Internationally operating Dutch company known for its innovative solutions in plastic films is looking for a digital system solution to allow window assemblers to print locally on-demand small quantities of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film. Cooperation is envisaged within the frame of a technical cooperation agreement or commercial agreement with technical assistance. Other types of agreement may be considered. This request refers to an innovation challenge published on an open innovation platform.
The Netherlands based company, originally founded in 1946 in Germany, has developed itself over the years into a leading world player and manufacturer of high-quality plastic multiple purpose PVC films and sheets. The products of the company find applications in different branches, technologies and product ranges within the medical and pharmaceutical, automotive, home and building, maritime, advertising and packaging and wind energy industries. In this particular case the company focusses on the polyvinyl chloride films, which are used on the exterior of windows and frames by the window assemblers all over the world.
Within the company, sustainability and environmental protection measures have become the norm. The company wants to contribute to reducing the amount of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2). All as part of their day-to-day work the company has a company-wide Energy Management System to decrease their environmental impact and footprint. Besides legal requirements, the company supplements to voluntary further-reaching efforts and whenever possible the company reduces raw material use, energy consumption and investigates new products and processes.
This consciousness leads to this challenge, where besides extremely long delivery times, the customer group of window assemblers has to purchase larger quantities of customer specific PVC films (like deviating patterns, profiles or colors) than needed, forced by minimum production run requirements. This results in waste of energy, waste of (raw) material, unnecessarily high transportation cost, useless stocks and unsatisfied customers, which is not in line with the company's internal philosophy and sustainable energy program. The company wants to raise sustainability to a higher level.
Therefore the company is looking for a new innovative solution to supply PVC films, which can be produced locally at the premises of their clients globally supported with an online system.
The solutions for the exteriors of windows and frames could be found in digital full color printing technologies of the base films.
Having knowledge of outdoor durability & pigment lightfastness is an advantage. The market standard for outdoor durability is minimal 15 years. The core technology is based on PVC film and the new technology must be preferably compatible with PVC. The company envisions an integrated system containing a digital printing solution, an online color recipe database & (cloud) software, including state-of-the-art data protection and license management.
The best proposition and solution for this challenge gets an assignment to realize a prototype or pilot in the company's network. There will be support and test facility in a customer-facing environment.
Based on the results a follow-up order, further joint developments and/or scale-up of the integrated system could be possible.
The company is looking for start-ups, developers and/or SMEs and is open for all innovative solutions based on creative thinking.
Cooperation could be in the frame of co-creation or as a partner in applying new or ready-made solutions, matching with a technical cooperation agreement, or a commercial agreement with technical assistance or any other form that fits the purpose of this challenge.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This technology request is part of an innovation challenge and is published on an open innovation platform from March 29th till May 3th 2021. If an organisation does express interest in cooperation with this firm before closing date, it will be guided towards this open innovation platform on which one can get in touch with the company experts. Mind that posts on this platform are not confidential. Beside open discussions on the platform, sharing of confidential information will be made possible on demand. After that, the company will select the SMEs that will be invited for further contact to discuss cooperation possibilities aimed at the development.
- Type of partner sought: The company is explicitly seeking technology and/or expertise in the following areas:
• Digital printing technology for wide (1.5mtr) plastic (PVC)
• Outdoor durability
• Pigment lightfastness
• Digital printing technology
• Cloud software design including licensee management
Corporates, start-ups, SMEs or other specialists are welcome to react.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: The company is looking for suppliers or partners with unique technology and/or expertise in the field of digital printing of PVC films used for outdoor windows and its frames.
The resulting printed films should exhibit an outdoor durability of minimal 15 years for both mechanical properties as well as color stability. In addition, as the target is to offer potential customers a local solution, the total system will need to be controlled remotely with a secure connection to a database with specific color recipe information.
Various collaborations and roles of the partners are conceivable. From qualifying and testing to proof, developing ideas and technology, which might result in a supplier and knowledge partner.
The company itself is willing to cooperate during the whole process from the exploring, designing, testing up to the final implementation stage and will provide the partner with all necessary information.
The company envisages in a technical cooperation agreement or a commercial agreement with technical assistance or any other form that fits the purpose of this challenge.
Other - Since this technology request is an innovation challenge and published on an open innovation platform, all types of IPR Status can be considered.