Absortech's R&D department - backroom heroes boosting quality

R&D – backroom heroes boosting quality

When choosing a container desiccant, performance, safety, and compliance with relevant laws are key factors. The manufacturers’ R&D departments, where research, product development, tests, and validations are carried out, are true backroom heroes, working behind the scenes to make sure all products are up to date, meeting the current and varying needs of customers in the most sustainable way.

The success of any winning sports team depends on more than its goal-scoring superstars. Teams rely heavily on strong, supporting workhorse players, setting the stage for the stars to shine. So, what’s that got to do with container desiccants and moisture damage prevention?

Well, the setup is the same in most companies. The foundation for success is often laid behind closed doors, at the end of a corridor, or in a basement. That’s where you find the research & development department toiling away, often constituting the make-it-or-break-it of that company.

Work in constant progress

It’s really not that complicated. Absortech wouldn’t be the same company without our constant focus on innovation. Actually, we wouldn’t be at all. We were established in 1996 to commercialize a superior moisture absorber for shipping containers. Innovatively created through research and development.

For instance, we use calcium chloride (CaCl2) as the absorbing agent in our products. It’s one of the most hygroscopic materials around, meaning it absorbs moisture from the surrounding air exceptionally well. This can prevent container rain and keep your products dry during transport.

Where do you think that idea came from?

For any company that wants to stay ahead, having an R&D department and taking complete control of the products is a huge advantage,” says Joakim Carlsson, Absortech’s chief operating officer. “It lets you boost the quality, improving existing products and taking new high-performing products to market.

Our R&D department continuously focuses on the following:


Sustainable re-design

But let’s face it, product development isn’t just about efficiency and optimizing moisture damage prevention. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It’s a prerequisite. We need to pull our weight and ensure that our production and products are as clever and clean as possible.

Aiming to do our part, the R&D department re-designed and re-engineered our initial product, Absorpole, which became the first carbon-neutral container desiccant in the market,” explains Carlsson. “We changed to recycled plastic and used carbon offsetting to go the whole nine yards. It can also be partly reused, which opens the door to circularity.

Since then, AbsorGel sheets and blankets have been re-designed to be carbon neutral. They are made of just one layer and contain less plastic than previous versions. They also have much higher absorption capacity.

Complying with environmental (and other) laws

Local and international lawmakers are flexing their muscles concerning the use of plastic, but also the social agenda. This, together with a stronger public opinion, puts massive pressure on companies to clean up their sustainability act – both environmental and social parts.

You might think that following the laws is a given. Not so. You’d be surprised to find how many container desiccant suppliers do not comply with relevant legislation for sustainability and the work environment, for example, by not putting the required cautionary stickers on their products.

Cutting-edge collaboration

Any serious manufacturer of container desiccants needs to continuously improve product performance, handling, safety, and sustainability. Therefore, the R&D department performs tests, analyses, and validation to stay ahead. For example, at Absortech, we can simulate various environments in our climate chambers and continuously perform real-life tests on board vessels.

In truth, it boils down to collaborating with the right partners if you want to remain at the cutting edge of container desiccant design,” Carlsson stresses. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without close, long-term collaborations with our partners and suppliers. They help us track down the best raw materials to improve moisture damage prevention. We also collaborate with research institutes for project-based material analysis.

So, there you have it. Well, not all, actually. We also team up with customers to produce white papers on specific and relevant topics like corrosion. It is excellent cooperation, and it keeps the backroom gang busy. It’s an ongoing thing, as it should be. Ever growing, ever developing, to meet the needs of a brighter future.

Want to learn more about how our R&D department works?

Check out “Why calcium chloride?” and “Sustainable desiccants”. Or download our white papers on electronics or automotive. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or suggestions. This is (obviously) one of our favorite topics!

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