Covestro and Haier plan digitalization joint laboratory
Covestro and the Haier Group, a global brand for household appliances, have agreed to set up a joint laboratory in Qingdao, China, for the digitalization of appliance production. The project will be supported by the Haier Institute of Industrial Intelligence.
According to Covestro, as an important initiative of its global digitalization strategy, the laboratory will develop digital solutions related to polyurethane materials to push forward smart manufacturing in domestic appliance production and mass customization in the chemical industry.
In the Haier – Covestro Digitalization Joint Laboratory, both partners want to develop solutions for data collection and analysis, monitoring foam quality and process workflows and continuously optimizing processes. These measures are expected to continuously improve the polyurethane foaming and manufacturing process, improve foam quality and reduce manufacturing costs, opening up new opportunities for the domestic appliance industry in an increasingly digitalized world.
“With this collaboration, Covestro benefits from its comprehensive experience with polyurethane and foam technologies, while Haier brings in its expertise in industrial automation and the analysis of large volumes of data,” explained Dr. Ulrich Liman, global head of research and development in the Polyurethanes segment at Covestro. “This combination is bringing forth a new era of digital transformation in the chemical industry.”
Launched by Haier, CosmoPlat is said to be the first industrial internet platform to let users participate in the whole process. It can realize the transformation from mass manufacturing to mass customization, reshaping the industrial value chain and eco-chain, and further empower enterprises, users and suppliers to build a new manufacturing eco-system that can realize win-win cooperation, said the company.
Haier itself explained CosmoPlat “as an open multilateral interactive co-creation and sharing eco-platform. Our CosmoPlat user experience based mass customization model can be copied across industries, fields, and cultures. It is an industrial internet platform with global universalities. Our cooperation with Covestro will undoubtedly inject a key innovative force in chemical digitalization into Haier's path towards intelligent manufacturing.”
In recent years, various industries in China have driven the digital transformation. For the traditional chemical industry, this also has an impact on the development of upstream and downstream value chains. Covestro and Haier said they want to enter into a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership, by continuously developing innovative digital solutions. Empowered by CosmoPlat, digital solutions can also be applied to the development of customized solutions for diversified polyurethane applications so as to achieve mass customization, said the companies.
Dr. Michael Schmidt, head of Innovation Asia Pacific at Covestro, leading the R&D team, and John Dou, Vice president of Commercial Operation China, Polyurethanes segment at Covestro, leading the sales team, expect that this coorperation model will further increase synergies between the two companies.