ou can’t be all things to all people—even when you’re one of the largest chemical companies in the world. In a nod to specialization, Dow Chemical is focusing its research efforts on providing solutions to key customers in the household cleaning industry. At the annual meeting of the Soap and Detergent Association, held Jan. 29-Feb. 1 in Boca Raton, FL, several Dow executives detailed the company’s recent activities and how specialization should spur innovation in the household cleaning segment.
“Innovation is critical to our customers and to us,” noted Julie Fasone Holder, business vice president, industrial chemicals. “Consumer product companies that can create innovative products that meet the consumer’s needs, will ultimately command higher margins.”
Dow Chemical executives insist the company is well-positioned to create innovative solutions due to its vast resources of chemical know-how. To further its efforts, Dow Chemical has created application development centers for cleaning, as well as paint and coatings and water treatment. Dow executives said the centers can provide a one-stop shop of solutions for customers who need them.
“We want to bring Dow’s capabilities to customers who need it, but don’t have the time to go through all of our business segments to find it,” explained Peter Dulcamara, global research and development director, polyglycols, surfactants and industrial chemicals. He noted that convenience remains one of the biggest trends in household cleaning. With consumers demanding faster and easier ways to clean, Dow is focusing its efforts on kinetics and the role that mechanical, energy, thermal and electro-static energy plays in getting fabric and surfaces clean.