Grow businesses through innovation: DuPont VP
At a breakfast seminar about strategies for the automotive and transportation sectors on the second day of Plast-Ex...
At a breakfast seminar about strategies for the automotive and transportation sectors on the second day of Plast-Ex, DuPont Engineering Polymers‘s vice president of sales and marketing James Hay picked up on a theme that ran through the entire show: innovation.
Strategies for innovation and diversification have become a major focus for the industry, especially at what Hay described as “a time of turmoil and confusion.” Hay noted that innovation is the best strategy for business growth.
From an operational perspective, DuPont’s business units are the perfect illustration of this focus on innovative technology. The global science company was created more than 200 years ago, and has adapted to the changing landscape of the raw materials sector.
“Today, our focus is what we call customer-driven innovation,” explained Hay. The company innovates in ways that are consistent with the company’s mandate of sustainable growth. For instance, DuPont is investing more heavily in developing environmentally responsible materials for plastic processors.
“By 2015, we plan to double our investment in research & development programs with direct, quantifiable environmental benefits for our customers and distributors along the value chain,” said Hay. The company is focused on creating energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and expects to release about 1,000 new products and services to help make people safer globally by 2015.
The company is moving ahead with plans to commercialize two new polymers made with renewable resources later this year.
The Sorona EP polymer uses Bio-PDO, which is derived from corn sugar using a proprietary fermentation process, as a replacement for petrochemical-based 1,3-propanediol (PDO) and/or 1,4-butanediol (BD), and Hytrel RS is a polyester elastomer produced with a polyol made of Bio-PDO instead of a petrochemical polyol.
In addition to providing the innovative bio-based characteristics many manufacturers are looking for, Bio-PDO requires approximately 40 per cent less energy to produce than its petrochemical equivalents.
Attendees also heard from A.P. Plasman Corporation‘s director of research and development Horst Schmidt on advanced molding innovations such as in-mold assembly. Dr. Mohini Sain, the director for the University of Toronto’s Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, delivered a presentation on the use of bioplastics in the automotive parts sector.