, Singapore

Avient takes Technology Excellence Award in Digital - Chemicals category

Avient's InstaColr makes the process of creating masterbatches faster and more cost-saving.

Avient’s expertise in developing and producing color and additive concentrates has made the company a leading player in the Masterbatch industry. Masterbatches, which are mainly used by producers of plastic articles with the purpose of getting the right color and functionality for their applications, undergo an extensive process before these are made.

The entire process is significantly shortened with the use of Avient’s iPad app, InstaColr. And it's this technology that has garnered Avient the Singapore Business Review’s Technology Excellence Award in the Digital - Chemicals category.

Masterbatch, which is a concentrated mixture of pigments and/or additives encapsulated during a heat process into a carrier resin, is used for colouring plastics (colour masterbatch) or imparting other properties to plastics (additive masterbatch).

Currently, the process of creating masterbatches takes one to two weeks to be completed. It starts with a salesperson meeting a customer to inquire about their colour and performance preferences. This data is relayed to a colour matching laboratory, which starts working on matching the customer's requirements. This process usually takes more than a week to complete, at which point the masterbatch sample is sent to the customer for evaluation.

The process might be repeated again if the result is not specific to the customer's preferences, or the requirements were subsequently modified. Consequently, this adds a few more weeks of discussions before the business is closed.

Avient's innovative InstaColr cuts the entire time to just two to five days. Launched in June 2019 in South East Asia and currently being piloted there, the process starts with the salesperson collecting all requirements on the spot during a meeting with the customer and confirming the colour using the InstaColor app. If the customer isn't satisfied, then the customer can also use the app to adjust the target colour right on the spot. Once all the information is collected, the InstaColr engine instantly develops up to three tailor-made matches and includes the associated price and specifications for these matches. Once the customer makes a choice, the underlying formulation and other requirements are transferred immediately to a colour matching lab, which produces a corresponding sample for the customer. The customer receives this sample within two to three days.

"The chief benefit is time saved, and time is money," said Avient. "This technology is a first in the market and currently no competitor comes close to catching up, giving us a significant competitive advantage."

InstaColr earned more than USD 170,000 in sales in the first full year alone. It is in Beta phase in South East Asia, with plans to extend its sales to Europe and other regions.

"The final goal for InstaColr is to increase sales, increase margin and reduce lab time per colour match," Avient added. "The pandemic significantly affected our timeline, but we still managed to reach our business targets for 2020."

The Technology Excellence Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held via studio award presentations and video conferencing sessions throughout the second and third week of April.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Daryl Pereira, Head of Cyber at KPMG; Cheang Wai Keat, Partner, Consulting at Ernst & Young Advisory Pte. Ltd.; Henry Tan, Group Chief Executive Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Nexia TS; Sivakumar Saravan, Senior Partner at Crowe Singapore; Cecil Su, Director, Head of Cybersecurity of BDO Singapore.

If you would like to join the 2022 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technological innovations, please email Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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