With the gloves theme having such an enormous exposure this year, its only apt that Malaysia a leading producer of rubber gloves for world market, look at ways and means to improve on the technology with innovation. Adopting this vision, NanoMalaysia together with Bonric Sdn Bhd have worked on a new technology that is set to change the way rubber gloves are viewed and used.
The new latex gloves will incorporate graphene infused electrostatic discharge, the ESD gloves are usually made of synthetic rubber and used to handle sensitive electronic parts in the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry. However, the latex ESD gloves have been enhanced with nanotechnology – making them thinner, tear-proof, biodegradable, and less susceptible to type IV chemical allergy. Giving the gloves extensive user application especially in industries such oas electronic disk drive; semiconductor; avionics; space technology; and even healthcare. NanoTechnology is projecting a revenue impact of more than RM100 million over the next five years with this innovation.
Bonric Sdn Bhd is a pioneer in the manufacturing and distribution of specialty and innovative gloves for the critical environment use – exporting their products to more than 75 countries. Meanwhile, NanoMalaysia Berhad is a company limited by guarantee (CLBG) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to act as a business entity entrusted with nanotechnology commercialisation and industrialisation activities through a venture builder model – and has invested RM1 million in this project.
Group Managing Director of Bonric Sdn Bhd, Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam said: “The current global value of the ESD glove market is estimated at RM640 million and Bonric is confident that this innovative graphene infused latex glove will be able to garner 15 – 20 per cent of the market share, over the next 5 years. Once established market presence, and firmed up on its intellectual property (IP), the gloves can be licensed to other Malaysian players to manufacture and export.
Currently, Bonric Sdn Bhd’s output capacity on such critical environment gloves, stands at 400 million gloves with facilities centred at Batang Kali with plans in place of rolling out two more facilities within the next five years and with an increased production capacity of 30 per cent.
Chief Executive Officer of NanoMalaysia Berhad, Dr Rezal Khairi Ahmad said: “One of Malaysia’s goals is to add value to traditional sectors including agri-commodity, and these gloves will enable that. Firstly, latex concentrate is the principal raw material used in these gloves – benefitting natural rubber producers. Secondly, a new graphene supply chain business opportunity can emerge here. It is crucial to localise the source of graphene, which can be tapped sustainably from the biogas in the palm oil industry. This synergy between Malaysia’s two perennial commodity-based sectors creates compelling investment prospects for both local and foreign investors.