Henkel opens phase II of Kurkumbh plant, plans additional 50m euro investment

by Nilesh Wadhwa 04 Feb 2020

Henkel Adhesives Technologies India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Henkel, Germany, has announced the unveiling of its second phase of its production facility in Kurkumbh, Maharashtra.

Following the initial investment of around 50 million euros (Rs 400 crore) in the new facility that will help meet demand for high-performance adhesives, sealants and surface treatment products in India, the company today announced plans for a similar big-ticket investment towards further expanding the facility.

The Kurkumbh facility is spread across 100,000 square metres with a built-up area of 51,000 square metres which can be further expanded. Speaking at a media meet in Mumai today, Jan-Dirk Auris, member of the management board and executive vice-president, Adhesive Technologies Business Unit, Henkel said: "India is one of the most important emerging markets with tremendous growth opportunities for our adhesives business. We have application experts across manufacturing industries worldwide and work closely with our customers and partners."

"Our trusted brands and leading solutions based on our unmatched portfolio of 40 technologies create sustainable value for our customers. With the launch of this state-of-the-art, multi-technology manufacturing facility, we have created capacities to meet the demands for our high impact solutions in this dynamic market. This investment will enable us to further drive profitable growth," he added.

Additional investment of 50 million euros
Responding to a query on further expansion plans, Auris said that Henkel has planned Phase 3 and 4 for the new Kurkumbh facility, which will see an additional investment of around 50 million euros (Rs 400 crore). The adhesive business mainly finds application in the automotive and electronic market. In fact, using adhesives can vehicles shed weight by up to 15 percent.

The new facility is equipped with technologies to ensure traceability and transparency by ensuring built-in quality. End-to-end digitalisation of the plant operations has enabled digitised workflows, thus enhancing efficiency in the  manufacturing process. The plant deploys closed material handling systems and high level of process automation.

For the first time, as a global pilot in Henkel, the site has implemented deep integration of process automation with Smart Factory (Industry 4.0). In fact, in terms of sustainability, the factory has been awarded LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council based on a holistic energy efficiency concept. Around 10 percent of the power is generated through solar energy with more renewable energy utilisation also being planned, and 16 percent of water also coming from rainwater harvesting.

Shilip Kumar, president, Henkel India said: "We will continue to invest in local manufacturing, as it gives our Adhesive Technologies business in India a strategic advantage. The Kurkumbh manufacturing site is a very important milestone of Henkel's journey in India. This site will not only cater to the Indian market but also markets in geographic proximity such as the Middle-East, Africa and South Asia,. As market leaders in this industry, our focus is to offer high impact solutions to our customers and thereby convert latent market potential into profitable growth."

Responding to a query on the growth opportunities in India in terms of electrification, Kumar agreed that the company has made some headway with some customers in terms of their electrification strategy but remained tight-lipped on the details.

As regards global megatrends of electrification, connected, shared and new business opportunities, Kumar believes that "new opportunities are as much as one can think." According to him, when it comes to adhesive technologies, new business takes time to establish as replacing a process or technology with an advanced adhesive product requires customised solutions and numerous safety checks.

Explaining further, Auris mentioned how Henkel was providing an adhesive solution to the aviation sector, which took around 6-7 years of development between finding the use-case and developing a custom product offering.