Recently, we have got to know 7 winners of the 7th edition of the ‘Project of the Year’ Competition organised by PCC Capital Group. The Competition is addressed to the employees of the research & development, technological and sales departments. Its main objective is to support innovativeness, develop new technologies and optimise manufacturing processes on the basis of good practices and employees’ ideas.
“The value that we promote through the ‘Project of the Year’ Competition is creative chemistry, full of passion and revisited perspective at the needs of the market. As a company with international reach, we are aware of the fact that nowadays the economy is driven by innovations. It relates to every field of the industry and this is where we see our potential. We try to motivate our employees to search for market niches and identify the needs of the businesses operating therein. It is the first stage. The second stage consists in satisfaction of these needs through offering of the fastest and best solutions which not only solve the specific problems, but also present high efficiency and profitability. In two words: tailor made. The demand for unique solutions in the industry is still growing and continuously provokes us to discover new areas for action. This is the cause of the dynamic growth of PCC Group in the recent years. Thanks to the ‘Project of the Year’ Competition, we may award the employees for the implemented research projects and we may make further steps in building the image of the PCC Group as an innovative company and, thus, as an attractive company for our customers, advisors, investors and other stakeholders” – said Rafał Zdon, the Vice-President of the Management Board of PCC Rokita.
This year, our experts being members of the Competition Commission have awarded three very interesting projects implemented in 2016. The first prize has gone to the project team from the Polyols Complex of PCC Rokita SA for development of specialist polyols with enhanced properties. Our researchers have tackled the problems of the market of flexible polyurethane foam applicable mainly in the manufacture of foam mattresses. Thanks to technological process improvement, a group of premium polyols has been created. They effectively eliminate the processes of overheating and yellowing of the foam, as well as lower the emission of the volatile organic compounds. The project was being conducted in stages, from the laboratory to the industrial scale. PCC Rokita SA is the first manufacturer in Europe offering the polyols of this type for flexible foam.
The employees of the Phosphorus Chemistry Complex have been awarded the second prize in the ‘Project of the Year’ Competition for the product called Roflex T70, strategic product with a wide scope of application as an additive to plastics based on aryl phosphoric esters. It is an essential component of materials in numerous industries having to meet strict flammability requirements. Growing expectations for product safety generate the need to introduce new, innovative and pro-ecologic products. Roflex T70 is characterized by a much better classification for human health than the solutions offered on the market, while maintaining unique application properties. It is characterized by excellent flame retardant and plastifying properties. It often acts as a viscosity reducer and a mechanical properties modifier. Its unique properties make it very effective, often the only solution in a given application. The product is primarily dedicated to construction, transport, mining and extraction industries. It is particularly significant in the production of conveyor belts, films or technical fabrics. It is also an important component in thermal and acoustic insulations and intumescent paints, used as protective coatings for steel structures in public places, oil platforms or ships. Working on this environmentally safe product of the next generation lasted 3 years.
The third prize has been awarded to the employees of the Polyols Complex of PCC Rokita for development of the innovative base oil called Rokolub PB-50, dedicated for lubricant formulations. The decision on commencement of the works on the project was made after accurate market analysis which revealed the demand for the base oil with increased viscosity properties. High resistance of Rokolub PB-50 to wear allows for extension of the periods between oil change and ensures very good protection of the lubricated equipment. The awarded product, thanks to its properties, is used as an oil base in formulations of hydraulic fluids and industrial gearbox fluids as well as an oil for compressors in cooling systems.
The unique composition or the manufacturing technology of the awarded products do not have their equivalents on the world’s markets and have been developed according to own research concepts of the project teams. It is worth mentioning that the research projects submitted for the Competition in the last 6 years have brought margins to PCC Group on the level of PLN 200 million.
Also special prizes have been awarded in the Competition. The first special prize is the prize for the ‘Researcher of the Year’ which has been awarded to Mr Tomasz Halamus. On the other hand, the title of the best ‘Intra-Business Project’ has been awarded to the teams of PCC Rokita and PCC Synteza for development of new types of products. In the category: ‘Optimisation of the Year’, the first place was awarded to the researchers from the Chlorine Complex of PCC Rokita for enhancement of manufacturing capabilities of the propylene oxide manufacturing plant through improvement of the work parameters of K-102 saponification column. The second place in this category has been awarded to the representatives of the Polyols Complex for the project connected with enhancement of efficiency of the polymeric polyols manufacturing installation.