FPC@UT DEVELOPS

INNOVATIVE MATERIAL FOR POLAROID

Driving quality and cost efficiency for the aerospace industry

Polaroid is re-innovating the instant analog film design. The innovation is meant to improve shelf-life, the quality of the print and reduce scrap.

Fraunhofer Project Center (FPC) at The University of Twente worked together with Polaroid to solving a unique new material that required material understanding and research capabilities

Sometimes when you look to solve one problem, you end up solving another. Consider the injection moulding process: when a plastic part comes off a machine, it needs to be cleaned up by removing excess material that is critical to the process (around the gate for example) but not required on the part itself. If this material removal can be done inside the injection moulding machine then you would not only reduce the number of steps but most likely improve the part quality as well.

The key is to focus on the problem rather than be too fixated on the solution. There is nearly always more than one way to solve a problem and engineers who are prepared to look at multiple solutions can often end up solving more than just the problem at hand. Polaroid asked the Fraunhofer Project Center (FPC) at the University of Twente to look at a problem troubling them in manufacturing a new material.

They were hoping to develop a new material that had better properties compared to the one they were using so it could be more effective, and the part being produced more reliable. Engineers at Polaroid had in this particular area limited material science knowledge and were hoping the scientific approach of FPC would be able to shed some light on sourcing/developing a material with the desired properties. As part of the investigation, FPC performed an extensive literature review and identified a new material that not only solved the problem at hand but also removed a subsequent manufacturing stage that was by-material of the current problem.

The solution FPC came up with not only solved a key technical problem that Polaroid was facing but also identified a faster and lower-cost solution.

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As a leading manufacturer for films, we value the research and solution that Fraunhofer Project Center was able to deliver according to our specific requirements. We are one step closer to overcoming our problem due to the partnership with Fraunhofer Project Center

Bo Weijermars

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Product/Process Engineer Polaroid Originals