New performance demands from brand owners include safety, environmental pressures and new properties. This article discusses new trends within resins and coatings industry.
There is an increasing focus on creating customized resin and coating solutions to meet brand owner and consumer demands for even better performance. These performance demands are coming from several directions, which include safety compliance, environmental pressures, new coating applications and property/processing improvements such as durability, thinner coating layers and lower curing temperatures.
The intelligent way to develop customized performance
Given the plethora of pressures resins & coatings formulators are facing, such as greater safety, sustainability, higher performance and on top of that trying to reduce costs it is hard to balance these out without customized solutions and qualified support. Complex and competing demands, such as costs and performance in certain applications versus end consumer needs in others requires unique solutions, as increasingly one size does not fit all. This means formulators are turning more and more to their supply chain partners in applications requiring customized solutions. They are looking for technical, development and testing support for their specific applications.
Collaboration is being seen as the intelligent way to develop customized performance. This makes a lot of sense since overlapping development costs can be reduced, development time is shortened and there is a shared understanding of market drivers and application needs going forwards. This more integrated approach allows both formulators and partners to fully understand the performance and cost goals, so the best balance is struck. As the saying goes “two heads are better than one”.
As the pace of change quickens, as new coating applications emerge and as market dynamics change, the need for more focused innovation intensifies, as does the need to get new resins and coatings to market quicker. The route to achieving this and higher levels of customization is through value chain support where partners interests overlap.
Kent Hamacek, Product Manager and segment specialist Alkyd resins shares his thoughts:
“We see a clear benefit in closer cooperation and utilizing our networks with co-suppliers as a way of helping our customers to develop and introduce new products. This is an area we have only just begun to explore but it is an areas where we see great potential. During the last years we have developed our way of working to support customers in the transition from solventborne- to waterborne alkyds. Today we have close collaboration not only around products but also around sharing expertise, formulations knowledge and network. Utilizing our networks with co-suppliers of e.g. paint dryers, surfactants and basic raw materials has shown great benefit in learning from each other and finding new ways of handling present challenges.”
David Engberg, Product Manager and segment specialist Radiation curing gives his reflections:
“Experience shows that some of the most successful product developments starts with a request from a customer or sometimes even our customer’s customer and then evolves into a project. Radiation curing is one of the technologies where we are working closely together with our customers to find new solutions to existing and future challenges. Faster curing speed is one of the challenges which has become greater with the switch to low-power LED lights for curing. Curalite™ OxPlus is an example of a product developed in cooperation with customers to enable higher curing speed of cationic formulations. Another challenge is low migration and among our range of polyether polyols (alkoxylates) many of the products have been customized to meet specific customer demands on low migration. This is our way of working with focused innovation for radiation curing building blocks.”