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With its COSMOPlat internet platform, Haier wants to realize the transformation from mass manufacturing to mass customization of refrigerators. Covestro supports the project with its expertise in chemical digitalization.
With its COSMOPlat internet platform, Haier wants to realize the transformation from mass manufacturing to mass customization of refrigerators. Covestro supports the project with its expertise in chemical digitalization.
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Covestro and the Haier Group have signed an agreement and agreed to set up a joint laboratory in Qingdao, China, for the digitalization of appliance production. The project will be supported by the Haier Institute of Industrial Intelligence.

The laboratory will develop digital solutions for using polyurethanes in appliance production, with the objective to set a new benchmark for digitalizing the chemical industry.

Process optimization through digitalization

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. This will open up new opportunities for the domestic appliance industry in an increasingly digitalized world.

With this collaboration, Covestro benefits from its comprehensive experience with polyurethane and foam technologies, while Haier brings in its expertise in industrial automation and the analysis of large volumes of data,” explains Dr. Ulrich Liman, global head of research and development in the Polyurethanes segment at Covestro.

Best insulation with polyurethane

Polyurethane rigid foam is the material of choice for efficient refrigerator insulation. 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.

Pioneers of intelligent production

Launched by Haier, COSMOPlat is the first industrial internet platform in the world 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.

According to Haier, COSMOPlat is as an open multilateral interactive co-creation and sharing eco-platform. Its COSMOPlat user experience based mass customization model can be copied across industries, fields, and cultures. It is an industrial internet platform with global universalities.

Haier’s cooperation with Covestro will undoubtedly inject a key innovative force in chemical digitalization into its path towards intelligent manufacturing.

Mass customization solutions

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.

Dr. Michael Schmidt, head of Innovation Asia Pacific at Covestro, leading the R&D team, and John Dou, Vice president of Commercial Operation China, Polyurethanes segment at Covestro, leading the sales team, expect that this innovative cooperation model will further increase synergies between the two companies.

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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