Post pandemic ‘can be’ scenario for WPC sector

By Hardy Panchal, HARDY SMITH, India.

World is trapped and no one clears the reason. No one takes responsibility and there are cross blames being observed on daily news broadcasts. Entire world is struggling for the situation to get to the normal. Markets are suffering in all the sectors, globally. We are majorly concerned here for the construction and infrastructure sector that is the core consumer of building and allied materials. Several simultaneous issues are coming on to the layer for this sector. Managing construction labour is becoming the most sensitive chapter of this Pandemic. For Industries those are labour intensive also suffering with the similar issue.

If we observe from the perspective of wood and allied sector, it is clearly visible that the managing labour and raw material is painful now. This industry needs reasonable number of labour for the overall operations. Starting from the Tree log cutting from forest, passes through handling operations and finally upto material handling – it needs efficient labour force. Moving ahead with the situation, all nations are trying to mobilize the economy by partly opening manufacturing sectors. VW, Germany has started operations, similarly Maruti Suzuki, India has started as well.

Indian Government is trying to mobilize construction sector as well with a major concern of labours moving back to their home towns. Since a month they were forcefully locked in the cities they were working but now gradually state governments are trying to send them to their family at home towns. Now, this situation also is tricky when one side industry and construction is getting operational and labour is being dislocated as well. The overall net effect cannot be positive especially for the labour intensive sectors like wood. Construction needs wood in its basic minimum applications for Shuttering, Doors, Door frames, Windows. All these cases need labour for several manual operations in factories and in Saw mills. Government is trying to operate public sector projects also which can help economy and this will need supply of all these items.

Now, if we compare technologies for wood processing and WPC processing for the small scale factories, WPC has the upper hand. Unlike Wood and allied processing, WPC needs too less labour for overall operations. A few important points that lead WPC over wood are:

Less manufacturing labour

Manufacturing, processing and overall handling for a WPC facility needs less labour. One WPC making line can run with a team of 8 persons, including skilled and unskilled labour.

Raw material availability

Basic raw materials are available within the country from resin manufacturers.

Faster production – Faster deliveries

In compare to wood and allied products, WPC can be produced faster, delivered faster. E.g. 125 Door leafs/Day can be produced out of one standard capacity line of 250 kg/hr, if operated efficiently. Similarly 125 Door frames/Day can be produced out of a standard capacity line running at 100 Kg/hr.

Ready to fix products – no post processing required

WPC products as we know, can be fixed in it’s raw form only because of it’s following characteristics:

  1. Pigmented products possible (e.g. WPC Door frames, Decking)
  2. Textured products possible (e.g. WPC Decking)
  3. Layered products possible (e.g. 3 Layer WPC boards/Doors)
  4. Moulded products possible (e.g. Moulded Doors)
  5. Custom shaped products possible (e.g. fix size door frames, flooring)

Above characteristics can cover interior and exterior product markets of wood, including High pressure laminates. In case modular furniture, need of backer laminate, inside laminate can be avoided easily. Because of all these WPC products can make construction and furniture projects too fast and feasible.

Opportunity for WPC manufacturers

As described above WPC can be proved as a product of ease for the infrastructure industry in post epidemic markets. It seems to have an equal opportunity for increasing demand of local manufactured products, when there is a sensitivity going on with imported goods in the current situation. Globally, nations are trying their best to survive local economies, they are forced to encourage local manufacturing and local produces. This case also can come as a positive thrust for WPC producers in the country.

This ‘can be’ scenario doesn’t look much impossible and we should pray to bring the global situation to get to the normal with cumulative efforts of countries with positive mind-sets, like India.