Examples of prevention
Soudal
Prevention action: 
Product loss reduction
Product category: 
Industrial products
New hose reduces product waste

Soudal hit the jackpot when they developed a new spray and hose for its polyurethane (PU) foams. But not just commercially; they also profited from an environment-friendly point of view. The adjusted design of the hose — the Soudal Mega Adapter — limits product waste during utilization. Together with the new formula, it enables Soudal to save a third on packaging and transport.

Soudal produces and sells silicones, glues, and foams under its own brand name as well as for third party companies. Over the past 45 years, this Belgian family enterprise has grown to become a European leader in the PU foams market. Soudal depends upon its R&D to safeguard that position.

Limiting product waste by 66% per running metre

Recently, the R&D team came up with a new design for the application hose for its PU foams. The team decided to close one end of the hose and perforate it with small cavities. It was a simple concept, but one with a very positive result. ‘The Soudal Mega Adapter maximizes the venturi effect, thereby limiting foam expansion by 40%,’ explains Geert Franssen of Soudal Technical Service. ‘Consequently, inexperienced users can reduce product waste by 66% while professionals can still gain 25%.’

Less product, same result

Soudal also developed a more concentrated PU foam formula. Thanks to the Soudal Mega Adapter and the new formula, users get the same result with only 650 ml of product that formerly required 1,000 ml. ‘This enabled us to cut packaging as well as transport by a third,’ says Erik De Groof, International Marketing Manager Retail at Soudal. ‘The smaller spray canister is also easier to use, especially when working on ceilings. Moreover, the canisters have a lower centre of gravity making them less prone to tipping over than their larger counterparts. This substantially reduces the risk of leaks and dehydration.’

Good to remember 

  • Soudal closed one end of the application hose for its PU foams and perforated it with small cavities. The venturi effect limits the foam expansion by 40% during utilization.
  • The Soudal Mega Adapter limits product waste: inexperienced users can gain as much as 66% and even expert professional users can gain up to 25%.
  • The new, more concentrated PU foam formula reduces the amount of packaging and transport by a third.

 

How Soudal developed a more environmentally friendly packaging

Step 1: new hose design limits product waste

Foam expands after it exits the packaging. The small cavities at the end of the hose reduce the pressure, enabling Soudal to reduce foam expansion by 40%. This way the user has far less risk of wasting product.

Step 2: less volume, same result

The Soudal R&D team collaborated with its suppliers of raw materials to develop a more concentrated formula for its PU foam. By combining the Soudal Mega Adapter with the new formula, 650 ml of product provides the same result as 1,000 ml of the old product.

Step 3: campaign informs users

Shop demonstrations, direct mailings, and packaging labels inform and sensitize customers to the correct use of the new hose. The company also explains that the foam in the small spray canister expands less and offers the same result as the contents of the large canisters.

 

The venturi effect limits foam expansion

The Soudal Mega Adapter is a hose that is closed at one end. On the closed end, there are small cavities that create a narrow passage, making the foam flow faster and reducing the pressure. Thanks to this venturi effect, the foam expands less when it passes through the narrow passage.

 

With the Soudal Mega Adapter, inexperienced users can limit loss of our PU foam by up to 60%.

Erik De Groof, International Marketing Manager Retail, Soudal 

 

You can improve the environmental friendliness of your product as well by adjusting the design of the packaging

Some tips from Soudal:

  • A more environmentally friendly design also enables you to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Cooperate with all of your suppliers. Their expertise strengthens your team to find ways to improve your packaging and/or your product.
  • Take into account the environmental impact of the entire value chain, including adjustments in the production process, chemical formulas, and recycling of the packaging.

 

Soudal and the environment

Environmental consciousness is an essential part in all of Soudal’s activities:

Environmentally friendly raw materials: Soudal always searches for the most environmentally friendly raw materials.
This enables the company to limit the use of solvents or even replace them with water-based substances.