Manufacturing Automation – Polyurethane Metering
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Where have the Development Dollars gone?

Recently our company has developed a brand new process for manufacturing EPP (Expandable Polypropylene). The process drops the manufacturing costs to pennies by comparison to the current steam chest way that is costly and archaic. Eliminating steam chests to manufacture EPP and the costly use of steam was the focal point of the project. Well we have been pretty successful in doing so and really need to take it to the next level.

So my job was to go out and find a partner to invest in the technology. Easier said than done! I have been canvassing the manufactures thinking this should be a slam dunk and coming out empty handed in most every case. I mean who wouldn’t want to invest a few dollars to reduce cycle times by 30% and reduce energy consumption by 70%? It seems the desire to invest in a new technology has gone by the way side for most every manufacturer. It is puzzling to me… I have to say. In a time when cost and productivity it the main focus, it would seem as though the Tiers would be actively searching for new ways of producing and reducing cost. So it begs the question…. Where have the development dollars gone? Are we in a place here in North America where the onus to move the Rubics cube around is all on the machinery manufacturer and only a proven technology can be introduced? Is it that we are stuck in the minutia where risking using a better mouse trap is something for the competitor overseas can do first then we will follow? Whatever happened to the wild west of automotive where we were the innovators and we found partners to carry the water bucket up the hill and shared the successes?  Sadly I think so…. So I will continue to seek out the manufacturer that is willing to risk a few dollars that could yield them an amazing return. And sooner or later, I know we will find that one company that is willing to get Moving Forward…. Opps that is the Toyota saying isn’t it?


Wish me luck and if you have an interest or know of a company that is looking to improve let me know, in the meantime we will be busy inventing new stuff but I always find time who share the idea of improving through investing in technology.


Raymond Costello

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