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Transforming an unprofitable product to a profitable one

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by

Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

Knovel case study

An agricultural and herbicide company had a product in their portfolio that was struggling. The solvent had been losing market share and its negative margin had attracted the attention of management. If manufacturing costs could not be reduced, then the company would likely need to stop making the product. They needed a solution quickly. Continue reading “Transforming an unprofitable product to a profitable one” »

Chemical Manufacturing’s Three Main Challenges in Industry 4.0

Posted on April 27th, 2017 by

Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

Industry 4.0

Chemical manufacturing is being transformed by Industry 4.0. Today’s chemical companies are quickly adapting to the digital world, recognizing the power of “connection” among products, production equipment and personnel. But with transformation also comes challenges. Some are specific to organizations and depend on where they currently stand regarding technology, operations and resources. Continue reading “Chemical Manufacturing’s Three Main Challenges in Industry 4.0” »

NASA Creates ‘Fabric’ For The Galaxy and Beyond

Posted on April 26th, 2017 by

New Materials & Applications

NASA Space Fabric

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech [PD NASA] via NASA.gov

Every seasoned business traveler knows the importance of breathable fabrics for comfort during the journey and if it doesn’t fit in the carry-on rollaway, you pick it up at your destination. However, when planning for exotic destinations like Mars, NASA can now use additive manufacturing to print custom fabrics along the journey and for more than just spacesuits. Continue reading “NASA Creates ‘Fabric’ For The Galaxy and Beyond” »

Increasing Varieties of Domesticated Crops Demand New Specialized Agricultural Chemicals

Posted on April 25th, 2017 by

Chemical R&D

Agriculture

Worldwide demand for many crops far outstrips production – and the situation is worsening. While drought and famine have long been relatively common in many areas, the 2016 El Niño warming phenomenon disrupted growing conditions throughout the world Continue reading “Increasing Varieties of Domesticated Crops Demand New Specialized Agricultural Chemicals” »

Clean Energy: What about Nuclear Power Plants?

Posted on April 24th, 2017 by

New Materials & Applications

Nuclear plant

Aerial View of Salem, NJ, Nuclear Power Plant (Source: Nuclear Street, https://nuclearstreet.com)

It has been nearly 75 years since the creation the world’s first artificial fission reactor by Enrico Fermi and his team.  Fermi’s reactor led to the development and construction of civilian nuclear power plants that supply electricity to the public in dozens of countries. Continue reading “Clean Energy: What about Nuclear Power Plants?” »

Master the Box

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by

Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

Master the box 1

“Constraints inspire creativity.”  Christopher Isaac “Biz” Stone, co-founder of Twitter. I recently asked a young engineer if he knew from where the phrase, “Think Outside the Box,” came. “Taco Bell?” he replied tentatively. Continue reading “Master the Box” »

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About this Blog

About Chemical & Materials Blog

This blog is a forum for a critical exchange of ideas on issues, trends and opportunities related to innovation and R&D in chemicals and new materials and applications, offering helpful perspectives in environmental health and safety, risk management, new product development and operational efficiency. This blog serves the chemicals and materials community specifically, heads of R&D, heads of Manufacturing and Engineering, and chemists and engineers involved in chemical and materials R&D from ideation to manufacturing and production at scale.

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Elsevier,  its affiliates and sponsors or its parent company, Reed Elsevier.