In the second part of this article series, a new approach to innovation for polymer emulsions industry is investigated. Like other industries, polymer emulsions industry must also innovate itself to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.
There is an outlook of continued future growth, mainly in Asia, but also two main challenges exist:
− Increasing commoditization of the business, and
− A difficult position in the value chain
In the past, innovation in emulsion industry was related to product or, in lesser extent, process innovation. Hence, despite the ongoing success of polymer emulsions, over the past decade or so, no real disruptive product innovations have been delivered to the market. “New” products are often developed but only with marginal improvements over existing ones, i.e. either:
− Adaption for new regions or to new applications, or
− Reactions to regulatory pressure
Also, according to the author’s observations, there is no silver lining on the horizon – that one big disruptive invention that might turn the polymer emulsions industry upside down. To acknowledge this potential future scenario of only adaptive, marginal innovations will actually open new opportunities for the emulsions industry. It is time to take an innovative look at the potential innovations in emulsions industry. There is more than products or process technologies to innovate.
But there is not “the” emulsions industry. There are the segment leaders, big corporations, where the emulsion segment is often back-integrated in its own raw materials and where customers in many applications fields are served globally from many regional sites. But at the tail end, there are also many small local producers, who operate one or two sites with a few stirred tank reactors.
The emulsions industry also comprises of both:
− The long-established players, and
− The newcomers who fight for their share in emerging regions
Each of these players need to find their own approach to take the challenges and opportunities of the future to innovate.
Read the full article at SpecialChem and take a look at the strategies to bring innovative emulsion products satisfying consumers’ demands to market faster…