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Diversified technology conglomerate 3M Company (MMM - Analyst Report) is all set to revolutionize the industrial and consumer markets once again with its latest innovation in the Masking Tape product line, since pioneering it way back in 1925. While the original product paved the way for masking solutions, the derivative is likely to make masking simpler and convenient with different products for different usages.

The new product line titled 3M Masking Made Simple has five industrial masking tapes, categorized as 101+, 201+, 301+, 401+ and 501+, depending on increasing levels of performance.

The 3M Value Masking Tape 101+ is designed to address basic jobs such as marking, temporarily holding, wrapping and sealing; while 3M General Use Masking Tape 201+ is suited to handle relatively tougher jobs like bundling, labeling and identifying. The 3M Performance Yellow Masking Tape 301+ is ideal for industrial paint masking, bundling, color coding and sealing, while 3M High Performance Green Masking Tape 401+/233+ is made for high performance industrial painting jobs for aircrafts, buses, trailers, trucks, boats, trains and other specialty vehicles. The 3M Specialty High Temperature Masking Tape 501+ is specially designed for the highest degree of industrial performance in high temperature paint baking applications.

The separate product line for differentiated purposes will facilitate easier masking for customers, who until now had been using the same masks for mundane activities like hanging up a piece of paper to highly skilled painting jobs of specialty vehicles. This is likely to culminate in the highest level of performance on all jobs.

Furthermore, 3M’s global presence and an unrivaled track record as an innovative provider of masking solutions for diversified uses in consumer and industrial markets are positives for the company. Consistent with its long-term strategy of accelerating investments in high-growth programs, 3M strives to deliver sustainable increases in sales, earnings and free cash flow. The company’s ability to convert high R&D spends into up cycle market share gains, pricing power, and margin determines its success over the years.

Formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, 3M was founded in 1902 and is currently based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The company operates as a diversified technology enterprise with manufacturing operations across 70 countries. Effective from first quarter 2013, the company has reorganized its segments to better serve its global customers. The realigned structure includes five operating segments compared to the erstwhile six segments of the company. The new business segments of 3M are Industrial, Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, Health Care, and Consumer.

3M presently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other leading players in the industry include Crane Co. (CR - Snapshot Report), Honeywell International Inc. (HON - Analyst Report), and Macquarie Infrastructure Company LLC (MIC - Snapshot Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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