Adding sheen toauto, electronic fashion industry
Waste Management Expo 2020 MAR 12&13 BIEC, Bengaluru, India

Adding sheen to the auto, electronic and fashion industry

9:30 AM, 18th August 2017
Gautam Kumar Bhalotra, Managing Director, Plating Sheen Chem (India) Pvt Ltd (PCI Chemicals)
Gautam Kumar Bhalotra, Managing Director, Plating Sheen Chem (India) Pvt Ltd (PCI Chemicals).

In an interview, Gautam Kumar Bhalotra, Managing Director, Plating Sheen Chem (India) Pvt Ltd (PCI Chemicals) with Chemical Today Magazine mentions how electroplating chemicals have evolved and that the country has become self-sufficient in the segment. 

By Debarati Das

Trends, market potential in the electroplating chemicals industry.

The global electroplating chemicals industry is expected to increase, as significant opportunities for growth exist in the growing/emerging markets. The global electroplating market was valued above $14,540.5 million in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.7 percent to cross $21,160.0 million by the end of 2026. 

The electroplating industry in India has become self-sufficient, attaining world standard through its technical prowess. It has evolved to become a major hub in the South West Asian regions. Rising demands for consumer goods, which mandates more surface finishing services, growing demand for automobiles, fashion and hardware, robust growth of electronic industry are some of the key factors.

The Indian electroplating chemicals industry not only fulfils the domestic rising demands but it has grown to influence the markets all over the world, particular countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, as well as parts of Asean & Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

India is considered a potential market owing to low-cost, skilled workforce and rising trends of setting up of production plants such as automotive, electronics, hardware, aerospace etc. Thus demographic shift in the consumption of electroplating from the West to India has provided us a great opportunity. Budding partnerships with OEMs and long-term contracts are expected to provide further demand for electroplating chemicals in India.

Factors supporting increased demand for nickel and zinc plating chemicals.

The increased demand of nickel and zinc plating chemicals is contributed mainly by the automotive and hardware sectors. Nickel plating offers high lustrous aesthetic finishes, corrosion protection and wear resistance. In the automobile industry, it can be found on bumpers, rims, exhausts and trims as an undercoat to chromium plating. Bath fittings, hand tools, locks etc are also the areas where nickel plating chemicals are extensively used.

Similarly, zinc plating is typically used for screws, fasteners, switch plates, springs etc. As I already mentioned, India has become a manufacturing hub for the global leaders in the automotive sector. Following this, the ancillary industries have grown sharply in consistency to supply finished electroplated parts. The electroplating chemicals in India are now indigenously formulated to provide aesthetics and corrosion resistance to such parts at par with the global requirements.  

Advancement in the precious electroplating chemicals segment.

Precious metals exhibit a number of properties that make them valuable for use in a variety of industrial electroplating processes. Many of these metals offer appealing finishes, superior resistance to corrosion and wear. The demand from the electronics market for smaller, faster and cheaper components are the major driving force in India. Precious metal plating chemicals have and will always have a major role in achieving these demands. Gold, palladium and silver, all have their role to play in this market as new technologies emerge to make them more cost effective. Gold plating chemicals are still the major driver, for PCB and connectors.

Use of nanotechnology in the electroplating chemicals industry.

The use of nanotechnology in electroplating is still an area that has scope for future development. Although worldwide a lot of patents have been registered, the commercial ones are yet to score. In this area, we are developing newer products by incorporating nanotechnology in the field of electroplating and electroless plating’s to provide high corrosion resistance, strength, hardness and durability with commercial success.

What are the demands of electroplaters.

Quality standards continue to become stricter, pushed by OEMs to increase the life span of the electroplated products without compromising with the aesthetic finishes. At the same time, the global need for greener technologies has the research & development team working round the clock. Newer finishes, particularly in the fashion industry, which are developed in the West, are immediately demanded by end users in the country. This also helps us to compete globally with better quality products at par with international standards.

Future growth and expansion plans for the company.

For over 33 years, the company is manufacturing and exporting it's proprietary electroplating chemistries and processes spanning a range of 250 products. It continues to promote surface finishing technology innovation that improves quality, affordability and durability for an extensive line of products from pretreatment to post treatment. Our company has recently increased the installed capacity of our Haryana unit to cater the increased demand of our products. Thus, this year, the product portfolio is also likely to increase to with the launch of 50 new formulations. PCI’s approach towards innovation and consumer demands remain the basic objective. We have also started manufacturing a full range of brush plating chemicals, a first time in India, which were earlier imported.

Our international business is growing and this year we plan to appoint eight more distributors across the globe. This will be a step forward in the direction of achieving presence in the global markets, particularly in the emerging markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines.

‘Green Leaf Technology’ and equipment for electroplating market.

The company continues its leadership in R&D. Our strategy is to have at least 50 more product launches this year. Of the new launches, 22 products are from ‘Green Leaf Technology’ portfolio. This technology refers to our products, which substitute the use of hazardous chemicals such as cyanides, hexavalent chrome, acids etc with eco-friendly chemicals. This programme aims to eliminate the use of hazardous items from electroplating processes and instead employ greener and cleaner cost effective electroplating chemicals with better performance.

PCI also provides automatic, semi-automatic and manual plating equipment for the electroplating industry. Turnkey projects from installation to commissioning are undertaken by our experienced and well-qualified teams. Some of this equipment includes fabricated tanks, barrels, rectifiers, filters, ETP etc and other related equipment.

Challenges faced in the electroplating chemicals market.

Regulations and OEMs have become more demanding than ever before. They are looking for green solutions and restricting the use of CMR substances across all regions. The restricted substances list has already crossed 3400 products. These demands are fulfilled by us, with continuous, cost effective innovations and introduction of eco-friendly plating chemicals for the electroplating industry.

© Chemical Today Magazine


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