Securing the future of manufacturing


MEPCA spoke with Bondloc Managing Directors, Warren Wilkinson and Mark Adams about their campaign to promote unity and support for UK manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.

Bondloc is looking to challenge the status quo in the industrial adhesive market by launching its first national advertising campaign, ‘Let’s Stick Together’. It promotes unity and support for UK manufacturers, suppliers and distributors and reinforces the current social and economic climate as we exit Europe and tackle the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Bondloc UK, based in Worcestershire, has manufactured and supplied adhesives and sealants to the industrial, engineering and automotive sectors for over 28 years. With an international distribution network and product approvals within major OEMs like JCB, Black & Decker, Honda, Bosch, Bombardier, Trex, Sulzer Pumps, BAE, and Princess Yachts, the company has over 150 adhesive formulations and over 300 active product lines sold across 32 countries.


MEPCA: Where did the Bondloc story start?

Mark Adams: Bondloc Adhesives started in 1993 as a sales operation based at home with a car and just an outbuilding. I met Warren in 1994; we were both working in the welding industry selling to end-users. At this time, two dominant companies were selling anaerobic adhesives to market, offering engineers the first viable alternative to traditional mechanical fasteners. With a surge in demand for these products, many couldn’t obtain them, and there were clear opportunities for more competitors to enter the UK adhesive market. I could see the transition from welding to adhesives was straightforward but with less competition than welding.


MEPCA: What happened next?

Warren Wilkinson: By 1995, the Bondloc brand was registered with Mark and me as joint owners. With continued growth and new premises, it became evident that products needed to be manufactured in-house and in 2000 we invested in mixing equipment and a team of specialist chemists to help develop formulations and broaden the range of chemistries on offer. We continued to target both OEMs and specialist distribution networks, but we needed large end-users to adopt the brand to give Bondloc more credibility within the industry.

After three years of continued persistence, we finally obtained recognised product approvals within several blue-chip companies – JCB, Black & Decker and Honda. This helped the Bondloc brand to become recognised by many engineering and distribution outlets as a quality but a competitive alternative supplier to the market leader.


M: Could you provide a summary of your organisations offering to the market?

MA: We offer a wide range of adhesive chemistries and sealants. From anaerobic threadlockers, thread sealants, retainers, gasketing to cyanoacrylate instant adhesives (superglue) and a structural range of epoxies, polyurethane and methyl methacrylate adhesives. Having in-house production and laboratory facilities means we have the flexibility to manufacture bespoke products to the customer’s exact requirements. This is how our core product range has evolved.



M: Who in the main are the companies you engage with and in what way?

WW: We have distributors across the UK and internationally, and we work directly with many OEM’s.

Our focus continues to be within the engineering market, with our metal bonding anaerobic products used extensively in this sector. We have an established network of distributors with core competencies within pneumatics, seals, bearings, transmission, pumps and gearboxes.


M: What are your key successes?

WW: We offer high-quality adhesive equivalents to the global market leader, which are manufactured in the UK and with a lower price point. This means our distributors can obtain products quickly, make better margins and offer OEMs and end-users cost savings on like-for-like products.

Where specific adhesive brands are already defined on production drawings, our technical team fully supports the switching process. Our chemists work closely with the project teams on sampling and testing to ensure a smooth production transition. ISO 9001:2015 underpins our customers’ confidence in our quality systems to aid this process.


MA: Improved productivity and financial benefits after reviewing and switching products outweigh the time and costs involved. Bondloc has developed and modified more adhesives in the past 24 months than in the previous 25 years. With the onset of Brexit and various supply issues with imported goods, more and more OEMs are looking to switch their adhesive products for UK-made, high-quality but lower-cost local alternatives.


M: What’s the process?

MA: Our exact involvement depends on the customer. Whether it’s just supplying a sample to be validated to those requiring our expertise to help define solutions depending on the materials and processes used. We have a product already manufactured that will do the job in many instances, but we can tweak our formulations to a specific technical requirement.


M: What are your reflections on 2020?

WW: 2020 was a year that not many of us are going to forget for many reasons. When the impact of COVID-19 started to materialise, we made an early decision to convert part of our mixing and filling lines over to hand sanitiser production. We have always had a small range of personal care products, so it felt like a logical move and proved very positive for our business, employees, and customers. The take-up from our customers was extraordinary. Almost all of the hand sanitisers we produced were sold to our existing customer base. Although demand has slowed down, these products will stay in the range longer term.


M: What do you see as the key trends in the sector?

MA: With continued pressure around sustainability and manufacturers investing in greener and more fuel-efficient solutions, the overall demand for high-performance adhesives to bond synthetic materials is increasing. The evolution of new substrates and composites coming onto the market is also spurring additional technical challenges.

Traditionally, we’ve supplied structural adhesives for carbon fibre bonding to Formula one motorsports, but it now has wider applications across the automotive, construction, aerospace, wind turbine, marine and military sectors. Distributors and OEM’s need to be able to work closely with their suppliers to tackle production challenges surrounding new complex substrates and increasing processing costs.


M: What are your objectives looking ahead?

WW: We continue to invest in our production capabilities, with several exciting projects underway for this year. The environmental contribution is also key to the ethos of the business. Recycling programmes, plastic packaging reduction initiatives, reduction in the use of hazardous chemicals and plans to extend the Safer Product range of non-hazardous anaerobic products across the next 12 months are key initiatives.

The five-year growth plan for Bondloc is ambitious, but without compromise on the quality or service that we have built over the last 30 years.


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