COLOGNE, Germany—Specialty chemical giant Lanxess has launched a project aimed at using the potential of artificial intelligence to offer its customers tailor-made polyurethane systems, the company announced.
The project will expand Lanxess' range of prepolymers, offer shorter lead times and allow development of polyurethane systems in entirely new applications, the company said in a press release.
In an initial project phase, Lanxess enlarged its database of prepolymer-based formulations, the company said. Lanxess data specialists and process experts used the Citrine Program, the industry leader for the use of AI to accelerate materials development, for artificial intelligence to add further data points to the company's formulation database, it said.
"This meant that only a few real-life measurements were required to verify the figures determined with AI," Lanxess said.
The next step of the project involves checking how reliably optimal formulations can be predicted with AI to meet specific customer requirements for product characteristics, according to Lanxess.
"If the next tests are successful, we will be able to fulfill customer requests even more quickly and effectively," said Markus Eckert, head of Lanxess' Urethane Systems business. "Our existing knowledge of formulation will be enhanced by AI-assisted formulation design."
Lanxess has had a dedicated team for digitalization since 2017, devoted to developing digital business models, introducing new technologies, developing and using big data and fostering digital expertise among employees, the company said.
"Most employees who are already using artificial intelligence cannot imagine ever going back to the old methods of working," said Jorg Hellwig, head of the digitalization initiative. "The use of digital technologies is increasingly becoming standard practice as Lanxess."