Chemique Adhesives and Sealants Ltd

Chemique Adhesives and Sealants Ltd are a Made in the Midlands Silver Member

LATEST CASE STUDY: Solfre2 adhesive boosts production for UK's leading motorhome manufacturer

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Adhesives expert Chemique Adhesives has worked closely with Auto-Trail, the UK’s leading motorhome manufacturer, for more than a decade. Over this time, Chemique’s innovative products have helped Auto-Trail to continually increase its productivity, achieving a 20% improvement in the last two years alone.

Located in Grimsby, Auto-Trail produces an exquisite range of motorhomes, which includes models to suit all lifestyles and budgets. The company first approached Chemique Adhesives in 2006, asking for a solution that would help to increase manufacturing speed and reduce the curing time required for the adhesives used when bonding internal and external walls and floor panels. At the time, Auto-Trail was using single-component polyurethane adhesives but was finding that its long curing time created a production bottleneck.

“Auto-Trail needed a fast yet dependable method for bonding floors, sides and roof panels for use in their motorhomes”, recalls Justin Clark, Business Development Manager at Chemique Adhesives. “After carefully reviewing the company’s requirements, we suggested our Solfre2 product. This is a two-component solvent-free adhesive that not only has a short cure time, but also eliminates the use of water misting during the bonding process.”

An excellent alternative to epoxies, one-part polyurethanes, solvented adhesives and hot melts, Solfre 2 can be used to bond a wide variety of substrates including metal, plastic, wood and foam. It offers excellent chemical and moisture resistance, and it can be applied either manually or automatically by rolling, beading or spraying, complementing a wide variety of production methods and requirements. For its application, Auto-Trail chose a spray line, and a few years later a beading one was also added.

The dispensing system, which was designed and installed by Chemique Adhesives, uses the adhesive very efficiently, greatly reducing the amount needed per panel, which has led to significant cost reductions over the years. The beaded press line eliminates the need for extraction fans since it is working with a solvent-free product, thereby saving energy and further reducing costs.

Since the adoption of the system by Auto-Trail, Chemique Adhesives has continued to enhance the formula of the adhesive, giving even shorter curing times that pave the way for even more productivity gains. “Thanks to the improvements made possible by Chemique Adhesives, we managed to increase output by 20% last year, which is an extraordinary gain,” enthused Carl Bristow Production Director at Auto-Trail, “and this season we’re looking at increasing our productivity across our brands by some 24%. These productivity gains are a direct result of being able to produce bonded panels in just 12 minutes, compared to the 20 minutes it took before we started using the new products and equipment.”

Impressed with the huge turnaround improvement, Auto-Trail is now working with Chemique Adhesives to look at moving from polystyrene panels to Styrofoam, a higher density material. Trials are currently underway to support this product improvement.

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“We’re very pleased with the equipment from Chemique Adhesives and also with the way the company has helped us to look after them. They have operated faultlessly ever since we’ve had them,” explained Carl Bristow. “We have a great working relationship with the Chemique Adhesives team; we are currently collaborating on some ambitious projects that will further improve production and, ultimately, our motorhomes. We feel confident about the future and we look forward to collaborating with our friends at Chemique Adhesives for many years to come!”

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