REHAU is upbeat to cater growing demand of PVC edge band by offering high quality products, matching colors, increasing supply to tier – 2 cities, driving awareness among users and retailers. The company has tied up with many big laminate brands for matching the colour of laminates with its edge band. Their uPVC edge band range is super hit because it is eco-friendly, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal with more sticking power. During one2one interaction with the Ply Reporter, Mr Manish Arora, Director, REHAU (Furniture Sales) explained the new developments under different products categories of its furniture division, which will help to improve in making high quality furniture.
Q- What are the new offerings at Rehau edge band today?
A- REHAU has repositioned its edge band as uPVC edge band last year. The major benefit of uPVC edge band is it being eco-friendly, anti-bacterial , anti-fungal and anti toxic. Its adhesion is strong as compared to other alternatives available in market. But by this year we have decided to expand the range with all the free sizes and thicknesses. This range will initially come in 50 colours which will be further expanded to 100 colours in various thicknesses right from 0.5 to 2mm but our major concentration will be 0.45mm, 0.8mm, 1.3mm, for retail segment which can be easily used by the carpenter by hand or manual toolS. We feel that it will definitely expand the market for the end consumer. We feel, it will be beneficial for the end consumers as well as for carpenters. Its application will be easy for furniture making and enhancing the looks of interiors.
Now we have two categories of edge band, uPVC edge band which we call as RAUKANTEX UPVC edge band. It is basically made for a bigger roll and mostly applicable for OEMs and retail applying it using a machine. Then, we have one brand of edge band called RAUCARP which is basically made for the carpenter segment. It comes in 50 meters roll and 50 colours. We will be expanding the range with 0.8x22mm ,25mmx1.3mm, etc while earlier we were limited to 22 mm in RAUCARP in 0.4mm.
Q- What should be the ideal thickness most suitable for variety of applications, durability and looks?
A- The thickness of edge band should be less than 2mm. In 2mm, it needs pressure of the roller or high manual pressure because uPVC’s or PVC’s chemical properties tend to come back to original position. If there is sharper radius then there might be sticking problems. The carpenter can easily apply up to 1.5mm in furniture manually or by pneumatic tools. There are also more thicknesses available like 2.5mm, 3mm,4mm, 5mm but it all depends on what is the use and where the application is done. REHAU also sells 0.4mm edge band - which comes exactly at 0.4mm. But, other products available in the market have some variation in standardization. In that way the impression of the board comes to the edge band. If the higher thickness like 0.8MM is used, the impression does not come out and the sealing strength would be good.
Q- How will a dealer be able to judge the quality of edge band for retail sales which is used mostly by carpenters?
A- The biggest quality of an edge band is that it should be matching to the laminate. There are two purposes of edge band; one is to seal the board’s edge so that the moisture content does not get into the board, secondly the matching to the décor and furniture surface so that it does not look odd and ugly. Edge band is more like a fashionable product for furniture industry. It is printed and for that REHAU does four stuation printing. The quality is judged by finding out how close it is to the laminate like embossing, non-embossing, gloss, which type of print it is, whether matching to the wooden pattern or not. Second thing is the primer which facilitates the edge band to stick with board taking support of glue; that primer should be of good quality. Is it uniform or not? REHAU uses universal primer which is not visible with naked eyes. Others’ offerings are found uneven. Third is softness of the material that can be easily bent at the corner. REHAU’s even 2mm edge band is also so soft that bents very easily. But, if the PVC is made of low quality material that become brittle and cracks if it is bent. These are few parameters that can be taken care of while purchasing the product. The fourth is shade variation, in PVC there are lot of shade variation. Generally the difference in shade looks ugly. REHAU has mastered these techniques worldwide due to which we are able to offer the same colour which was introduced ten years before. This is very difficult technique to master, and REHAU has done it.
Q- Frosty white is most popular shade in edge band, what do you say?
A- Earlier the laminate application was white in inner surfaces of furniture like carcasses, etc that is why white colored liner laminate sales were more. But, now following the international market trend the fashion is changing. Customers want better products inside like even in carcasses.
Q- Being the leader in the market how do you see the increasing number of edge band units domestically?
A- India’s market for furniture industry is 80% unorganized. We are selling edge band in India since the last 20 years. Earlier we were selling it in the country by importing. Later, we installed a line. That time, a few OEMs were using our offerings. Today we have got two plants. Over the period of 20 years the acceptability of edge band has increased and in coming time it will grow much more with a certain regulation. We are seeing that number of units will increase and the carpenters will be more used to its application and uses. The application process will be much easier. The carpenter will also invest in machines for their uses. The Indian furniture industry will change as per the international trends due to increasing internet exposure worldwide travel. The furniture import is also supporting the change happening in India. The taste for traditional style is getting replaced with new taste & trends because the young generation wants more of minimalistic designs, sleek lines and more of international trends in their homes. In the coming days the industry will be more organized.
Q- At present what percentage of share in Edge Band does REHAU enjoy in the country?
A- REHAU’s market share in edge band among all including organized as well as un-organized segment will be nearly 45%, but if you see the OEMs market, there we have more than 75% market share.
Q-What will be the new products offering in Indiawood?
A- This year we have taken a bigger stall. We have increased our range and want to present more in the surface related product. REHAU is offering solution, right from flooring to the ceiling, so we want all the visitors, customers, dealers and the partners to come and see the new range and associate with us. We are offering EDGE BAND, LAMINATE, BOARDS, and WINDOW SHUTTERS etc; there are total 15 categories of products in showcase at the exhibition.