About PD Technology
The journey to perfection is a long and never ending journey
PD Technology first started out in New Zealand under the name of Tradelinx Webbing when Peter, a fully qualified plastics engineer, acquired a synthetic leather strap manufacturing business from an acquaintance many years ago. At the time, the business was producing a low quality product and was barely making any money. Not being happy with the quality of the product he had inherited, Peter looked at what else was available in the market place and decided to use his plastics engineering knowledge to create a product that would be superior to everything else.
Probably the most glaring deficiency with a low quality synthetic leather strap is how quickly and easily the plastic outer coating delaminates from the central webbing core. During our investigations we found that only 2 other manufacturers gave outstanding adhesion between the outer coating and the webbing, with the rest varying between poor and just about adequate. This became our first issue to address, something which turned out to be a lot harder than we imagined to achieve a cost-effective and class leading solution. In fact it took 5 years of a lot of hard work, before we had finally developed a solution and continually evaluated and refined it, culminating in our HiBOND+™ technology.
Whilst working on the problem of keeping the outer coating and the webbing stuck to each other, Peter realised that weldable webbing solves a similar problem namely bonding a webbing strap to a PVC curtain. Looking at the weldable webbing solution, which involves soaking the webbing in liquid PVC (plastisol) and letting the plastisol set, so that it becomes fully impregnated, Peter realised that this would not be workable for synthetic leather strapping. However, with weldable webbing still in his mind, Peter realised that an early attempt at a solution, creating a separate polymer to act as a bonding agent, although ultimately not practical for synthetic leather strapping, could be an alternative, better solution for weldable webbing. Once Peter knew he was on the right road with the HiBOND+™ solution and had moved on to the evaluate and refine stage, he then devoted more time to working on his solution for weldable webbing. Peter realised that working with weldable webbing could be hazardous to your health, the heat needed to be applied to the webbing and PVC curtain results in many chemicals boiling out of the plastic, some of which may be toxic. The new polymer already required significantly less heat than plastisol to achieve a comparable bond, however Peter wanted to create a polymer that was a safe as possible and to minimise the amount of heat required as much as possible, in order to reduce the chemical boil off from the PVC curtain. Again this wasn't as easy as we hoped and it took almost 7 years of continual research, evaluation and refinement, however the end results speak for themselves as our HiWELD™ technology uses a polymer coating that is so safe that it is a food safe plastic, whilst welding with greatly reduced heat, allowing for weld speeds of up-to 7 times faster than plastisol coated webbing.
On the road to creating our all-new synthetic leather strapping, the next challenge was to create a premium quality polymer coating which was also as ecologically responsible as it could be. At this time the EU REACH regulations were being finalised, with the initial phase soon approaching, we therefore collaborated with our plastics supplier to devise a formula which would produce a polymer coating that was fully REACH compliant, yet was strong, supple, soft to touch, resistant to abrasions, chemicals and adverse weather, was highly UV stable and long lasting. This endeavour was so successful that we created our BioMER™ polymer coating, which met and surpassed all of our criteria. As far as the ecological criteria was concerned, we surpassed this by such an extent that our BioMER™ polymer is a bio-compatible polymer, which we could use to make medical products suitable for human implant.
Once we were getting ready to start some real world testing of our weldable webbing, we realised that the quality of the webbing we were purchasing was too variable and was not suitable to meet the strict regulatory demands of curtainsider trailers, which is by far the main application. Moving to a new supplier, who could guarantee a consistent high quality product would be too costly and would not allow us to produce a cost effective product. We therefore bought a high tech narrow weaving loom and started manufacturing our own webbing. This allows us to produce a consistently high quality, high tenacity, densely woven webbing strap which meets the EU regulations regarding the strength of webbing need to reinforce curtainsider trailer curtains. By slightly modifying the weave pattern, we produce an equally strong, yet thin, flat and flexible webbing strap that we use in our synthetic leather strapping.
After many, many years of hard work, PD Technology has created LeatherTECH Pro™, a synthetic leather strap that gives premium quality with unrivalled strength, alongside WeldTECH™, the worlds first and only 2nd generation, high-tech, eco-friendly weldable webbing. Creating these products is not cheap, especially in New Zealand which has relatively high manufacturing costs, therefore, although we had some success within New Zealand, we have struggled to make any headway externally. So in 2016, when the lease on the factory in New Zealand was nearly up, Peter and his wife, Duan, decided to move themselves and the company to Duan's home town in Thailand, in order to benefit from greatly reduced manufacturing costs. With a new country, it was decided that a new name should follow and so PD Technology was born. The move, although hasn't been without it's problems, has ultimately proven successful and we have managed to realise significant savings in our manufacturing costs. We are still sourcing our materials from reputable, international suppliers, from their Thailand offices and manufacturing plants, and so our quality remains just as high, but we can now offer WeldTECH™ at more or less the same price as standard plastisol coated webbing and LeatherTECH Pro™ for less than other premium quality synthetic leather strapping products.