Electrolube has established itself as a well-known brand in India for the customers looking at electronics protection solutions and fast turn-around. The company has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bangalore and innovative products that meet the demands of the local market and developed by using locally sourced materials.
Electronics Media had an exclusive Q&A with Padmanabha Shakthivelu, General Manager, Electrolube India. Padmanabha discussed Electrolube India 40% rise in growth and the company’s major focus for the Indian market. He also explained how their innovative products meet the Indian customer’s needs.
Electrolube India’s Record Growth Figures
It’s been an exceptionally dynamic time for the company. In line with the Indian Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative to encourage and promote local manufacturing infrastructures across the country.
Reasons Behind 40% Rise in Growth
Electrolube India’s growth has been accelerated by the clear local supply benefits and straightforward import process on material, preventing delays for customers. Having a local presence has put us in a very strong position to collaborate with customers, and provide electronics protection solutions to customers quickly and cost effectively. We’ve been established in India for 7 years now and have invested in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bangalore, located near the major electronics manufacturing hubs of Southern India.
LED Applications: The Key Market
The market for LED applications has undoubtedly played a key part in the vast growth of the company, as we have experienced huge demand for our products in this area. Our R&D team specifically developed products to meet the demands of the local market, using locally sourced materials so that we could also offer highly competitive prices. The new products for LED manufacturers also have the endorsement of Electrolube’s UK R&D team and have proven to be so effective that they have been adopted into many additional territories. A further element of our success is our ability to work closely with our customers and put them first. We’re not just about volume; we are fully committed to research and development, remaining true to the company’s heritage of making products that really add value for the customer.
Importance of Local Presence
Having a local presence has also enabled us to be very versatile and responsive to issues that customers need solutions for, even within a short time frame. There have been customers who have approached us with problems with their existing non-Electrolube products, and we have delivered a solution within as little as 24 hours! A short timescale such as this could pose a complete nightmare for many companies, but our tight network of manufacturing and global supply gives us a really competitive edge with these types of projects. We can manufacture the products in Bangalore, or have a local distributor pick up the initial order to deliver a fast turnaround.
Innovation, Collaboration and Finding a Complete Solution
Innovation, collaboration and finding a complete solution are absolutely central to everything we do. With collaboration, we come to understand our customer’s problems better and what we can do to solve these problems. We have been serving the electronics industry for nearly 80 years and have acquired significant expertise, knowledge and contacts that our customers get the benefit from. Together with our 6 core product groups, which include thermal management, encapsulation resins, conformal coatings, service & maintenance aids, cleaning solutions and contact lubricants, we can provide a complete solution to customers at every stage of the production process, rather than customers having to use up valuable time sourcing different suppliers, which has proven to be appealing with major Indian OEMs.
Challenges faced with the fast-changing technology
Perhaps the biggest challenges for us have come from the very wide and varied mix of projects that we are approached to find solutions for. Every customer has different project requirements, sometimes these requirements are absolutely unique and require us to research and develop a bespoke solution, often within a very short timescale. However, this is an area where Electrolube thrives. Being a chemical solutions provider with a vast portfolio, we are in a very strong position to provide a full service to our customers throughout the entire production process.
Challenges in Automotive Industry
In the automotive industry, balancing the requirements of environmental suitability, manufacturing acceptability and end-product reliability continues to be the main challenge for electronics protection consumables but we have introduced new conformal coatings to help customers address all of these issues simultaneously.
Challenges in LED Industry
With regard to challenges faced by LED manufacturers, heat dissipation is always an issue, however, LED applications are becoming increasingly more diverse; design requirements and location or the function of the product are all challenges that face LED designers. Electrolube provides thermal management and encapsulation solutions that not only increase performance but also ensures reliability throughout the lifetime of the device. We also provide products that can be incorporated into the design of the product for cosmetic reasons as well as helping to provide key functional improvements such as increased efficiency and reduced energy consumption.
Electrolube’s major focus for the Indian Market
This is a good question as we have customers in almost every area of electronics manufacturing! To be honest, we have never had to change our focus as the broad opportunities and TAM (Total Addressable Market) have been continuously increasing due to the wide range of core products we offer.
Will Electrolube Focus shift from LED to Automotive (EVs)
If we look at our performance in the LED and EV markets, however, these are areas where Electrolube is really thriving and we anticipate that there is going to be further exponential growth here for our products, particularly as we have been developing resins, thermal management materials and conformal coatings specifically for LED and EV manufacturers.
Market development of Electrolube after the announcement of New Budget
It’s been a mixed response from the market, however, the GST Cut on EV is going to be a big boost for the industry. The price cut was announced after the GST council announced that it will be reducing the GST on electric vehicles from 12 percent to 5 percent. It also reduced the GST on EV chargers by 13 percent, such that the new rate is 5 percent. This is already having very positive repercussions for Electrolube and we are currently working with a dynamic new EV manufacturer on a powerful new two-wheeled vehicle.
India is set to become one of the world’s prime electronics manufacturing regions. Both export and local markets are booming and demand for specialised services and products in the LED, EV, mobile technology and consumer/industrial electronics sectors, such as those provided by Electrolube, are growing rapidly.
Our local manufacturing operation continues to thrive in this market and our award-winning products are in widespread use among the major Indian OEMs. We are responsive to the Indian Government’s aims to promote a strong home-based manufacturing sector that is able to satisfy local supply chains and provide reliable and timely delivery. Consequently, we will continue to grow and support the local markets we serve and increase customer assurance in our capacity to be an innovative, consistent and reliable supplier of electro-chemicals.
