Customer Spotlight: Partnering with Pioneer Balloon

Pioneer Balloon Corrie MacColl casestudy

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Since its inception in 1917, Pioneer Balloon Co. has developed into one of the largest balloon manufacturers in the world, carving out an industry-leading business across four continents. As a Corrie MacColl customer since 2014, the working relationship is built on a foundation of partnership, multi-dimensional solutions and cross-team communication. We have harnessed our global assets to collaboratively meet the evolving requirements of Pioneer Balloon, with services including: sourcing a consistent and reliable supply of latex, a laboratory retainer, and consultation services for their plant operations. This partnership has enabled both teams to continue raising industry standards and driving product innovation.

‘Corrie MacColl is so much more than a typical latex supplier and their depth of technical expertise adds tremendous value to our relationship. Over the last several years, Corrie has increased its focus on customer support and the added capacities of Momentum Labs has further enhanced the relationship. These added benefits put Corrie MacColl head and shoulders above any other supplier.’

Dan Flynn – Chief Operating Officer, Pioneer Worldwide

The Challenge

Sourcing 6,000 wet mT of concentrated latex  p/a.

Laboratory services required for raw material testing, research and product development.

Technical expertise and consultation required to optimise plant operations.

The Solution

Plantation Supply

  • The large supply of 6,000 wet MT of latex concentrate is sourced from our Hevecam plantation in Cameroon. 
  • As Pioneer Balloon are committed to responsible sourcing, this supply provides transparency from tree to customer. 
  • Sustainability is prioritised in adherence to our Sustainable Natural Rubber Supply Chain Policy (SNRSCP), developed with Proforest and Rainforest Alliance.
  • The strategic positioning of our Cameroon laboratory enables the product to be tested prior to shipping.

Global Assets

  • Corrie MacColl’s network of distribution assets allows for full oversight of the supply chain. Our North America distribution team provides updated supply reports to Pioneer Balloon, ensures that any risk to supply is mitigated, and communicates directly with our Cameroon plantations to ensure supply is shipped on time. 
  •  Our latex tank storage facilities within North America provide sufficient storage for the latex, enabling the supply of of just-in-time product. 
  • Momentum Technologies Laboratories, Corrie MacColl’s independently certified laboratory, tests the material upon arrival in North America.

Laboratory Access and Expertise

  • In order to continue driving product innovation, we secured a retainer programme providing Pioneer Balloon access to Momentum Technologies Laboratories in Ohio, US. 
  • This brings the added value of a broadened technical offering as our MTLabs technicians lend their expertise as an extension of Pioneer’s Technical and R&D Teams.
  • The laboratory’s state-of-the-art equipment enables raw material analysis, R&D work and formulation, and testing. This includes the development of blends using our latex with Pioneer Balloon’s additives to examine viscosity, surface tension and swell.
  •  The laboratory is independently accredited under A2LA/ISO 17025, and tests more than 90 different ASTM methods. In addition to greater reliability, this provides Pioneer Balloons’ teams access to our international network of regulatory and standards development. 

Consultation on Plant Operations 

  • Pioneer Balloon has been focused on optimising plant operations and looks to Corrie MacColl for consultation services and experience through close communication with our Technical Services, Product Development, Laboratory Services team. 
  • The team works as a partner with Pioneer Balloon’s natural latex Technical and Production Teams, by actively participating in production meetings and technical conferences.
  • Areas of consultation span all aspects of dipped goods manufacturing, such as compounding, dipping, finishing, testing and effluent discharge. 
  • This technical service proves successful in enabling the business to lower scrap rates, increase output and control costs. 

Our work with Pioneer Balloon has aligned well with the values of Corrie MacColl and Momentum Technologies Laboratories. We have prioritised technical expertise and collaboration to push for enhanced product performance and optimised operations, enabling both teams to surpass industry standards. We look forward to continuing this working relationship.’     

Tom Marsh, Global Head – Technical Services, Product Development, Laboratory Services.

 

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