A new study published in the 38th International Conference on Organizational Science Development (Ecosystem of Organizations in the Digital Age) showed the correlation between using the information technology in the process of coating development and reduced effects on pollution.
We’re proud to announce that the independent study Reduced Environmental Pollution in the Process of Coating Development by the Use of Information Technology conducted by M. Senegačnik, T. Kern, B. Urh and E. Krhač of the University of Maribor showed a clear impact on reducing environmental pollution in the development process of coatings with the help of Allchemist digital platform.
In other words; the Allchemist database is also integrated into an application that allows for “virtual experimentation,” which helps to narrow the number of actual, full-scale laboratory experiments needed to bring the right new product from concept to market, dramatically reducing non-value-added work.
This affects more sustainable approach when developing new or improved products in the paint & coatings industry.
Below you can read parts of the originally published article. The full article can be found HERE.
Manufacturers in the coatings industry are faced with challenges of increasing magnitude. On the one hand, customers are demanding coatings that ensure ever more effective protection of the substrate but, at the same time, meet the relevant aesthetic criteria (brilliance, colour, etc.).
On the other hand, environmental protection requirements are constantly being tightened, leading to the use of some substances that increase the effectiveness of coatings being discontinued or heavily restricted (EU, 2004; EU, 2010). The third important aspect is, of course, economic: a manufacturer has to have the price of a product in mind all the time.
The overhauled process significantly cuts the number of laboratory tests and therefore causes considerably less environmental pollution, because of the lower quantities of waste produced and the lower quantities of energy and water consumed.
The comparison is shown schematically in Figure 2. It is evident that the problem of the complexity of the development process can better be resolved by reducing the number of re-tests performed in the laboratory than by shortening the periods of time spent on an individual testing procedure. This is possible only if formulations are simulated in advance and individual formulations checked from the point of view of environmental and price acceptability. This narrows down the number of potentially suitable formulations prior to laboratory testing. The environmental acceptability of a formulation depends on the coating’s ingredients and on their respective proportions within the coating. If we, therefore, know the environmental acceptability of a specific ingredient and its proportion within the coating, then we can calculate the overall environmental acceptability of the coating. The same is true when it comes to calculating the cost price, which depends on the prices of individual ingredients, their respective proportions and the price attached to the technological procedure of manufacturing the coating. If we have data on a specific ingredient and its proportion and on the price attached to the technological procedure of manufacturing the coating, we can make a precise calculation of the cost price of the coating.
Figure 2: Schematic comparison between a) the conventional and b) the overhauled process
The solution of a shortening of development processes is therefore known. In order to implement the solution, the formulator needs data on a large number of potential ingredients at the start of the development process. In principle, this data can be obtained. It is found on technical information documents, safety documents and ingredient price lists provided by manufacturers. The data is publicly available. It can be obtained most often on the basis of a request together with an ingredient sample. As a rule, the data comes in the form of paper documents or electronic documents in pdf format.
This is where the problem arises.
[…] The solution is called AllChemist (AllChemist, 2019) and has been designed to operate in the cloud. Documentation on a coating is created using the data on ingredients in the standardised database. The database contains technical, safety and other data on all the ingredients of all products that the users of the service have formulated up to now. The ingredients database is relatively large and increases in size with every entry made.
The ambition of the developers (AllChemist, 2019), as we understand it from an analysis of the solution, is for the solution to be used as a configurator of formulations as well. The advantage of a configurator of this type lies largely in the fact that it generates safety data, alongside chemical composition, at the same time as an individual formulation is being developed. The formulator can identify the chemical properties and environmental acceptability of a formulation as it is being produced. If the ingredients also contain up-to-date information on prices, the cost price of a coating can therefore be calculated in real time. The particular advantage of a development process designed in this way is that it produces a large database of available ingredients that the formulator can choose from without wasting time searching and gathering documents on ingredients and copying data into the formulation.
This enables the formulator to produce a functionally better coating much more quickly.
Because the information solution is cloud-based, the proposed modification of the process can be further upgraded. Allchemist’s developers are keen to provide their information solution to providers of coating ingredients as well. In doing so, they are incorporating similar solutions from other sectors that enable providers to add and arrange data on their products or services in a straightforward and direct way. As AllChemist can be expected to soon become the standard in the sector because of its clear superiority over other similar solutions, it is also possible to expect that ingredient providers will recognise and seize the opportunities it provides.
It will be possible to offer and market ingredients only by making them ‘a mere click away’ from formulators and, therefore, their customers. The direct and up-to-date arrangement of basic data on ingredients by their providers will make the tool even more useful. Enlarging the database of available ingredients will enable a formulator to develop even better products.
When looking at environmental challenges and searching for a way to tackle them, we often encounter opportunities that meet cost-effectiveness, business efficiency, and innovation requirements perfectly.
The digital transformation of the coatings development process is one such example. The process of reducing environmental pollution can also lead to a reduction in development process lead times, reduce development costs and increase the likelihood of the best possible coating being manufactured. This is made possible by an innovative information solution that operates in the cloud and uses a standardised database containing basic data on ingredients.