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Brand view: Armacell Middle East

Gaurav Bhatnagar, head of Sales and Marketing, Armacell Middle East, elaborates why Armacell is different from others

Gaurav Bhatnagar, head of Sales and Marketing.
Gaurav Bhatnagar, head of Sales and Marketing.

Do elaborate on your product range.

Armacell holds the leading market position in every region in which it operates (Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia and India). Complex production processes with a steep learning curve, proprietary product formulas, and strict quality controls protect Armacell’s leading position.

We are the world leader in flexible insulation foams for the equipment-insulation market and also a leading provider of engineered foams. The company operates within two main businesses: Advanced Insulation and Engineered Foams.

We have a manufacturing plant in KSA catering the Middle East Market that manufactures Advanced Insulation products. The Advanced Insulation business develops flexible insulation foam products for the insulation of mechanical equipment in markets where energy distribution is required such as HVAC, plumbing, and refrigeration applications in residential and non-residential construction, as well as process lines in various industries and the international oil and gas business.

The Engineered Foams business develops light foams for the use in a broad range of end-markets including transportation/automotive, wind energy, sports and leisure, and construction.

Armacell employs 3,000 people worldwide and follows a strategy of internationalisation with 25 manufacturing plants in 16 countries on four continents. With production facilities in the USA, China, Thailand, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and now Denmark, Armacell has long been a pioneer in exploring new geographical markets and is focused on further growth in emerging markets.

What new products are you launching in 2017-2018?

Since the invention of Armaflex, the first flexible technical insulation material that revolutionised the market in the 1950s, the company has maintained and fostered this pioneering spirit, and has established a strong culture of innovation in all business activities.

As a dynamic and flexible company, Armacell guarantees the continuous improvement of its product solutions – based on our customers’ needs. We are gearing up to take advantage of our wide global synergies and product ranges to introduce them in Middle East. New products will include acoustic applications, solar hot water applications, and claddings and coverings to suit the GCC region.

Since regional trends drive product offerings, Armacell's products are customised at a local level to ensure that customers’ expectations and requirements in any given region are most effectively catered to.

How does your insulation products stand out against your competitors?

Armacell operates four R&D centres around the globe. While process technology and material formula R&D is centralised in Münster, Germany, Armacell’s research units in Mebane, North Carolina, USA, Thimister-Clermont, Belgium, and Guangzhou, China, focus on product R&D.

The company holds more than 200 active patents (pertaining to 72 patent families and protecting 13 product groups and products), with 186 patents awarded between 2010 and 2015.

Armacell has been behind almost every significant innovation in the field of flexible equipment insulation materials. No other company in this line of business has as much expertise in the development of thermoplastic foams. We offer superior product solutions to help the world take advantage of global growth opportunities and find cost-efficient substitutes for other materials. Our experience, commitment and innovative thinking has made Armacell the company it is today.

What sort of standards/certifications does your products have?

Our main strength is in delivering to the site what we state in our technical declarations. Continuous internal and external monitoring ensures compliance with the standards that determine the quality of the products people use every day.

The local regulations in the Middle East are gearing up to tighten the Fire Safety norms. All our products comply with these requirements. Our products have been designed to meet/exceed international fire standards like the American standard ASTM E84, the British standard BS 476, and the EU standard EN13501. That is why Armacell has been internationally applied on iconic projects such as the Empire State Building or the Dubai International Airport.

The majority of Armacell’s products are FM and UL certified. In Europe, we were the first manufacturer in our industry to offer CE-marked products and have obtained the best possible classification for elastomeric products.

FM Approval, a division of the world’s leading industrial property insurer (Factory Global), is an internationally recognised organisation that tests and certifies products to prevent property loss in industrial or commercial applications. Many companies that operate internationally stipulate the use of FM-certified materials in their specifications. The certification mark is frequently required in public invitations to tender.

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a safety-consulting and certification company that offers safety-related certification, validation, testing, inspection- and auditing services to a wide range of clients, including manufacturers, retailers, policy makers, regulators, service companies, and consumers. The "Recognized Component Mark" is a quality mark issued by Underwriters Laboratories.

How do you ensure quality for your products?

Insulation is an effective and cost-efficient way to improve energy efficiency in industrial, commercial and residential infrastructure. Armacell’s insulation materials are designed for both new and existing installations.

In order to sustain and live up to the customer expectations that Armacell has developed over the years, it is of utmost important for us to ensure that quality material should reach the customer every time. We have due checks and systems in place right from the manufacturing of raw material at our four global mixing plants to the manufacturing of final products at our 25 factories across the globe. Our Dammam factory, which caters to immediate demand for GCC region for certain categories is also ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified.

What sort of after-sales support does Armacell provide?

One of the important aspects of a successful project post sales is the installation. Even if you provide the best product, if it is not installed correctly, the whole purpose is defeated. To cater to this, we have application engineers, who provide detailed hands-on training to the installers at the site to ensure that the product is installed correctly. Apart from this, in case of any product-related issues, samples are picked from the site, the RCA is done and CAPA is implemented.

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