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How do you lower analytical lab costs?
Posted on May 11th, 2017 by Christina Valimaki in Chemical R&D
A chemist at a global chemical company needed to create new materials for the company’s polymer platform. His challenge was to find and evaluate high performance, cost effective and biodegradable polymers within budget. He needed a way to sort and evaluate large numbers of materials quickly, efficiently and reliably.
The paper “Solution Story: Reducing Analytical Lab Budgets” introduces us to James Elmont*, a chemist who was asked to identify potential materials for new biodegradable polymer products. To proceed, Elmont needed to compare key properties of a wide range of polylactides (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). Elmont and his team also wanted to evaluate the materials used by the competition within the biodegradable space. The team set about gathering accurate information to present to the management team so that they could make quick decisions about product development.
Knovel provided the team with instant access to the properties for more than 35,000 organic substances and more than 5,000 inorganic substances and elements — all in one place. By relying on Knovel, Elmont and his team were able to create side-by-side comparisons of the properties of various PLAs and PHAs without having to turn to Google and other search engines to painstakingly piece together the information they needed. This enabled Elmont to better guide technicians and analysts about which DOEs should be conducted, based on the side-by-side comparisons Knovel provided.
By using Knovel to assess the feasibility of various materials, Elmont’s team was able to identify — and quickly eliminate — 60% of their materials ideas as dead ends. Another 20% were saved for further review. And the team moved forward with the final 20%. By being able to assess all the materials quickly and accurately, Elmont was able to save the company both time and money, slashing the analytical lab budget by $250k.
*Name has been changed to protect rights to innovation
All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.
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