Pune Innovation Center

With an aim to customize existing products; solve some of industries’ biggest design, efficiency and reliability challenges; and develop innovations based on strong global consumer insights combined with a deep knowledge of specific local needs, Henkel India set up an innovation center at Pune, Maharashtra in October 2013. Admeasuring about 27,000 square feet, Henkel Innovation Center has helped improve our customers’ processes and bring in savings.

Located in one of the largest automotive and industrial hubs of the country, Pune, the innovation center, the company's first research lab in India and the largest in the IMEA (India, Middle East, Africa) region, caters to over 800 industrial OEMs, which directly benefit from it. The center has enabled us to get the entire breadth of Henkel's products under a single roof; thereby, reducing the time taken to design new prototypes and scale up new applications.

Local solutions

One of the products developed by the center is Loctite PC 7000, a high temperature abrasion resistant, which is used for protecting components against abrasion up to 1100°C. In power plants coal has to be fired into a boiler, which boils the water and generates steam. The steam that is generated moves the turbine and generates electricity. When coal is fired at an approximate speed of 100 tons per hour, since it is very abrasive, it eats into the nozzle that it is fired through. These nozzles are typically one meter by one meter and made of stainless steel but within 3-4 months they start losing their profile and start eroding. Though it is not an infinite coating, when Loctite PC 7000 is applied to the nozzles, it protects the original steel surface from damage and helps the power plant to extend the life of the nozzle up to 2 times. Moreover, as the nozzle wears out due to the coal eating the tip, not all the coal is shot into the boiler effectively, which reduces boiler efficiency and increases coal waste costs. The Loctite PC 7000 coating maintains the original profile of the nozzle and prevents wastage of coal. In addition, the coating protects the nozzle for a longer period of time, as compared to an unprotected nozzle, so maintenance shutdowns don’t have to be taken every 3 months. The success of this product has helped it find application in mining and other industries too.

Another product developed at the center is Aquence CD 381 (IN), a water based interior lamination adhesive for bonding foam type substrates. Foams are used in seating areas, hand rests, headliner areas and felt bonding in the interior of an automobile. It also finds application in wood bonding, wood to carpet bonding and foam to felt bonding. Solvent based lamination adhesives that are currently available in the market contribute to the VOC (volatile organic component); and thus are not eco-friendly. Furthermore, solvent based products take longer time to develop green strength. In contrast, Aquence CD 381 (IN) provides quick bonding at room temperature (3 to 5 Seconds), excellent green strength and good heat resistance. This newly developed product is a one-part water based spray adhesive, which is applied on substrates by spray gun. It can be applied either on a single substrate or both substrates, and pressed by hand thereafter. The bonded substrate attains its full strength after complete removal of water (4 to 5 hrs. at 25 °C). It is noteworthy that Aquence CD 381 (IN) does not form a hard film between the two bonded foams; and thus, maintains the compressibility of foam. This is a unique feature of the product. This product is one of the many Henkel products which strive to meet our sustainability objective.