Electrolube’s solutions for the Indian market
We have introduced a vast amount of new products to the Indian market. Leveraging group technical support and key local knowledge, Electrolube’s Indian team identified local customers’ requirements and developed numerous, cost-effective new resins, coatings and thermal management products with higher specifications than existing products on the market. The new solutions also carry a full seal of approval from the UK parent company for quality and innovation, compliant with internationally recognised standards.
Some examples of our most recent innovations include 3 new epoxy resins, 3 speciality silicone resins and a highly thermally conductive PU resin. The new resins are more application specific for LED Lighting, Automotive Headlamps and even ECU/EFI (EFI-Electronic Fuel Injectors).
The first of the new encapsulation resins includes the black, two-part epoxy resin ER6001, which is ideally suited to a wide variety of applications within the electronics and automotive industries as well as for industrial controls. ER6001 has good chemical resistance, a wide operating temperature range, performing exceptionally at high temperatures. One of ER6001’s major applications in particular is for ferrite core transformed bonding and encapsulation.
The ER6002 is also a two-part, thermally conductive epoxy encapsulation resin that is ideal for LED drivers, SPDs (Surge Protection Devices) and for automotive applications, such as ignition control unit potting. Developed as a strong competitor to existing locally manufactured, low-cost epoxy potting resins, ER6002 is a beige coloured, low viscosity (10,000cps) resin with good flowability and an exceptionally high thermal conductivity of 1W/mK. Mixed in a ratio of 9:1, the cured resin achieves a Shore D hardness of 50.
The new, repairable ER6007 epoxy potting and encapsulating resin is a two-part system, designed for the protection of electronic devices and is ideal for LED drivers, SMPS and Solar Charge Controller encapsulation. With a simple 1:1 mix ratio for ease of processing, the ER6007 has excellent high temperature properties, suitable for use in applications where the operating temperature will be up to 180°C, as well as good flow characteristics to allow the potting of difficult and complex geometries.
New silicone resins include the SC4010 flexible resin system. SC4010 is a low viscosity, fast curing, two-part silicone potting and encapsulating resin, which has been primarily developed for the protection of LED drivers but its properties make it suitable for a wide range of applications, such as LED Luminaire side encapsulation and also ECU encapsulation, with its fast RT cure. SC4010 has excellent high temperature properties, ideal for use in applications where the operating temperature may rise to 200°C while its flexibility allows for temperature cycling.
SC4003FD is a flexible, fast RT curing thixotropic silicone potting and encapsulating resin, which has been specially designed for the Indian market. SC4003FD is suitable for a wide range of electronic applications, especially LED drivers. With a wide operating temperature range (-60°C to +200°C) and good high temperature performance, SC4003FD provides excellent moisture resistance and good flow characteristics.
SC4004 is a low cost, two-part, thermally conductive, addition cure silicone resin. The advantage of an addition cure silicone is that reaction by-products are not released so the product can safely cure in a closed environment. Low viscosity (12,000cps) SC4004 is mixed in a ratio of 1:1 and attains a Shore A hardness of 70 when fully cured. The thermal performance is excellent for a silicone in this products’ price range; in addition, the product features a wide operating temperature range (with excellent stability at high temperatures), good tolerance of thermal shock cycling and a high thermal conductivity of 1.1W/m K.
Electrolube is offering for up-coming EP India show
We are really looking forward to the show and will be launching GPA, Electrolube’s brand new two-part epoxy General Purpose Adhesive. GPA is excellent for general purpose bonding because of its high bond strength, excellent adhesion to a wide variety of substrates, 1:1 ratio for ease of processing and fast cure. It can be used for plastic-plastic, plastic-glass, glass-glass, steel-steel and many more kinds of applications.
We are also looking forward to reactions from visitors when we launch UR5634, an optically clear, semi-rigid polyurethane resin. UR5634 is a two-part, semi-rigid aliphatic polyurethane resin, specifically formulated to be optically clear to ensure its ultimate suitability for LED encapsulation and potting applications. It is clear and transparent, which makes it the resin of choice for both aesthetically decorative LED luminaires and those that must have effective protection against adverse environmental conditions. When used as a potting medium or encapsulant, UR5634 performs reliably in all weather conditions and offers good acid and alkali resistance. Since the resin is an aliphatic polymer, it is strongly resistant to yellowing when exposed to UV light, making it especially useful as an outdoor LED encapsulant or for use in other applications where it may be exposed to direct sunlight.
Product Selection Challenge
This is an area we have been consistently developing to help customers choose the most appropriate product for their application. Product selection can be a challenge in itself with many factors to take into consideration.
Solution for Product Selection Challenge
There are a number of ways that we are helping remove any pain-points in product selection. We have introduced an interactive product selection tool on our website where customers can enter their type of product and application requirements, and the selection tool offers products for consideration. We also offer a range of comprehensive brochures and datasheets, downloadable on our website, to help customers make more informed decisions. However, we are well known for our unrivalled customer service and dedicated technical support. Our local field application experts work in tandem with our global technical personnel providing invaluable technical support and assistance. Customers can rely on our fully trained staff to be knowledgeable and up to speed with the latest technological developments, and we field calls on product selection every day, solving problems in the most efficient way. So, if customers are in any doubt about selecting the right product for a specific application, our technical support team are happy to listen to your requirements and recommend solutions.