Haier and Covestro plan a digitalization joint laboratory

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Ulrich Liman (on the right), global head of research and development in the Polyurethanes segment at Covestro, and the representative of Haier are looking forward to the set-up of a joint digitalization lab for refrigerator production.

Haier Group and the polymer manufacturer Covestro have agreed to set up a joint laboratory in Qingdao, China, for the digitalization of appliance production. Both parties have signed an agreement thereon. The project will be supported by the Haier Institute of Industrial Intelligence. The laboratory will develop digital solutions for using polyurethanes in appliance production. All over the world, polyurethane rigid foam is the material of choice for efficient refrigerator insulation – Covestro explains in a official note -. To insulate a refrigerator, a precisely dosed amount of polyurethane raw materials is injected into the outer cavity and fills it up completely during foam formation. Both this material and the related foaming process are crucial for the refrigerator industry. Fully-automated, smart production depends primarily on a precise characterization of the polyurethane components – a complex task. With the development of digital solutions, Covestro hopes to open up new avenues for helping household appliance manufacturers overcome these challenges. In the new Haier-Covestro Digitalization Joint Laboratory, both partners want to develop innovative solutions for data collection and analysis, monitoring foam quality and process workflows and continuously optimizing processes. These innovative measures will continuously improve the polyurethane foaming and manufacturing process, improve foam quality and reduce manufacturing costs.
Besides, COSMOPlat, launched by Haier, is the 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. Haier itself explains 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 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. As an important initiative of Covestro’s global digital strategy, the lab will focus on developing digital solutions related to polyurethane materials to push forward smart manufacturing in domestic appliance and mass customization in the chemical industry.

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