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Rubber Board sets up centre to make innovative products, help growers get higher returns

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on March 02, 2021

Since inception, 8 companies have registered with RPIC to develop innovative products

The Rubber Board has set up an incubation centre, Rubber Products Incubation Centre (RPIC), to help entrepreneurs manufacture innovative products in order to make the rubber products manufacturing sector vibrant and ensure better returns to growers.

Set up last year, RPIC is attracting more attention among incubators with many coming forward to register with the centre. As many as eight companies have registered with RPIC to develop innovative ideas since its inception.

KN Raghavan, Executive Director, Rubber Board, said the Board intends to create a strong and vibrant rubber products manufacturing industry with RPIC, working in tandem with natural rubber producers to bring value to stakeholders in all sectors of the supply chain.

RBIC has successfully designed a cost-effective formula for production of household gloves using new raw materials. The products fabricated are of good quality and free from the usual defects.

There was excessive use of protective devices such as rubber gloves and masks with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, prices of protective rubber gloves more than doubled.

Raghavan said another initiative was the replacement of the plastic root trainer cups used in rubber nurseries for growing rubber plants. The rubber root trainer cups are flexible and bio-degradable and field trials of the plants raised in rubber root cups are in progress.

A project for developing orthotic insoles for leprosy and diabetic persons was completed and lauded by the client. The products have succeeded in clinical trials. Compared to the conventional process, the new process can deliver products at half the cost.

Development of rubber tiles from discarded nitrile gloves has been proposed and a new process designed to produce the tiles which can be used indoor and outdoor.

Quality upgradation of raw rubber is another project taken up by RPIC. With better protocol and process modification, block rubber with raw rubber properties equivalent to sheet rubber can be obtained and the trials in this direction are progressing, he said.

Around 4,000 registered non-tyre products are manufactured in the country’s MSME sector. There’s a similar number of non-registered units too. The sector is a major employment provider and exports from this sector stood at ₹11,000 crore during 2019-20.

RPIC is expected to overcome the lack of in-house R&D facilities in the MSME sector that has hit technological upgradation and competitiveness of the sector, he added.

Published on March 02, 2021

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