Arabplast 2015 Fair Dubai, EAU
Isolago’s roots are in a well-known company, producing plastic pipes and fittings, from which comes the experience in this type of production. When the scale of the business required more specialization and a corresponding investment, Isolago emerged as an independent company. “We felt the market needed a producer-supplier of compounds capable of serving customers with appropriate solutions for their specific applications and we saw this as an opportunity to diversify business” - explained to REVIPLAST Rodrigo Barros, Isolago’s Manager - “On the other hand, specialization in the development and production of compounds required a specialized company, with its own strategy and geared towards the market”.
The company began its operations at the end of 2006, with a complete line for the production of PP/CaCO3 compounds and white colorants. The following year, Isolago started testing new products and started its ISO 9001:2000 certification process. At the end of that year, production reached 5500 tons. In 2008, the company invested in a new complete line for the production of compounds and expanded the range of products. “From the beginning, our objective was to enable the company to produce a diversified range of compounds, for various sectors of the plastics industry”, said Rodrigo Barros. “In 2008, we started producing compounds for the automotive industry and for the household appliances sector”. In the meanwhile, the company obtained its ISO 9001:2000 certification.
In two years, Isolago achieved a significant position in the Iberian market. Portugal represents about 25 % of sales and Spain about 70 %, which shows a pace of market entry in line with the size of the market. The remaining 5 % refer mainly to North African markets.
Diversification and “special products”The range of Isolago products “is a constantly updated list”, said Gonçalo Maia, Product Manager at Isolago. Alongside the PE and PP compounds with calcium carbonate and the white colorant masterbatch, Isolago formulates and produces talc- and fiberglass-reinforced compounds. In the list of products approved by the market are also compounds in accordance with the GWT (glow wire test) requirements. “We invest on diversification and the ability to formulate the most demanding technical compounds, seeking to meet customers needs”, explained Gonçalo Maia. “The product range also includes several compounds with formulations developed specifically for certain customer applications. This is - in fact - one of the aspects in which Isolago is differentiating itself in the market: the development of dedicated solutions. Many customers who need specific products have difficulty finding supplier partners, especially if they are not looking to get very large quantities. Isolago, with its flexibility and vocation for specific solutions, seeks to meet these customers needs”.
The diversification strategy paid off. Currently, Isolago’s customer portfolio includes the film extrusion (around 60 %), the extrusion-blow (20 %), the pipe extrusion (15 %) and the parts injection (5 %) sectors. “This breakdown may change depending on market trends and our ability to respond in terms of formulation and production” - said Rodrigo Barros - “but diversification will continue, even with other percentages. Moreover, this “sales mix” by sectors shows that the company has diversified rapidly”.
New products under development
The most recent developments, or at the final stages of development, include anti-UV compounds, new reinforced PP compounds (glass microspheres, glass fibre, long glass fibre) and flame retardant compounds for technical applications. “We are also developing compounds with specific characteristics requested by customers. This “tailored development” will continue to be something we will invest greatly in”.