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ROCKWOOL: superior stone wool at lower cost

ROCKWOOL is amongst the global leaders within the insulation industry. Being updated with the ongoing trends and a consistent attempt to meet the increasing requirements of market has put the ROCKWOOL Group much ahead in its category. Vinay Pratap Singh talks about Rockwool’s journey and shares their future plans in an interaction with ACE Update.
ROCKWOOL is amongst the global leaders within the insulation industry. Could you brief us on your journey and operations in the Indian market?The ROCKWOOL Group, the world’s largest stone wool manufacturer is the leading supplier of innovative insulation products and systems, improving the environment and quality of life for millions of people. The group is a distinguished global leader within the insulation industry with high performance products and solutions for all major application areas – fire, thermal, acoustic insulations in the construction and process industry. ROCKWOOL International was founded in 1909 and as of today, operates worldwide with more than 8,500 employees across three continents with a global network of sales offices, factories, distributors and partners. ROCKWOOL International has a factory for production of stone wool insulation products in India at Dahej SEZ in Gujarat.
What are your products being used in construction industry?The Hardrock Dual Density (DD) roofing boards are manufactured using ROCKWOOL’s unique dual density technology with a robust, high density top surface layer. The Hardrock DD roofing boards offer excellent point load compressive resistance making it ideal non-combustible and acoustic insulation solution for most types of roof deck.ConRox provides an excellent structural core for factory engineered flat and profiled sandwich panels suitable for outdoor and indoor applications such as facades, walls, roofs, partitions, ceilings and heavy loaded sandwich panels.
ConRox products are non-combustible with a melting point of approximately 1,000 C. They are particularly suitable for thermal insulation, fire protection and sound reduction/absorption.
Cladding Roll which is specifically developed for use in lightweight cladding applications to commercial or industrial framed buildings is an ideal economical solution for roofs and walls and our foil face (aluminium faced) option has a high tensile strength suitable for vertical application. Fire Classification A1, water repellence, chemically inert, outstanding thermal insulation and effective acoustic properties are few of the advantage of cladding roll.
ROCKWOOL’s recent development, ThermalRock S, achieves an A1 non-combustible reaction to fire classification including faced and unfaced variations. It also provides a high level of acoustic benefit; as such, it has undergone rigorous acoustic testing and has attained a Class A absorption rating. The excellent acoustic performance makes ThermalRock S the ideal product for use as an acoustic material in internal partition, soffit slab as well as facade application.
What are the unique features of insulation products offered by you?ROCKWOOL stone wool is inorganic and contains no nutritious substance. Therefore it will not be attacked by micro-organisms. Stone wool will not rot and does not attract vermin. No CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs, or asbestos are used in the manufacture of the company’s stone wool products. ROXUL ROCKWOOL Technical Insulation (India) Pvt. Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of ROCKWOOL International A/S, Denmark – a global leader in insulation products, systems and solutions for improved energy efficiency, acoustic performance and fire safety in buildings and process industry and also the largest global manufacturer of ROCKWOOL. It specialises in technical insulation for oil and gas plants, power plants and other industrial units. These industries have special needs for heat loss reduction, fire protection, noise absorption, protection of technical installations, energy saving and reduction of CO2 emissions. This product was created in accordance with the group`s 4-in-1 principle of fire safety, sustainability, acoustic comfort and durability.
What kind of technology and materials you use to offer an effective insulation for modern infrastructure?The idea of producing stone wool was fostered on Hawaii. After volcanic eruption on the islands the natives found woollen strings of stone lying on the ground. They thought it was hair from their goddess, Madame Pele.
Today we know that stone wool is much more than that. We have discovered the unique qualities of the material that makes it perfectly suited for a wide range of purposes. That is why the ROCKWOOL Group has spent more than 70 years constantly improving its production process. In the beginning everything was done manually. Today highly sophisticated machinery ensures the quick and steady production of a superior stone wool quality at an ever lower cost.
ROCKWOOL insulation is created from a natural and sustainable resource. Our stone wool is made from basalt rock, which is plentiful and continually replenished naturally from within the earth. Its products are easy and safe to use.
Our factories mimic the natural process that occurs inside volcanoes, spinning and cooling lava like some substance in a controlled environment. The raw material – volcanic rock, basalt, coke – is renewable and plentiful natural resource, making ROCKWOOL stone wool highly sustainable. All ROCKWOOL stone wool products manufactured by Group’s Indian plant are EUCEB Certified and are bio-soluble fibres, which are proven non-carcinogenic and hygienically better than conventionally produced other mineral wool products in performance.
How do you see the acceptance of such products in the Indian market?ROXUL ROCKWOOL Technical Insulation India Pvt. Ltd. is now proactively stepping into creating awareness about the importance of 4 factors: insulation, fire, acoustic and sustainability. We are recommending the use of appropriate original stone wool material as per the international code recommendations.
We see a lot of growth opportunities in the construction sector for our product. Most of the recent projects have started using these insulation materials for energy efficiency, acoustic, and fire properties. As our all products and solutions are in line with 4-in-1 principle of fire safety, sustainability, acoustic comfort and durability; we are having huge potential in construction segment.
How competitive is the Indian market and what are your strategies to remain competitive?Indian market will remain competitive as always because of the growth in the midst of slowing economy though we observe recent slowdown in the IIP index for manufacturing sector.  To achieve the exponential growth, we are focusing towards more customer acquisition and reach to different parts of the country. That is why we have decided to implement the distribution strategy for the entire India. This distribution base will help us drive growth, profit and competitive advantage for our organisations.
You have a facility in Gujarat for production of stone wool insulation products. What is the current production capacity of this plant?In the beginning of 2010, the ROCKWOOL International Group started building a factory in India. The factory, which is now fully operational in the state of Gujarat, has an annual production capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes.
Is it adequate to meet the demand of Indian market?It is growing very fast as awareness levels on insulation is growing well in India. We may need more capacity in future.
Do you have any plan to expand your manufacturing capacity?It depends on market and our strategic move further on Pan Asia levels, and we cannot deny having these plans in near future.
What are the other expansion plans you have?The ROCKWOOL sales team is aggressively meeting the customers and offering free of charge technical services as part of value proposition to identify the major areas wherein the customers required stone wool products and systems and then designing and suggesting the right solution to resolve those problems with long-term cost-effective way. This Pan India initiative is being rolled out in all major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and Kanpur with immediate effect.
You have recently opened an office in Bengaluru. What was the purpose?The new office opened in Bengaluru is in line with the company strategy of geographical expansion throughout India. Bengaluru being one of the hubs for the consultants and architects, this office will provide good remuneration in future.


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