We hypothesized that tighter formaldehyde emission regulations are affecting the competitive landscape in the IWCP resin market.
Discussions with industry experts identified eight major resin suppliers to the North American IWCP industry.
To develop a profile of the North American IWCP resin market, participants were asked to provide an estimate of their 2007 resin sales in pounds for each resin type.
resins represented only 1 percent of the IWCP resin market; however, these resins merit further discussion because they represent an important no-added-formaldehyde (NAF)
Participants were asked to estimate the percentage of their total 2007 resin sales (weight basis) to each of the four IWCP customer types (MDF, HWPW, hardboard, PB).
The four UF respondents (identified here as companies A, B, C, and D) were then queried as follows: "The cumulative sales (lbs) of companies A, B, C, and D represents: (a) 50-74% of the 2007 North American UF IWCP market; (b) 75-89% ...; (c) 90-94% ...; (d) 95-99% ...; (e) 100%....
Results confirmed that responding firms represent all pMDI and nearly all (>95%) UF resin sold to the North American IWCP industry in 2007.
This difference in competitive strategy may be a reflection of the increasing pressure to lower formaldehyde emissions from IWCP products.
Participants rated their perceptions of the overall importance of 19 product and service attributes to their IWCP customers on a 5-point interval scale from 1 = not at all important, to 3 = neither important nor unimportant, to 5 = extremely important (Table 3).
IWCP resin manufacturers perceived superior customer service as most important to their customers, since four of the top five ranked attributes are service oriented (Table 3).
PMDI suppliers perceived low cost as more important to IWCP customers than UF suppliers (Table 3).
UF suppliers also perceived support customer's new product development at vendor's R&D facility as more important than pMDI suppliers, supporting the notion that UF suppliers need to be engaged with their IWCP customers while developing new low-emitting products.