L.D. Davis Utilizes Ground Hard Cap Gelatin to Lower Costs while Maintaining Superior Adhesive Performance and Passing Savings onto Customers that Choose New Formulas

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L.D. Davis, the largest protein adhesive manufacturer in the U.S., introduces new adhesive formulas including ground hard cap gelatin that cost less to produce, but maintain the high quality and performance L.D. Davis adhesives are known for around the world. The new formulas are available to all customers and the savings will be passed directly to those that choose to use them.

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Color Variations for L.D. Davis Protein Adhesives at 2mm Thick. Far Left is the Traditional Color.

NW139P using ground hard cap is sold as a lower price and is equivalent to NW139C in terms of performance. All in all it is a “win-win” for everyone.

The number one customer request L.D. Davis receives is how to lower cost without impacting the superior quality and performance of their adhesives. Their lab took on this challenge and worked on an alternative to one of their most popular products. The product NW139C is traditionally an amber color used by the rigid box industry for end products that vary from game board boxes to a perfume boxes. By incorporating colored raw material, L.D. Davis was able to save 6% and up off the adhesive per pound price that we pass directly to their customers. That might not sound like a lot but for an average customer that can save more than $60,000 annually.

An interview with L.D. Davis’s Vice President of Technical, Mike Drewery, provides details on this innovation.

1. What causes the color Variation?

Drewery: Traditionally, L.D. Davis uses a raw material called technical gelatin in adhesive manufacturing. Another source of gelatin is ground pharmaceutical capsule shells and is referred to as ground hard cap. This is a recycled raw material that L.D. Davis has used in our formulation for over 40 years. The traditional products are made by using clear gelatin. The new colored product uses the ground hard cap that is dyed a variety of colors, all being blended together randomly. As a result when this material is processed a broad range of color can be obtained in the final adhesive. L.D. Davis does the best they can to blend this feedstock and limit its color palette from a pinkish to light purplish hue.

2. Is there a difference in formula of the product?

Drewery: The ground hard cap is 100% gelatin, equivalent in all physical properties except color to standard technical gelatin. The adhesives will perform and process the same way. This is accomplished by offsetting technical gelatin with the exact level of hard cap required to maintain the same physical properties of the glue. L.D. Davis has a 12 point quality control process to insure there is no difference between the traditional product and the colored product.

3. Does L.D. Davis have current customers now using this product? Does the company have other protein products that can be changed to colored variations?

Drewery: L.D. Davis has numerous customers using colored versions of standard adhesives. One customer uses the colored version in bookbinding for white bible covers. They were at first concerned with the bleed through on the white covers, but once the product was trialed, their concerns were gone. They are now saving 8% that has saved them $11,000 since they made the switch. The cost saving while keeping up the performance is a key advantage. Almost all of the products can be formulated using a portion of recycled hard cap.

4. Why should customers switch from the NW139C to NW139P?

Drewery: NW139P uses a recycled stream of ground hard cap as a key component. It is also sold as a lower price and is equivalent to NW139C in terms of performance. All in all it is a “win-win” for everyone.

5. This all sounds too good to be true, why would customers hesitate on switching?

Drewery: Customers initially were concerned the color of the dried glue will impact the appearance of the top laminate or wrap over the chip board. L.D. Davis has not seen this as an issue. However, the lab would be more than happy to test customer substrates to ensure they're a good candidate for this alternative product. If the customer is using thinner wraps, they should be tested over the colored glue to ensure there are no issues.

If customers are interested in switching their protein adhesive to a colored version, please contact Stacey Kreisler at 215-886-6001.

About L.D. Davis
L.D. Davis is a third generation industrial adhesive manufacturing company near Philadelphia, PA focused on helping customers solve bonding issues. Furthermore, they are North America’s premier and largest protein adhesive compounder and one of the top glue suppliers in the country. Overall, L.D. Davis produces over 20 million pounds of protein adhesives each year for bookbinding, box making, food and beverage, product assembly and packaging industries as well as many specialty applications. With five warehouses strategically placed throughout the US, L.D. Davis is able to meet your specific shipping requirement. For questions and comments about our new Primo protein adhesives, please give us a call 1-800-883-6199.

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Stacey Kreisler
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