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RCI May 2017

INSULATION Optimism and investment for the UK market The chances are you’re never too far away from a Recticel Group product. The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of urethane-based products and has automotive, flexible foams, bedding and insulation divisions spread across 100 sites in 28 countries – a global presence with a strong European focus. The Group’s sales hit €1,048m in 2016, but within this vast manufacturing machine it’s Recticel Insulation that is said to be the fastest growing division of the Recticel business. Recticel Insulation manufactures Polyisocyanurate (PIR) and Polyurethane (PUR) rigid foam insulation for roofs, walls and floors. The insulation division has three manufacturing sites across Europe with three insulation manufacturing lines at its Wevelgem, Belgium site, which caters for all of Europe excluding the UK and France, where Recticel has a site with one manufacturing line each in Stoke-on-Trent and Bourges respectively to serve the UK and French markets. Despite the vast, clinically-efficient research and production facility Recticel Insulation operates from at Stoke-on-Trent, where you can see 054 MAY 2017 RCIMAG.COM “For obvious reasons, bonding on site is becoming more and more difficult – if it’s not bonded properly, you don’t want it on a fully bonded roof” everything is geared towards producing the perfect PIR insulation board, Kevin Bohea, UK director of Recticel Insulation still calls the insulation manufacturer “one of the best kept secrets” in the UK. Increasing output But all that is set to change after the recent announcement that Recticel Insulation’s Belgian parent company is showing confidence in the UK market and investing €20m in further facilities to increase its UK output by at least 50%. As Kevin explained: “Following the successful growth of the UK business, it became clear we needed further investment in this country to match the expectation and growth in demand from customers.” So where is this growth coming from? Kevin continued: “We’ve seen a shift in material usage; there’s much more acceptance of PIR, I feel the construction industry has very much adopted PIR – it’s taken market share from mineral products. They are great for certain situations, but we’re focussed on where we are exceptionally good.” The PIR sector has reportedly experienced double-digit growth in recent years, but Kevin feels the next 3-5 years are going to be very interesting. Kevin continued: “We are very different to our competitors – we aren’t and don’t want to be a ‘me too’ company. You just have to look at our range and our recent additions – our new acoustic offering (launching later this year), for example, to see that.” The manufacturing and production line at Recticel Insulation leaves nothing to chance. Everything is monitored, fully traceable and tested to ensure no inferior boards leave the facility. Samples are taken and tested under various conditions to simulate the different environments the boards may encounter, and if it isn’t perfect, it doesn’t leave the facility. As Kevin explained: “It takes a long time to build a reputation, but not long to lose it! The flatter, more even board we produce, the easier it is for the contractor to work with on site.” In 2008 Recticel acquired Gradient Insulation which enabled the insulation division to establish a strong presence in the flat roofing and tapered insulation markets. Over a 30-year period Gradient has built up a reputation as a solution provider when it comes to flat roof insulation with expertise in bonding materials together and providing bespoke solutions. Tapered insulation is seen as one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to insulate and drain a flat roof. There are two types of tapered insulation solutions; multi-layer and single layer. Multi-layer, as the name suggests, involves laying multiple components over flat packer boards and bonding them together, layer upon layer, on site. Gradient says this method can create cost and RCI visited Recticel Insulation and sister company Gradient to hear why the insulation specialists have such high hopes for 2017 onwards (L-R) Kevin Bohea, UK director of Recticel Insulation, Tony Brown RCI, Anna Paruch and Tom Nash of Recticel Insulation and RCI editor Matt Downs Ian Fenn of Gradient with Matt Downs and Tony Brown of RCI


RCI May 2017
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