Q Given the gamut of Electrolube’s portfolio, what are your key offerings that have seen major traction in the Indian market?
We certainly have an extensive portfolio of electro-chemicals across our 6 core product groups, which consist of thermal management solutions, encapsulation resins, conformal coatings, service/ maintenance aids, cleaning solutions and contact lubricants. However, our key offerings would undoubtedly be our thermal management materials, encapsulation resins and conformal coatings, due tothe huge demand from LED manufacturers in India. The LED industry in India is extremely buoyant and demand for our products is booming. It has played a key part in the dynamic growth of Electrolube. EV/Automotive, industrial, consumer and mobile electronics are also thriving industries for Electrolube. We are seeing overwhelming demand for our EV/automotive products in Europe, where we are literally under the bonnet of all major car manufacturers, and the market in India is following suit. We are already working on some interesting EV projects in India and this is an area where we foresee tremendous growth.
As a company, we thrive on challenges and providing solutions, which we are capable of providing across every area of the design and production processes. This, in turn, also saves our customers a lot of time in sourcing different suppliers. Some customer application issues may be resolved with an off-the-shelf product, and other applications may require a more bespoke solution. Our driving force is to resolve the issue by any means necessary, and with our vast product range, R&D resource and global network, we are really gaining a huge share of the Indian market.
Electrolube India has just actually celebrated the fourth anniversary of its’ manufacturing site in Bangalore and this has coincided with the brand’s success at the popular annual Electronics Maker ceremony. Electrolube has been awarded a Best of Industry Manufacturing Award for Conformal Coatings for the fifth year in succession. Electrolube was also awarded the accolade of Best Electronics Manufacturer for their overall contribution to the industry.
Q How has Electrolube been positioning itself to foster its R&D strength in India?
Electrolube has positioned itself globally as a complete solutions provider in all areas of electro-chemical manufacturing.
We have been established in India for 7 years now and have made a significant investment in a state-of-theart manufacturing facility in Bangalore, located near the major electronics manufacturing hubs of Southern India. Having a local presence has put us in a very strong position to collaborate with customers and provide electronics protection solutions to customers quickly and cost effectively.
Our R&D team is highly experienced, innovative and resourceful. We have specifically developed new resin and thermal management products to meet the demands of the Indian market, using locally sourced materials so that we can offer products at highly competitive prices. Our new products for LED manufacturers also have the endorsement of Electrolube’s UK R&D team and have proven to be so effective that they have been adopted into many additional territories. You simply cannot beat local knowledge, and this is an area we have developed intensively in India with tremendous response from customers.
Q Electrolube’s growth in India has been phenomenal, what have been the main factors behind this success?
The key element of our success is our ability to work closely with our customers and put them first. We’re not just about volume; we are fully committed to research and development, remaining true to the company’s heritage of making products that really add value for the customer. Innovation, collaboration and finding a complete solution are absolutely central to everything we do. With collaboration, we come to understand our customer’s issues better and we can then find the best way to solve these problems. We have been serving the electronics industry for nearly 80 years and have acquired significant expertise, knowledge and contacts, that all of our customers can really benefit from.
Electrolube India’s growth has been exceptional, accelerated by the clear local supply benefits and straightforward import process on material, which prevents delays for customers. Having a local presence in Bangalore has also enabled us to be very versatile and responsive to issues that customers need solutions for, even within a short time frame. We have been approached by new customers who arehaving problems with their existing non-Electrolube products, and we have delivered a fully effective solution within as little as 24 hours! A short timescale such as this could pose a complete nightmare for many companies, but our tight network of manufacturing and global supply gives us a really competitive edge with these types of projects. We can manufacture the products in Bangalore, or have a local distributor pick up the initial order to deliver a fast turnaround.
Developing bespoke products for the local market using locally sourced materials has also given us a huge competitive advantage. These products truly meet the specific requirements of Indian manufacturers at competitive prices.
Q What is Electrolube’s major focus for the Indian Market?
