Adapting to Growing Demands and Trends Through Reinvention
Reinventing Existing Products
In a fast-changing world, our industry must continually adapt and innovate to meet new customer needs. While inventing completely new products is one way, enhancing products for new solutions is also paving the way to meet shifting trends.
When There's a Demand, There's a Way
Industries these days face disruption from all sides. Governments issue ever more stringent environmental regulations which aim to lower carbon emissions and enhance energy efficiencies. These regulations have impacted the manufacturing processes—from cars to supermarket shelves— of multiple industries.
Consumers play a crucial role in shifting market demands as well. A new international study reveals that a third of consumers now choose to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.¹ As a result, corporations have increasingly implemented more renewable or planet-friendly solutions as part of their operations in order to meet sustainability goals. Digitalization has simultaneously led to increased demands for analytics and artificial intelligence, which has pushed many sectors to rethink how their business methods can utilize the digital world.
Among the various disruptors, two in particular impact Chemours and companies like it: increased environmental regulations and ever-increasing market demands for durable, high-performance products.
We see this challenge as our defining opportunity to pave the way for innovative thinking by reinventing essential and trusted products. Whether it's pushing the boundaries of the chemistry itself or expanding the applications of established products, reinvention is critical for our industry as a way to truly innovate.
Evolving the Molecule for a Cooler Planet
In order to meet regulatory movements toward minimizing carbon footprints, we have pushed the boundaries of our existing chemistry to enhance our products. For example: our Opteon™ low GWP refrigerants.
From massive data and server farms that enable the cloud to trucks that transport fresh produce from one city to another, refrigerants are the common denominator. By evolving the molecule for these refrigerants from HFCs to HFOs, Opteon™ refrigerants meet sustainability goals without sacrificing performance.
Rethinking Essentials for New Needs
Chemours has found other innovative ways to reinvent existing products by expanding their applications to different industries. As consumers demand more enhanced connectivity—through both speed and portability—we've taken this as an opportunity to reinvent the applications of some of our high-performance products.
A product originally launched in 1957 for the aerospace industry, Viton™ is now an essential ingredient in a number of wearable technology devices—including virtual reality, augmented reality, fitness trackers, cameras, and smart watches. Highly durable and low-friction, this fluoroelastomer boasts properties that help this transformative technology satisfy consumer demand.
A gold standard product in nonstick cookware, Teflon™ PTFE now helps fuel the Internet of Things. Cables, wiring, antennas, and semiconductor manufacturing all depend on PTFE. Its ability to withstand high pressures and temperatures helps Teflon™ PTFE meet customer demands beyond the kitchen.
Reinventing With a Purpose
“We neither produce nor reinvent products—no matter how unusual or interesting—just because we can,” says Ed Sparks, President of Titanium Technologies and Chemical Solutions at Chemours. “Instead, we strive to develop products that offer value and reflect our commitment to being Customer Centered. At Chemours, we’re the strongest advocates—the greatest champions—of our customers’ needs and goals.”
As the world continues to change at an increasingly faster pace, our focus is to listen to and partner with our customers. We believe that our chemistry will make a positive impact only when we deliver value-added reinventions that allow our customers to address the challenges.
Explore more with C&EN on how the chemical industry turns to reinventing existing products to meet customer demand for innovative products.
President, Titanium Technologies and Chemical Solutions
Chemours seeks to understand what trends are happening in the world and how they affect customers, so we can make the products they use today better for tomorrow.