MIDLAND, Mich.—Dow has launched an automated polyurethane formulation system and will be fleshing out details over the coming months.
The system relies on artificial intelligence to devise formulas based on Dow raw materials to customer specifications.
Customers will be able to use a web interface to specify parameters such as hardness, density and cost. The software will simulate formulation reactions under manufacturer's individual conditions. Once the simulation meets the specification it will be recommend as formulation. This should be a good starting point if further modification is needed, the company said.
Using this process will help customers significantly cut the time it takes to get a new product to market or to offer samples for evaluation, Dow said.
Dow is using Microsoft's Azure platform. This combines machine learning and artificial intelligence with Dow's materials science, reaction kinetics data and rheology with historical data, predictive modeling and automated work processes, and scale up apps. The process is designed to integrate with Dow's order processing system.
"We are integrating new digital tools across all business operations to change the way we work and how customers do business with us," said Alan Robinson, Dow Polyurethane's North America commercial vice president. "We are making our processes smarter and more cost-efficient, building novel capabilities."