This is an interesting question as we have customers in almost every area of electronics manufacturing! We have never really had to change our focus as the broad opportunities and TAM (Total Addressable Market) have been continuously increasing due to the wide range of core products we offer. If we look at our performance in the LED and EV markets, however, these are areas where Electrolube is really thriving and we anticipate that there is going to be further exponential growth here for our products, particularly as we have been developing resins and thermal management materials specifically for LED and EV manufacturers.The LED market in India is a particularly successful area for us. We are bringing new resin and thermal management solutions to the market that increase performance and device lifetime, as environmentally friendly as possible and at low-cost, thanks to local sourcing of materials. We are also growing rapidly across EV/ automotive, consumer, industrial and mobile electronics. Our automotive/EV conformal coatings have received BMW approvals, and we will be focusing on this area even more intently next year.
Q Kindly underline the recent launches of Electrolube during ep India for Indian manufacturers?
We have introduced a vast amount of new products to the Indian market, leveraging both group technical support and key local knowledge. Our R&D team at Electrolube India identified local customers’ requirements and developed numerous, cost-effective new resins and thermal management products with higher specifications than existing products on the market. The new solutions also carry a full seal of approval from the UK parent company for quality and innovation, compliant with internationally recognised standards.
Some examples of our most recent innovations include 3 new epoxy resins, 3 speciality silicone resins and a highly thermally conductive PU resin. The new resins are more application specific for LED Lighting, Automotive Headlamps and even ECU/EFI (EFI-Electronic Fuel Injectors).
The first of the new encapsulation resins includes the black, two-part epoxy resin ER6001, which is ideally suited to a wide variety of applications within the electronics and automotive industries as well as for industrial controls. ER6001 has good chemical resistance, a wide operating temperature range, performing exceptionally at high temperatures. One of ER6001’s major applications in particular is for ferrite core transformed bonding and encapsulation.
The ER6002 is also a two-part, thermally conductive epoxy encapsulation resin that is ideal for LED drivers, SPDs (Surge Protection Devices) and for automotive applications, such as ignition control unit potting. Developed as a strong competitor to existing locally manufactured, low-cost epoxy potting resins, ER6002 is a beige coloured, low viscosity (10,000cps) resin with good flowability and an exceptionally high thermal conductivity of 1W/mK. Mixed in a ratio of 9:1, the cured resin achieves a Shore D hardness of 50.
The new, repairable ER6007 epoxy potting and encapsulating resin is a two-part system, designed for the protection of electronic devices and is ideal for LED drivers, SMPS and Solar Charge Controller encapsulation. With a simple 1:1 mix ratio for ease of processing, the ER6007 has excellent high temperature properties, suitable for use in applications where the operating temperature will be up to 180°C, as well as good flow characteristics to allow the potting of difficult and complex geometries.
New silicone resins include the SC4010 flexible resin system. SC4010 is a low viscosity, fast curing, two-part silicone potting and encapsulating resin, which has been primarily developed for the protection of LED drivers but its properties make it suitable for a wide range of applications, such as LED Luminaire side encapsulation and also ECU encapsulation, with its fast RT cure. SC4010 has excellent high temperature properties, ideal for use in applications where the operating temperature may rise to 200°C while its flexibility allows for temperature cycling.
SC4003FD is a flexible, fast RT curing thixotropic silicone potting and encapsulating resin, which has been specially designed for the Indian market. SC4003FD is suitable for a wide range of electronic applications, especially LED drivers. With a wide operating temperature range (-60°C to +200°C) and good high temperature performance, SC4003FD provides excellent moisture resistance and good flow characteristics.
SC4004 is a low cost, two-part, thermally conductive, addition cure silicone resin. The advantage of an addition cure silicone is that reaction by-products are not released so the product can safely cure in a closed environment. Low viscosity (12,000cps) SC4004 is mixed in a ratio of 1:1 and attains a Shore A hardness of 70 when fully cured. The thermal performance is excellent for a silicone in this products’ price range; in addition, the product features a wide operating temperature range (with excellent stability at high temperatures), good tolerance of thermal shock cycling and a high thermal conductivity of 1.1W/m K.
Q What are the current challenges you face as a company in this fast paced industry?
