A Belgian invention resolves a common complaint among builders
"The Genius Gun extends the shelf life of PU foam considerably"
Erik De Groof, marketing manager at Soudal
Customers often gave feedback to Soudal, the glue and silicone manufacturer: "It's a shame that PU foam only keeps for an hour once it's open. We throw so much away!" Using the Genius Gun, Soudal extends the product's shelf life, making considerable savings on foam and packaging.
It is no laughing matter to build or renovate a house in Flanders. Regulations related to insulation and energy consumption grow tighter by the day, making the costs of building go through the roof. Efficient silicone, glue and polyurethane foam (PU foam) can benefit home owners considerably and that was quite clear to Soudal, the glue and silicone manufacturer based in Turnhout.
Our success depends on a variety of factors: the size of our range, the price-quality ratio, but also the decision to act sustainably," says marketing manager Erik De Groof. "Our products are just a small part of a home, but they also ensure that people can build well-insulated houses. That reduces energy consumption. In addition, we opt for as many environmentally-friendly products as possible and support the circular economy. Our products do a good job, but they are also easily separated from the surfaces to which they are attached when they are no longer required. In this way, building materials are easy to recycle."
Soudal sells its products to professional and private users in over 130 countries. The most important element in this multinational's success story is technological innovation. Erik De Groof: "We focus heavily on customer-oriented and sustainable innovation. This is how we heard from our customers about the problems related to the short shelf life of PU foam, once the container had been opened.
That's why we launched the Genius Gun, an aerosol that preserves the PU foam far more efficiently. A normal can of PU foam reacts to humidity in the environment and goes hard in under an hour. Using a Genius Gun, people are now able to keep using the product for up to six weeks: this means that much less foam is thrown away and less packaging is required. The adapted handle also allows users to dose the product more effectively, as well as operate the can with one hand."
The Genius Gun has become one of Soudal's most prized products in the space of just a few years. "Customers choose it because they can keep using the foam for longer and don't need to buy as many cans. However, it also has advantages for us. Although the Genius Gun is more expensive to produce, the product is sustainable and that sets us apart from our competitors. We have also applied for a patent. The name Soudal is the guarantee of good, efficient and sustainable products. That gives us a clear competitive advantage."
SUSTAINABILITY BENEFITS IN FIGURES
► Normal can of PU foam: keeps for 1 hour after opening.
► Genius Gun from Soudal: keeps for 6 weeks after opening.
► Silicon, PU foam and glue represent on average just 0.05 per cent of a new home but can help to reduce energy consumption by over 10 per cent.
► Energy consumption is reduced by sealing holes and gaps in the home.
► Using the new Genius Gun, builders can dose PU foam more efficiently and keep it for longer. This means that the product lasts longer and less material is wasted.
► Technological innovations provide Soudal with a competitive advantage.