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Budi Hanafiah: innovation and localization become the core competitiveness

China is becoming one of the most important car markets in the world, this view has also been confirmed by the leader of tape manufacturer—tesa. In order to improve the competitiveness, tesa has been accelerating the process of localization and increasing the investment for research and development to bring the most advanced technology. Meanwhile, in order to cater to the trend of lightweight and environmental protection, tesa provides a wide range of solutions for the car makers. tesa’s marketing director of Greater China said that the reason why tesa owns a high reputation in China is not only because of their product, but also because of their professional employees.

Gasgoo: As an international company, how has tesa evaluated the China market? What experiences can you share with us regarding your localization process?

Budi Hanafiah: In terms of the automotive market, China has become the most important country in the world with huge vehicle output and strong growth. There is no doubt that China is an indispensible business part for tesa Automotive.

In order to deepen the localization, tesa makes rapid adjustment to market trends and new requirements of the Chinese market. In addition, tesa develops tailored solutions with high benefits to different customers. Thus tesa gets a successful position as a technology leader in China.

Gasgoo: A maintained concentration on researching, developing and innovating the most up-to-date technology is an important factor behind tesa's success. Could you introduce some of tesa's newest automotive technologies and products?

Budi Hanafiah: An average of over 70 patented new developments each year and an innovation rate regularly exceeding 50 percent speak for themselves. Time and again tesa has been and is able to set milestones in adhesive tape technology.

For example, 2010 marked the birth of the tesa® ACX technology. tesa® ACXplus is a new category of double-sided tapes for constructive bonding and is the highest performing product line made by tesa. tesa® ACXplus consists of a high-performance acrylic system and is primarily characterized by its Bonding Power, Stress Dissipation and its Temperature and Weather Resistance. Challenging, permanent, constructive bonds are now possible – for example bonding attachment parts to car bodies. This development will open up a new dimension of possibilities for automobile manufacturers and suppliers in the future.

Gasgoo: tesa has established automotive business centers in Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Changchun and Chongqing. What specific measures will tesa take in order to further expand its market share in the country?

Budi Hanafiah: From marketing aspect, on one hand, tesa will continue the off-line market events such as 'Technology Days' at OEMs, professional forum and summit, as well as plant tour. On the other hand, tesa will increase the investment in online marketing. tesa endeavors to become a closer partner of OEMs and their supply chain through the online and offline marketing.

Gasgoo: In response to increasingly severe environment problems, China has established stricter environment protection standards for various industrial products. How are these policies influencing the industrial tape industry? What measures has tesa announced regarding this issue?

Budi Hanafiah: Environment protection is a challenging task for tape industry, which requires manufacturers to develop environmentally friendly technologies from production through to disposal. But tesa always keeps developing clean, solvent-free manufacturing techniques. In the 1960s, for example, suspended drying technology was developed for the coating of particularly thick adhesive tapes while minimizing residual solvent content. In 1995, production using solvent-free co-extrusion for surface protection films for car paintwork was introduced. In 2002, the researchers at tesa set another standard with the patented manufacturing technique for the solvent free coating of natural-rubber-based adhesives. The year 2010 marked the birth of the tesa® ACX technology, with the development of an entirely new technology for the solvent-free coating of acrylate foams.

tesa operates preventative environmental protection measures on its own initiative and responsibility in order to bequeath an intact environment to subsequent generations. Environmental guidelines are mandatory yardstick for our actions. tesa’s environmental certification and environmental management system both conform to the international standard ISO 14001.

Gasgoo: Weight reduction is a hot topic of automotive industry and a focus task of OEMs. As an adhesive tape provider, what solutions can tesa contribute to this?

Budi Hanafiah: Weight reduction is a key success factor for lower fuel consumption and longer cruising range. In addition, extra weight of new features and technologies needs to be compensated. Therefore, weight reduction is a key target for engineering centers around the world.

tesa fully understands that every gram counts for OEMs and provides comprehensive solutions contributing to the weight reduction. For example, more and more OEMs use tesa laser labels rather than metal plates and fixation as anti-theft labels; use tesa hole covering solution rather than plugs as sealing material; as well as use tesa cable mounting tapes rather than hot melt glue as cable fixation on roof liner.

Gasgoo: Facing several competitors both at home and abroad, including 3M China, and Four Pillars Enterprise, what advantages does your company boast?

Budi Hanafiah: Compared with comprehensive enterprises, tesa only focus on tape product development and tape application exploration. Therefore, in tape industry we hold a high market share and a very prestigious pedigree.

What’s more important, tesa’s constantly raising the bar on innovation focusing solutions tailored to the market needs combined with an excellent customer service is the key factor of the success compared with other competitors. tesa targets investment in groundbreaking research and development; develops new, solvent-free production processes; taps new automotive application with innovative adhesive solutions and further develops of existing products.

Besides, our efficient logistics concept cuts costs, improves product availability, and safeguards the high service quality that our customers have come to expect from us.

Gasgoo: As a foreign enterprise, what challenges has tesa undertaken or expect to face regarding investment in the China market and how to deal with them?

Budi Hanafiah: China is a big and complex automotive market with a lot of joint-ventures and domestic OEMs. It is a challenging work to provide accurate solutions to the customers with different production process, specification and application environments. But tesa Automotive insists in one simple attitude“We don`t send products, we send people.”First, establishing an understanding of the application at the customer – then recommending the suitable product and its application in the process.

tesa Automotive is proud to have skilled experts of the automotive industry among its employees. Apart from the product quality, nothing is more important for automotive manufacturers and suppliers than having a knowledgeable local contact person. For that reason, tesa Automotive pays particular attention to the training and qualification of employees. This includes continual advanced training in various areas of work, as well as the international exchange of ideas between experts. The customer can always depend on one thing from tesa: a contact person close by.