also recognised the fact that heightened digital capabilities is akin to enhanced revenue growth, with an estimated GDP growth by one percent in Malaysia while technology transformations could add $2.8 trillion to Indonesia’s economy by 2040.
The incorporation of emerging technologies and the digitalisation of manufacturing processes are not only driving industry recovery forward but also placing these economies in the enviable situation of addressing climate issues and moving their economies towards a green recovery. While we can expect that this will be a protracted journey as these economies try to find stable footing after the pandemic, measures that they are taking is leading them slowly but surely towards a greener future. Automation and smart factories play critical roles in green recovery measures and safeguard a sustainable recovery for these economies — with assurances of higher levels of employment, and better financial and economic returns – a motivator for these economies looking to march forward with these measures.
And it is in this climate of innovation and sustainability that Bostik hopes to play a collaborative and supporting role. Bostik’s adhesive formulation are specifically formulated for automated dispensing equipment on fast production line speeds. These smart adhesives not only reduce equipment issues and downtime but also efficiently decrease wastage.
In its efforts to provide practical support to its manufacturing partners, Bostik is also continuously innovating its products. An example of this is its research into new gasketing technologies. Cure-in-Place Gaskets (CIPGs) in particular are specifically developed to replace traditional gaskets in production processes and accommodate modern demands. The technology features high efficiency and precision, designed to be dispensed by robots on smart production lines that assemble gadgets and devices that grow smaller and more complex. Given the importance of this new technology, Bostik developed a range of high-durability CIPG solutions under the Bostik Born2Bond™ brand. The special line focuses on 'by-the-dot’ bonding and gasketing applications required in the development of new-day consumer electronics and automotive. The innovations feature a value proposition that fits the industrial tendency of high efficiency, automated processes, odd-shape designs, smaller sizes, light-in-weight, less waste, and water/dust proofing. Bostik’s solutions also present excellent elasticity and proper dispensability, along with exceptional product quality, durability, and strength, elements which definitely appeal to today’s environment-conscious industry players.