Since the early 1990s, monta Klebebandwerk has concentrated 100% on the production of natural rubber based adhesive systems on PVC, BOPP, MOPP and PET backing materials. The company operates three different coating lines.
With its newest state-of-the-art 1.83m-wide natural rubber coater, which is fully operational since 2006, monta has strengthened its position in the packaging market, especially in the area of natural rubber tapes and is keen to further secure it. The production capacity currently reaches approximately 200 million squared metres; per annum and can easily be adapted to even a significantly increased demand.
Among the three key adhesive technologies in the domain of packaging tapes, for example natural rubber, hot-melt and acrylic (water dispersion or acrylic solvent based), the natural rubber adhesive systems still play an important role. Natural rubber volumes remain at high level in a market dominated by hot-melt and acrylic adhesive tapes. During the last 15-20 years, investments have been made in hot-melt and acrylic coaters as the financial impact is much lower than for a natural rubber coating line. This has led to a significant over-production of hot-melt and acrylic packaging tapes, which in turn has a major effect on the pricing structure.
In addition to acrylic tapes from the Far East, hot-melt based packaging tapes are also penetrating the European markets, depending to some extent on the development of the € / $ exchange rate. The ‘price war’ in this sector of business is tremendous and to some extent ruinous.
Looking at the quality, following the good / better / best classification, the natural rubber adhesive is on the top of the pyramid. With this type of adhesive, a wide range of standard and difficult packaging applications can be covered – especially if extreme temperatures are involved. Adhesive formulations can also be created according to customer requirements and are available in a great variety with high-tack, low-tack and standard-tack adhesives being the most commonly required.
Hot-melt and acrylic adhesive systems are increasingly penetrating the market of basic packaging applications mainly because of low pricing and because ‘they do the job’. However, if the product is to be further processed or a solution to a critical application (for example sealing of cartons with a high degree of recycling content, deep freeze or thermoforming applications are demanded), the natural rubber adhesive outperforms the other two adhesive technologies and the price / performance ratio is acceptable since the problem is being solved.
The main advantages of natural rubber adhesive systems are a high initial tack and solid shear results.
Products with special adhesives in the monta product range are for example:
- monta pack 124, heavy-duty PVC with a high-tack adhesive
- monta film 256F, PVC protection tape with a low-tack adhesive
- monta pack 315, OPP with a low-noise adhesive
- monta pack 335, OPP with a standard adhesive especially suitable for deep freeze applications
- monta pack 3351, OPP with a high-tack adhesive
As for eco-friendliness, natural rubber is a 100% natural product. ‘Hevea brasiliensis’ latex milk is obtained from the caoutchouc tree and transformed into dry rubber during a coagulation process. This dry rubber arrives at monta’s factory in bales of 35kg from Vietnam and forms the basis of the natural rubber adhesives recipes. The rubber is mixed with resins and completed with color pigments, then diluted with solvents. After the adhesive coating, the solvent recovery unit is successful at capturing more than 98% of the solvent for re-use; only a small residue remains in the tape.
Natural rubber is traded on the stock exchange and therefore the price is not only influenced by forces of nature (poor harvest output due to pests, weather, etc.) but also by the exchange rate and speculation. While natural rubber is currently in short supply, monta Klebebandwerk has secured its supply chain and can guarantee a continuous production.