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Talking Point | February 2017

Marvel puts workers in safe hands

Marvel Gloves has entered into a partnership with Atom Corporation, Japan for distributing their range of industrial gloves in India.

‘Covering safety needs of working hands’ is the motto of Atom Corporation, Japan, a manufacturer of protective gloves of global repute. The founder of the company, Tomoshiro Taira was deeply affected by the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945 and in his resolve to support atomic energy only for peaceful purposes named the company he had founded in 1942 as Atom Corporation. The company initially started as a manufacturer of army uniforms and work clothes, but in 1949 switched to the business of spinning of nylon strings for work gloves and socks.

In 1957, it diversified into manufacturing of work gloves knitted from nylon strings. The spinning business continued till 1994. Through these two long-term industrial ventures, Atom Corporation has built a lot of know-how and nurtured innovative engineers dedicated to developing epoch-making work gloves that boast safety, comfort, and hand dexterity as their primary and ultimate purpose.

Tetsuki Morishita of Export Sales Department, Atom Corporation, was in India for the OSH India 2016 Exhibition & Conference in Navi Mumbai. We met Morishita at the booth of Marvel Group, a leading Indian company engaged in the manufacture, import and export of all kinds of safety gloves and personal protection equipment (PPE). Having played a pioneering role in creating the market for safety gloves and PPE in India over the last 36 years, the Marvel Group will now distribute products from Atom Corporation in the Indian market. Apart from its own range of safety gloves, Marvel has been importing high-tech gloves from global manufacturers of repute to complement its range with products that it does not manufacture in India. With this tie-up with Atom Corporation, the company has further strengthened its portfolio.

Morishita is quite upbeat on the company’s prospects in the Indian market, very excited about the potential of such a large country. When quizzed about the strategy, he was quite clear that Atom would not play the rate card. “We have a unique range of products with many special features not available in other gloves and that is our USP. We are not going to compete on price, but on quality, offering value for money,” said Morishita, making an oblique reference to a lot of cheaper products flooding the market.

One of the innovative offering from the Atom range is anti-vibration gloves for handling heavy duty drills, hammers, grinders, impact wrenches, power saws, etc. These gloves, with anti-vibration ‘Brick Pods’ – an Atom innovation – reduce vibrations substantially and minimise the risk of hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The hand arm vibration syndrome causes changes in sensory perception, which can lead to permanent numbness of fingers, muscle weakness and, in some cases, bouts of white finger. It is caused by working with vibrating tools. It is generally seen among workers who have been handling vibrating tools for longer periods.

Innovation is the mantra at Atom Corporation. In 1966 the company developed and started manufacturing natural rubber latex interlock-lined gloves a first in the world, and three years later developed and started manufacturing solid natural rubber vulcanised string-lined gloves. The company also adopted automation in its factory with the engineers developing in-house a fully automated production line for latex lined gloves in 1970, a first in the world of industrial gloves. Soon after that groundbreaking breakthrough the company fully automated the machine for solid natural rubber vulcanised string-lined gloves as well.

In 2004 Atom developed the innovative anti vibration glove (1121 series) that passed the stringent European certification test for anti vibration gloves: EN ISO 10819: 1996 – American standard ANSI S3.40 specifies the same test procedures. In 2005, the company developed nitrile palm coating stringlined gloves with innovative properties, such as an incomparable oily grip and oil repellence without sacrificing the dexterity and tactility.

Apart from gloves in various types and specifications suitable for different applications, Atom Corporation also manufactures rubber shoes for agricultural use in general, rice cultivation in particular. These light shoes with flat rubber soles assume the contours of the feet and are ideal to walk through the slushy fields. Farooq Abdullah, Managing Partner, Marvel Gloves Industries, feels the Indian agriculture sector is now ready for the next big leap adopting mechanisation in view of the shortage of labour, and issues of safety coming to the fore.

Abdullah should know. When he founded Marvel Gloves Industries in 1980 with the first seamless knitted gloves manufacturing unit at Ankleshwer in Gujarat, he faced opprobrium from family and friends about the choice of product he decided to make with prophecies of doom. That was the time when providing gloves to shop-floor personnel, was something unheard of, thanks to lack of awareness in general, but also for the simple reason of keeping costs down to minimum. In the initial days the venture was not a success but gradually the promoter’s dedication, team efforts, customer support, and above all quality products created high confidence in the buyers. Marvel Group has since won two National Awards for Quality Products, which were presented by the Presidents of India, which won the company recognition and fame in the safety gloves market in India and abroad. Today the company’s infrastructure is strong enough to handle the increasing demand from domestic and international markets. The company is customer friendly and guides customers in selecting the right gloves for right Application. Atom Corporation, the No. 1 gloves company of Japan has found the ideal partner for the Indian market.

The Atom range

Today, the company offers a range of gloves for highly specialised applications including:

  • Protecho – gloves with back (of the hand) protection, light duty
  • BothGuard – gloves with back (of the hand) protection, heavy duty
  • Galapagos – new range of gloves with back protection
  • ViBlock – anti-vibration gloves with oil, water and chemical resistance
  • VibeRest – anti-vibration gloves for heavy duty
  • Protecho – gloves with back (of the hand) protection, light duty
  • AtomGrips – nitrile supported gloves with excellent wet grip and chemical protection
  • LubenGrip – gloves with excellent grip in oily conditions
  • Kaizen GD – high-cut resistant gloves
  • Blizzard – Hi-Viz anti-freeze nitrile gloves
  • PolarFlex PF – gloves with freezing pint control technology
  • Protecho – gloves with back (of the hand) protection, light duty, and
  • ViBlock-B – gloves with back + oil/water protection and shock absorption.

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