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Coatings Ingredients
The material selection platform
Coatings Ingredients

How Digitalization Saves Formulation Time and Supports Innovation?

Joanne Sekella & Tracy Young – Nov 25, 2022

TAGS:  Sustainability/Natural Coatings     Science-based Formulation    

Digital Transformation In Paints and Coatings Industry Creating new paint formulations looks a lot now like it did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and 30 years ago … in fact, the process is largely unchanged. It’s tedious, hands-on work that consumes large amounts of time and resources – valuable commodities that could be better spent in other areas. While vendors, partners, and peers throughout the industry have embraced and leveraged the latest technology to gain a competitive edge, this part of the value chain remains almost entirely manual.

As technology has overhauled, the way the world works and plays, large and small businesses alike have reaped the benefits of following digital transformation tools that seemed more like science fiction than actual science only a few years ago:

  • Cloud computing,
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI),
  • Machine learning, and
  • Internet of Things (IoT) or “smart” devices, to name a few.

From one-person eCommerce operations to multinational banking and finance firms, these advancements have helped companies overcome obstacles, streamline operations and do more, more easily.

Thanks to the steady pace of technological growth, these systems are growing more affordable and accessible all the time – imagine what formulators could do with a platform that was created by experts and backed by data to help them accelerate innovation.

Let’s explore how Dow’s Paint Vision, a digital tool, easily formulates your paints and coatings by saving time & efforts.

Transformed Traditional Techniques

Even for individuals without a deep knowledge of the industry or vast formulating expertise, it is not difficult to understand why developing new formulations is anything but quick or easy. From start to finish, the process can span weeks or months and involve hundreds of test samples made from dozens of ingredients in seemingly infinite combinations, all mixed and measured by hand. With that perspective in mind, it becomes very apparent why the manual “trial and error” method can be costly and time-consuming and require the experienced touch of a formulating expert.

The process isn't just inefficient – the complexity of formulation and testing can introduce wide margins of error. It’s entirely possible that two formulators working with the exact same recipes and ingredients could create solutions that perform very differently based on how samples are prepared or what conditions are used for testing. The difficulty in controlling every potential source of error– no matter how insignificant– makes refining and optimizing new formulations so difficult.

While the struggles of formulators are anything but secret, efforts to provide them with meaningful relief have been few and far between.

Until now.

Informed by decades of materials science knowledge, Dow Coating Materials – a longtime source of coatings expertise and innovation – saw an opportunity to use digital transformation ideas to disrupt the status quo and overcome barriers that have held the field back from reaching its full potential.

The result?

DOW™ Paint Vision: A Digital Innovation In Paints and Coatings Industry

Paint Vision: Next-Generation Digital Transformation Technology DOW™ Paint Vision is an online platform that combines decades of insights and understanding with next-generation technology in a holistic, user-friendly hub of tools and resources. Formulators of every level of skill and experience can:
  • explore new materials,
  • access the latest technical data, and
  • research and formulate new coatings solutions in only a few clicks.

The greatest challenge in creating the platform was turning expertise and experience into a meaningful, value-adding system to support the needs of formulators and enhance their ability to use better information and better processes to develop better results.

Empowered by fingertip access to AI-assisted tools, users can do the following:

  • create new coatings solutions in as few as six clicks,
  • match ingredients and attributes to specific applications for results that are more likely to pass muster in the real world, and
  • save significant time and effort involved with traditional methods.

Enhancing Today, Investing in Tomorrow

Under the current methods, mastering the formulation process requires years of effort and discipline. While the “apprentice-style” approach has worked well enough throughout the years, it has created the side-effect — likely unintentionally —of restricting the pool of talent and interest. Concentrating the required skill and knowledge on a limited number of individuals has created a very siloed environment and set a high bar for access, potentially dissuading newcomers from entering the field.

Paint Vision was developed to be a tool to support the needs of formulators in the present day and a resource to invest in the coating creators of tomorrow.

As a digital transformation tool designed to elevate and enhance the value chain, overcoming obstacles was a core principle that informed the design. One of the biggest roadblocks is bridging the divide between interest and ability.

Paint Quality Studios: Know the Science Behind Your Formulation

“Paint Quality Studios” – a critical part within the platform – is an archive of data, research, and learning tools that form the foundation upon which Paint Vision was built upon. Because the development process is so heavily data-driven, a storehouse of comprehensive information was essential to support the needs of seasoned professionals and newcomers alike.

Training videos, educational resources, research materials, market trends, regulatory data… details that are essential to successful coatings solutions are housed in a central hub for easy access, enabling formulators to spend more time creating instead of searching.

Formulating for the Future

Coatings Solutions Contributing to Sustainability What’s good for the environment can also be good for business.

Coatings solutions do more than add color and protection to the world around us – they play a significant role in advancing a more sustainable future. As demand for sustainable goods from consumers, marketplace trends, and regulatory pressures continue to grow, so will the importance of resources that help formulators adjust and adapt.

Better solutions require better materials. Guided by predictive intelligence technology and expert insights, Paint Vision can recommend products based on user needs and preferences. As it continues to develop, the platform will include tools to provide sustainability metrics and environmental impact projections that can help users to make better decisions about the solutions they create.

The Final Coat

Like any digital transformation tool, the true value of the platform starts and ends with the user – Paint Vision is simply a resource that helps turn ideas into action and accelerates the potential to innovate. While the future of the system and the opportunities it could create are still evolving, it’s hard to imagine the industry turning away from technology that supports their ability to think more strategically, work more efficiently, and innovate more quickly.



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