R&D: BASF opens colour R&D centre in Germany; Covestro expands Japanese tech centre

BASF opens colour R&D centre in Germany

German chemicals firm BASF has opened a new research laboratory for pigments, manufactured and marketed under its global brand Colors & Effects, in Besigheim, Germany.

"With the installation of this research laboratory in Besigheim, we are strengthening the rapid development of near-market innovations. Through the complete on-site support and the proximity of production and research, we support the development of our inorganic colour pigments as well as the Paliocrom effect pigments,” said Alexander Haunschild, Senior Vice President of BASF's global pigment business.

Prior to this laboratory opening, the research activities that will be bundled in Besigheim in the future have mainly taken place in Ludwigshafen. Haunschild emphasises the importance of the laboratory for the future of the site: "Following the expansion of capacity for bismuth vanadate and Paliocrom effect pigments, the laboratory opening also shows that we regularly invest in the Besigheim site." In June 2018, the company had announced an increase in production capacity for Paliocrom effect pigments at its Ludwigshafen and Besigheim locations.

ovestro expands Japanese tech centre

Meanwhile in other news, Germany-based Covestro is further accelerating its global R&D capabilities, with its innovation centre Japan (ICJ) now ready and equipped to further provide innovative solutions and material developments focusing especially on automotive and construction segment. The laboratory upgrade will further increase the prototype capabilities to create innovative solutions for Japanese industrial partners and customers.

The centre started as technical division of Japanese joint venture Sumika Covestro Urethane that marked its 50th anniversary this year in September. Business Units Polyurethanes (PU) and Coating, Adhesive and Specialties (CAS) started technical activities in 1971, followed by Business Unit Polycarbonates (PCS) in 2009. Since then, the centre in Japan has played an important role as an integral part of the Covestro R&D global network including Germany, the US and China.

“The renewal of the Innovation Center Japan lab area will enable closer and more intensive cooperation with global leading companies in Japan. The joint innovation power is a main driver for our success in key industries,” said Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro.

For example, a new high performance PU R&D installation with power assist devices supports the customers to prototype larger PU panels. Another example is the two-component injection moulding installation and DirectCoating DirectSkinning (DCDS) technology from Business Units PCS and CAS to drive innovation with Japanese partners and customers.

In addition to the upgraded lab, the “Customer Experience Center Lounge” is opened to enhance interactions in value added innovation and better involve Japanese customers. It will be positioned as the point of intersection between latest global technical trends from Covestro worldwide and ideas from customers.

The newly equipped lab is also now expanding its digitalisation in R&D by focusing particularly on data driven development with newly hired data scientists. Further, simulation, hardware installation, and laboratory automatisation will be developed in close collaboration with the Covestro global digital R&D network.


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