India’s leading latex processing and glove production company Kurian Abraham Pvt Ltd (KAPL) set up in 1955 by the late Kurian Abraham of the Ooppoottil Group processes field latex from the rubber plantations of the Group’s Velimalai Rubber Company. As the demand for Centrifuge Latex grew, we started with installing more machines and consolidated our operation in Tamil Nadu. It now has 30 state-of-the-art Alfa Laval centrifuging machines of 100 metric tonnes capacity per day, translating into 3000 tonnes per month, a formidable leap from its modest beginnings of a 200 tonnes per month capacity.
Centrifuge Latex by itself cannot be used to manufacture any big product and so we bought the technology of Pre-Vulcanised Lattices from Revertex of Malayasia. We add chemicals, compound it and then put it in the dipping line to make products like balloons, gloves, condoms and catheters. Latex starts to lose its stability the moment chemicals are added to it and its quality starts deteriorating during the production process. The property of latex varies on a day to day basis and gets worse with every passing day, and the rejection rates go up as the days pass by.
Compounding is therefore done through a meticulous process in the factory to make it a very stable product. Whatever output one wants on the first day and on the 30th day will have the same quality by virtue of following the right process and technology. The Pre- Vulcanized Latex technology helps because you can even stop the production and store Latex for another two months and use it again. Only a few companies in the world probably have this technology.
New products launched
Kurian Abraham Pvt Ltd is looking at Europe because Cancer there is a big concern. We have come out with Low Nitrosamine Latex gloves to prevent the incidence of Cancer. Natural rubber has a protein content which causes allergies. We have also launched Low Protein Latices. These products are highly priced premium products by virtue of being technically highly special grades of latex. The technology that goes into making it is very high. India is not yet woken up to the advancement and the market is at a very nascent stage. As people become more health conscious these things will be required. We currently have prepared products for this segment.
There are two major units for production of gloves under the Ooppoottil Group, the Kurian Abraham Private Limited (KAPL) and the Kanam Latex Industries. Kanam Latex Industries is the largest manufacturer of surgical gloves in India and Kurian Abraham Private Limited (KAPL) manufactures household, industrial and surgical gloves. We are growing at 15 % and expect to grow at 60 % in the Pre Vulcanized segment. People should get convinced about the product which will take time.
KAPL provides Latex as per the specific needs based on the customer profile and parameter of the product along with standard specifications. Customer requirement is fulfilled on the basis of parameters like lower VFA and mechanical stability. It should be ensured that ISI standard for latex is also met.
Until now, the general impression was that it is not possible to get ISO 14001 certification for rubber based industries as the processing of natural rubber latex is bound to generate large quantity of effluent which is hazardous to the environment. Nevertheless, KA-Latex’s commitment for environmentally safe manufacturing practices and procedures has proven that even in the rubber industry ISO: 14001accreditation is feasible. Thus Kurian Abraham Pvt. Ltd paved the way for many other latex and rubber based units to clean up their process systems.
Strict pollution control policy is being followed in all our plants in Tamil Nadu. Nearly 80 % of Wastewater is recycled back into our factories with the help of Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) spread over an area of 50 acres. Rest of the 20 % is used for growing vegetables and fruits. Ten windmills were set up 15 years ago for power generation which is currently used by our plants, out of which excess power is sold to Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). We are also planning to set up one megawatt (MW) solar power plant for which land is available. The power produced will be sold to Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.
KAPL’s unit is the first in the rubber industry to get ISO 14001: 2004 certification in India. Ammonia used in the Rubber industry is a hazardous chemical. Earlier it was not possible for any unit in the rubber industry to get ISO 14000 certification because of the use of Ammonia.
B grade and second quality gloves are dumped into India from Malayasia and Thailand and sold without name of the importer, address, brand name and MRP mentioned on it. Besides this, household and industrial glove sector is unorganized. It is a price sensitive market and therefore spurious products are sold by flouting laws. Legal Department and concerned authorities have turned a blind eye to such activities which need to be addressed urgently for the sake of quality.