Perhaps the biggest challenges for us have come from the very wide and varied mix of projects that we are approached to find solutions for. Every customer has different project requirements, sometimes these requirements are absolutely unique and require us to research and develop a bespoke solution, often within a very short timescale. However, this is an area where Electrolube thrives. Being a chemical solutions provider with a vast portfolio, we are in a very strong position to provide a full service to our customers throughout the entire production process.
In the automotive industry, balancing the requirements of environmental suitability, manufacturing acceptability and end-product reliability continues to be the main challenge for electronics protection consumables but we have introduced new conformal coatings to help customers address all of these issues simultaneously.
With regard to challenges faced by LED manufacturers, heat dissipation is always an issue, however, LED applications are becoming increasingly more diverse; design requirements and location or the function of the product are all challenges that face LED designers. Electrolube provides thermal management and encapsulation solutions that not only increase performance but also ensures reliability throughout the lifetime of the device. We also provide products that can be incorporated into the design of the product for cosmetic reasons as well as helping to provide key functional improvements such as increased efficiency and reduced energy consumption.
Q Electronic chemicals market is projected to reach about $ 29.96 billion by 2024, what will be the key trends and drivers behind this gushing growth?
Electro-chemicals are widely regarded as key enablers for other sectors from electronics and automotive to food production and mobile devices. With such a vast presence, the electro-chemicals market is set for vigorous growth both in terms of revenue and applications over the forthcoming years. The key drivers behind this exponential growth, from our point of view, will certainly arise from the EV/Automotive industry, which utilizes a broad range of our specialty chemical products in the form of conformal coatings, resins, thermal management materials and contact lubricants. The expanding automotive industry coupled with the growing demand for electric vehicles will also bring a huge set of opportunities for the market space, and as automotive electronics assemblies become smaller, more complex and are required to perform in harsher, more crowded conditions, manufacturers in this buoyant sector are increasingly turning to Electrolube for reliable circuit protection solutions and applications support.
The global LED industry will also be a key factor in driving growth. The industry is booming worldwide as individuals, companies and governments switch to these more efficient, eco-friendly lighting solutions. Electrolube has been at the forefront of this boom from the outset, supplying specialist solutions to the world’s best known LED manufacturers. Electrolube materials work to protect components, dissipate heat and prolong the life of LED units and their associated components such as drivers. There is enormous scope in the LED market as the applications for LEDs become increasingly more diverse and not just restricted to automotive, street lighting and residential lighting but also architectural smart lighting, human centric lighting, horticultural, agricultural and fishing lighting.Electrolube has become a well-respected global supplier of electrochemicals, providing technical support and guidance on material choices to designers and manufacturers across a wide range of industries, applications and environments, and the future is looking extremely positive.
Q Lately, Electrolube concluded its maiden Technology Day in India, what did you take back from this oneof-a-kind event?
It was extraordinary, to be honest. It was the first time that we have hosted a Technology Day in India and the response truly exceeded all of our expectations, attracting in excess of 100 senior decision makers from leading Indian electronics manufacturing companies. The Technology Day was a great platform to engage with local manufacturers, to listen to their application requirements and enabled manufacturers to discover effective new ways of improving reliability and performance through electronics protection solutions from Electrolube’s core product groups. Since hosting the event, many of the delegates have been in touch with Electrolube India’s team for technical support and site visits. It was extremely successful and we will be looking to do more Technology Days in the future.
Q What is your outlook for the electronics industry in India?
India is set to become one of the world ’ sprime electronics manufacturing regions. Both export and local markets are booming and demand for specialised services and products in the LED, EV, mobile technology and consumer/industrial electronics sectors, such as those provided by Electrolube, are growing rapidly. Demand for our products is so strong that Electrolube’s growth in turnover is set to propel up to a staggering 91% this year, following a 40% increase across 2017-2018.
Our local manufacturing operation continues to thrive in this market and our award-winning products are in widespread use among the major Indian OEMs.
We are responsive to the Indian Government’s aims to promote a strong home-based manufacturing sector that is able to satisfy local supply chains and provide reliable and timely delivery. Consequently, we will continue to grow and support the local markets we serve and increase customer assurance in our capacity to be an innovative, consistent and reliable supplier of electro-chemicals.