East Yorkshire-based Hodgson Sealants, one of the largest sealant manufacturers in the UK, has utilised its new in-house R&D facility to help fellow local company, Paneltex, increase manufacturing efficiency and improve the speed of its production process.
Paneltex, based on Hedon Road in Hull, is a specialist vehicle manufacturer which produces refrigerated delivery vans and lorries. The two local companies started to work together when Paneltex required some help to improve certain applications within their manufacturing processes.
To help come up with a solution, Hodgson Sealants completed a full technical audit of Paneltex’s sealing processes on site and then carried out further tests at its state of the art laboratory. Kevin Nickolay, Sales Manager for Hodgson Sealants, explains:
"At Hodgson Sealants, we pride ourselves on understanding our customers by taking the time to get to know their processes, products and expectations. We determine what they want from their sealant and come up with recommendations to suit. We even develop bespoke formulations when "off the shelf" products won’t do, which is something that really sets us apart from our competition.
"When we first met with Paneltex, they were experiencing some performance issues with their existing sealant products. Having just installed our brand new R&D laboratory, we took the opportunity to test the materials they were bonding to determine which formulations would work best for them.
"As a result of our research, we found that the best product for them was a sealant from our new hybrid range. In fact, our recommended sealant worked so much better than their previous process, that it removed the requirement for rivets on the production line, reducing cycle times and manufacturing costs. On this occasion, we were helping a fellow local company, but our personal approach stretches far and wide. By providing a technical support service, it demonstrates our commitment to our customers, ensuring the final offering is far more than just a product in a box."
Nigel Wilde, Production Director for Paneltex, comments: "With products ranging from multi-temperature supermarket home delivery vans to double-deck trailers and blast freezing equipment, Paneltex, has a constant need for high-performance adhesives and sealants. Meeting the technical requirements we demand takes more than just selecting products from a standard list; we need to be able to work with our suppliers at a development level to ensure that our design criteria are met. It helps that Hodgson Sealants are local to us, but most importantly, they have invested the time to understand our needs and then developed products to meet them."
Hodgson Sealants’ new laboratory was installed in 2013 as part of a new strategy to help the company get closer to its customers and offer a more personal service. The facility is used to help develop new products, such as the hybrid range of sealants, and also test customers’ substrates to make sure they are using the right products for the right application.
Hodgson Sealants was established in 1968 and caters for a wide range of market sectors, including caravan, leisure and transportation, modular buildings, general construction, industrial roofing and cladding, glass, glazing and joinery. The company prides itself on consistent product quality and its ability to tailor solutions to its customers’ needs.