In the chemical industry, formulating and formulations are catch words for the mixing action and resulting mixtures of multiple ingredients (e.g. chemicals, polymers, inorganics) following defined recipes and procedures. Nearly all chemicals end up in formulations. In the picture: Filling machine in production.

Project FORCE: Decision Support for Product Optimization

Formulations and computational engineering (FORCE)

In the FORCE project we are developing a Business Decision Support System (BDSS) together with our project partners. Material modelling or the composition of product ingredients is crucial for business processes. The project provides an innovative approach for guiding companies in developing their strategies with an effective, user friendly materials models data driven business decision system.

FORCE Logo

Project Goal: Development of an Optimization and Decision System

The FORCE consortium’s objectives relate to the development of a Business Decision Support System (BDSS) based on a framework that allows integration of existing and future materials models with empirical formulation data and commercially relevant data. The BDSS generates data-driven formulation options in support of established business practices.

Aside our project partners we want to bring together and adapt for modularity identified and existing materials models, empirical databases, and commercial information to connect into a communal computational. Moreover we build a single municipal integrated calculator for the flexible integration of modular materials science and commercial computation/analysis routines relevant to different industries and specific formulations to simulate hypothetical scenarios that, combined with multi-criteria optimizations, support business decision-making on alternatives for both existing and new formulations - the BDSS. This can be adapted for a specific and multiple KPI optimization. We develop tailored apps for emulating formulations with an easy to use graphics user interfaces (GUI) for direct practical formulation design and facilitate an easy integration of human resources in the targeted industry segments.

Our method and algorithms calculate a variety of "best compromises" based on simulations. Furthermore, we provide tools for decision support that provide the development engineer with the "best compromises" interactively. In this way, the decision-maker gets possibilities for the interactive evaluation of a solution and receives a selection of potential products.

Scope of the Project:

The three specifically important industries as main demonstrators are:

  • Insulating rigid PolyUrethane (PU) based foams
  • PU-based industrial inks
  • Personal care (liquid detergents)

 

Example: Personal Care Products

Personal care liquids are formulations that typically contain mild surfactants like sodium lauryl ether sulphate, or ethoxylated surfactant, a rheology modifier and water. The main formulation demand KPI’s are:

  • geographic differences (climate, water hardness)
  • global trends towards natural ingredients
  • cleansing
  • flow-ability
  • cost
  • license to operate

Such product differentiation requires constant reformulation and optimization. The Business Decision Support System (BDSS) takes all these aspects into account when providing product solutions.

Project Partners:

  • Dow Benelux
  • Unilever UK Central Resource Ltd.
  • IBM
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoffmechanik IWM
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Techno- und Wirtschaftsmathematik ITWM
  • Enthought Ltd.
  • EnginSoft Spa.
  • Granta Design Ltd.
  • University of Patras
  • Megara Resins SA

 

Project Duration:

The project is scheduled for the period from 01.01.2017 - 12.31.2020.

 

Type of Project:

FORCE is funded under the EU grant agreement through the H2020 programme.

Group picture project meeting in February 2018
© Fraunhofer ITWM

Group picture project meeting in February 2018