GBM Ltd. are an industrial composite manufacturer based in Scotland. They manufacture a range of high-quality fibreglass products for vehicle components and one-off projects.
For years, GBM Ltd. has supplied some of Forgeway’s key customers. Nonetheless, GBM Ltd. and Forgeway had never worked together. That is, until recently.
This case study explains how GBM Ltd. and Forgeway worked together to resolve adhesive supply issues, improve processes, and ultimately cut costs.
What challenge was GBM Ltd. experiencing?
In their manufacturing process, GBM Ltd. bond a small metal bracket onto the GRP structure. As this is for a volume manufacturing customer rather than a one-off project, GBM Ltd. has been manufacturing this product for nearly 30 years.
The adhesive they use for this application is a two-component acrylic adhesive. It has high strength and fast-curing capabilities. This helps GBM Ltd. ensure they can move the product through production faster.
They had also installed bulk dispense machines into their production. This has made application easier and had also reduced costs due to buying in bulk.
They had been using this two-component acrylic for years. Despite changing suppliers of the product once before, GBM Ltd. never previously needed to change. The product had always met the specifications required.
However, the need for change arose in mid-2022. GBM Ltd. were experiencing supply issues with the acrylic adhesive. The manufacturer of this adhesive product had lengthy lead times and didn’t always fulfil orders.
Sometimes, the adhesive manufacturer would fulfil the order by supplying the adhesive in 490ml cartridges rather than in bulk as they had ordered. Some product was better than none. But it wasn’t perfect.
490ml cartridges were more costly and required specialist application equipment.
The lead times created stock control issues. The OTIF issues led to production bottlenecks. GBM Ltd. knew the product itself wasn’t causing problems. The issue arose when they just couldn’t get hold of it.
They needed to change.
How GBM Ltd. solved the challenge
As they knew they needed to change, GBM Ltd. looked for alternatives to the existing adhesive product. They had used a well-known structural acrylic adhesive for years. They liked and trusted it to do the job.
However, they agreed it was time to change. But this then raised the question, “Where can you find alternative products?”
The previous supplier was too costly. They didn’t know of any other adhesive supplier who had a similar product. They also tried using tape instead, but there wasn’t enough surface area for the tape to ensure a strong bond. So, finding an alternative wasn’t all that easy.
How GBM Ltd. found an alternative to the structural acrylic adhesive
Despite the challenges, GBM Ltd. knew and had worked with Forgeway’s Formoa range for various projects. A few of GBM Ltd.’s customers had specified Formoa 017FE in some projects. Maybe Forgeway knew who could supply an alternative?
So they reached out to Forgeway.
After a short discussion, Forgeway researched the existing product to analyse which product would provide the best alternative. GBM Ltd. weren’t the only company that had reached out to Forgeway looking for an alternative to this structural acrylic in recent months.
Forgeway knew they had a similar product that GBM Ltd. could implement quickly. They had recently helped another company implement Purok VX60 to replace a well-known structural acrylic adhesive.
So Forgeway sent over the Technical Datasheet and other information for GBM Ltd. to review. Purok VX60’s strength and flexibility performance characteristics were very similar to that of the existing structural acrylic adhesive. Most importantly though, Purok VX60’s cure time matched the requirements.
How GBM Ltd. implemented Purok VX60 into their process
GBM Ltd. had successfully found an alternative; Purok VX60. Now they needed to implement it into their production.
The bulk dispense requirements provided some challenges. Forgeway could supply Purok VX60 in bulk. But this bulk option had a plastic liner in the metal drum to prevent the adhesive from reacting. This plastic liner caused dispensing issues with GBM Ltd.’s bulk dispensing machine.
Forgeway was able to solve this challenge by sourcing plastic bulk dispense packaging instead of traditional metal drums.
After GBM Ltd. had ironed out this small issue, they were able to get to work with the new product. They had successfully implemented Purok VX60 instead of the existing structural acrylic adhesive.
What does success look like now for GBM Ltd.?
Now that GBM Ltd. had implemented Purok VX60, they were able to purchase Forgeway’s product with a two-week lead time.
This dramatically improved GBM Ltd.’s ability to control its stock. They no longer had to order the adhesive well in advance. The two-week lead time means they can keep plenty of stock.
The other benefit of switching to Forgeway has been the consistent supply of adhesive in bulk. GBM Ltd. no longer have to purchase the product in 490ml cartridges just to get hold of it.
The combination of a 2-week lead time and consistent bulk supply has helped GBM Ltd. to control stock, cut costs, and ultimately increase profit.
How you can resolve supply issues like GBM Ltd.
If you’re in the same boat as GBM Ltd. were last year, and you’re experiencing supply issues with critical adhesive products, you can reach out to Forgeway.
Like GBM Ltd., you’ll be surprised by the range of products available. They don’t just supply MS Polymer adhesives and sealants. They also offer a wide range of structural adhesives.
If you’d like to browse some of Forgeway’s products, view the product pages on their website.
Or, if you want to speak to a Forgeway adhesive expert click the button below. They will assess your individual challenge to understand the right solution for you.