- 1:15 PM

Product Development: from Conceptualization to Market

Ka M. Ng, Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Ltd, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong and Rafiqul Gani, Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.

This presentation provides an overview of the different design problems and needs in chemical-based product development. Specifically, three issues will be considered in detail. One is what to make the design of products with the functionalities and attributes to meet the needs and wants of the consumer. While it is obvious that the final outcome is decided by market demand, one has to have a firm grasp of the technical details and market trends of the specific product type to be effective. Another is how to make. At present, many products have been designed primarily by experimental trial and error. It is highly advantageous to delve deeper into molecular design and material properties on the one hand and microstructures and macroscopic geometrical features on the other to create the relevant models, databases and predictive capabilities. These tools are expected to help deliver a product with the desired attributes in a timely fashion. In addition, many opportunities exist for research on unconventional unit operations such as granulation, milling, emulsification, coating, etching, which are often used in product-centered processing. The third issue is workflow. Systematic approaches will make some of the steps faster and more efficient by learning from the past, avoiding unnecessary steps, reducing the search space, etc. Also, with considerable demand on interdisciplinary collaboration in product design and manufacturing processes, it is highly desirable to clarify the role of the chemical engineer, and that of the collaborators, in the various product value chains. Thus, products can be brought to market faster, at a reduced cost and most importantly, there is a better chance of finding a better product. Various examples will be provided to illustrate our approach. These include nanotechnology-enabled textile products, a multicomponent transdermal patch, a polymeric microcapsule for the controlled release of an active ingredient, polymers for membrane-based hybrid separations, among others.