3M (NYSE:MMM) has launched a spray adhesive for seaming of geotextiles, which are permeable fabrics that are used in association of soil for separation, filtration, reinforcement, or drainage.  These fabrics are used in a variety of applications, including construction of roads, buildings and railroads, building silt fences, and soil erosion control. Currently, sewing is the standard practice for seaming of geotextile fabrics. However, the company claims several benefits from using their spray adhesive over sewing. These include, time saving of up to 56%, higher strength at seams, no maintenance against consistent repair of large sewing machines, and material saving in certain cases. The product if adopted by geotextile seaming industry will add a new revenue stream for the company and add to growth in its top line. The adhesive spray is part of the Industrial Adhesives and Chemicals division which constitutes nearly 30% of the overall company value.
We currently have a stock price estimate of $97 for the company, approximately 5% above its current market price.
The advantages of the new spray adhesive over sewing
3M claims that their spray adhesive creates quick and permanent bonds on several geotextile fabrics. It is easy to use and can save up to 56% of time in seaming, compared to the cumbersome process of sewing. The spray adhesive comes in a pre-pressurized cylinder that requires no maintenance unlike the large sewing machines that often require maintenance, which further increases costs and timelines for contractors. And most importantly, the adhesive offers a seam strength that outperforms the fabric strength for many of the commonly used geotextile fabrics. Also, in certain cases, the spray adhesive requires a material overlap of 6″ for seaming instead of 24″ that sewing requires. This helps in saving on material costs. Thus, the all round advantages of 3M’s geotextile seaming spray adhesive over sewing make a strong case for the product.
The spray has already received approvals from Department of Transportation in states of Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and New York. And with this new product 3M has again shown why it regarded as one of the most innovative companies in the world.Notes:
- Introducing 3M Geotextile Seaming Cylinder Spray Adhesive, August 23 2012, news.3m.com [↩]