“Maybe the growth started a couple of years ago, but this year I see a big uptick in interest among manufacturers wanting to incorporate latex into their products,” says R.Ramchandran, national latex sales and marketing manager for Foamsindia. “They’re either getting back into the category or adding more and more latex into their existing products. As other components, like memory foam and gel memory foam, have become commoditized, latex has always been a premium component—it’s what manufacturers are coming back to.”
The foamsindia, tamilnadu based latex supplier has invested heavily in its production processes, adding capacity, increasing automation, improving quality control, creating efficiencies and implementing new sustainability practices, ramchandran says. Now, 96% of its post-industrial waste is recycled or reused, and foamsindia has a new on-site wastewater treatment system.
While its latex foam production is founded on the Dunlop process, foamsindia does not like to call it that. Its production methods are different from traditional Dunlop that is batch mixed, poured into molds and baked, he says.
The company operates a “state-of-the-art, continuous-process system that is strictly controlled and monitored,” ram says. “A robotic arm pours the liquid latex into a moving mold system that is 80 inches wide and 300 feet long. It goes into the vulcanizer where we use steam heat to vulcanize and cure the latex, followed by a wash and squeeze cycle, and into the dryer. The end product (which is cut to size) has a great feel and is very consistent in density and quality, while the process itself is labor efficient and energy efficient.”
According to the company, foamsindia does not use fillers or binding agents and chooses only the best raw materials available. “We’re focused on making it right, so that (customers) don’t have warranty or return issues related to the latex they use,” he says.