Business of Particle Science: Finding the New Options

By | January 14, 2012

It’s fair to say that the new particle science is doing more than just simply changing the face of the world. It’s also altering how people do business. The fact is that major industries do as much or more innovation in terms of developing their new products using a particle size analyzer than they do with a marketing campaign.

What makes a product?

New products using new materials like the omnipresent tablets, smart phones and other equipment are very much based on materials for their looks, as well as their technology.

Consider what’s involved in making a tablet-

  • A durable, lightweight, reliable casing
  • A good touch screen
  • Good electronics
  • A good looking exterior

These things involve multiple materials, multiple areas of design and in fact often multiple technologies. The tablet also has to live up to certain expectations in its use, like being durable, drop-proof, and safe to carry around while doing things like commuting.

Warranties don’t really tell the story of a product’s development. The truth is that these products really need to be designed for both good presentation and product quality right from the outset. They have to be tested and the materials have to meet design requirements in full. They’re tested for their survivability in the consumer market as much as they are for technical performance.

Business and materials- A critical mix of issues

This is where materials science and particle science in particular come into the story. There are endless types of polymer and related electronics materials on the market. The business issue is finding the best materials. These new types of technology are mass-produced, but the issues related to quality apply directly to the business bottom line.

When you manufacture a product, you’re faced with several big issues before you even get off the drawing board:

  • Product safety – A dangerous product can cost millions within the blink of a lawsuit. Designers know that, and that’s one of the primary reasons for the insistence on quality materials.
  • Production costs, the dollars issues – A unit cost for production is only considered cheap if the product is good and sells with good profit margins. Shoddy products tend to sell cheap, too, and that’s not a margin range that major manufacturers want to look at for high value, complex products.
  • Product quality – Good products sell well. Any product that doesn’t perform or doesn’t achieve that “market look” is history. Again, materials are primary considerations.
  • Product design engineering – Production design is all about improving production efficiency and reducing production costs. It’s far easier to do that with the right materials. Some products can literally be put together in seconds, because of product design using up to date materials.

Modern materials are analyzed at particle level using methods like laser diffraction and dynamic light scattering. These particle analyses, both at the raw materials stage and during production, are the quality controls on materials. They’re literally core business issues for manufacturers. Issues like particle size measurement, particle size and shape, particle size standards define the materials in terms of their production values.

Whenever you’re doing business, you’re talking about materials. It’s well worth researching your options and talking to the experts before you make a commitment.

Note from the Editor: This was a guest post.