Who We Are
The DuPont Canada Research & Business Development (R&BD) Centre is located in Kingston, Ontario at the end of Lake Ontario, half way between Montreal and Toronto.
Our combination of skills and facilities makes us ideally suited for scaling up new products and processes. We have proven expertise to take new technology from bench scale to pilot scale facilities. We provide the important basic data and design packages for commercial processes and our customers.
Established as an R&D organization in 1942, we have built a team of qualified, high performance scientists and engineers. In 2004, we added the capital project and engineering technology capabilities of the DuPont Canada Engineering organization to our Kingston Site operations. Equally important in maintaining our leading edge research capability is a full complement of highly skilled material analysts, research technologists, designers, and trades people. We currently have over 150 employees. Being an integral part of the global DuPont network, R&BD has access to corporate IT resources and the larger R&D and Engineering communities. This, combined with our own people and facilities, enables us to do an outstanding job of creating innovative and valuable products at competitive R&D costs.
R&BD has invested in state-of-the-art equipment and advanced work systems when and where they are needed. DuPont's core commitments guide our work, including maintaining the Safety and Health of our co‑workers and the community and protecting our environment. In 2009, the R&BD Centre celebrated 40 years without a single lost work injury.
Our R&BD Core Skills
- Mini continuous pilot plant operation and scale-up to commercial facilities
- New polymer scale-up and transfer of technology to operations
- Polymer compounding and reactive extrusion
- Small lots manufacture
- Applications development - profile/pipe/ tube extrusion, film systems, coatings and laminated structures
- Business development
- Manufacturing technology concept development and economic evaluation
- Lean Manufacturing technology and Operations Research consulting
- Capital project leadership, design, procurement and construction
- Dynamic computer simulation and modeling
- Operating R&D within an ISO 9001 certified quality management system
Small Lots Manufacturing
We have the unique capability to combine our small lots manufacturing with our quality system expertise to make and sell small quantities of compounds or parts prepared in an ISO 9001:2000 certified facility and process. In July 2006 we initiated production of an innovative high-performance material with DuPont™ Kevlar®. This material offers consumers and industry the potential performance breakthroughs in a range of rubber-based products. The new material is a composite of Kevlar® pulp and an elastomer. The strength of DuPont™ Kevlar® high-performance fiber – most frequently known for helping to save lives in bullet-resistant protective apparel – also provides the potential for significant performance improvements in this new form in products such as automotive, motorcycle and bicycle tires, hoses and belts, seals and gaskets, rubber-covered rolls, pump liners, diaphragms and molded goods.
Examples of Technology Solutions
Our projects reflect the broad spectrum of activities in DuPont. Pilot plant operations are dynamic, requiring at times intensive specialized design, engineering and analytical support. At other times, significant operations support is required to manage the associated shift work. To handle these situations effectively, we have developed a fluid, flexible workforce with diverse experience and capabilities. This team of professionals can be organized to provide cost effective management of all aspects of pilot plant operation. For example, we have designed and managed small and intermediate pilot plants for polymerization and commercial process development of a variety of polyamide processes, most recently High Temperature Nylon.
In some cases, we work with outside contractors who design and fabricate the pilot plants we operate. This approach can help us to achieve the most cost and time effective solutions for our businesses. We have used this approach to design and install pilot plants that demonstrate new catalysts for production of linear low-density polyethylene and, more recently, a continuous process to prepare linear alpha olefins from ethylene.
Other pilot plants have demonstrated the feasibility of processes ranging from synthesis of specialty monomers from bio-based materials to production of cast and polished Zodiaq® engineered architectural surfaces. Active projects provide support for ongoing process improvement and new product development for DuPont’s commercial operations.
R&BD utilizes both physical and mathematical modelling to develop new insights into the chemical processes we develop and to reduce the risk of process scale-up. Both small and large-scale physical modelling has been used as a cost effective means to investigate the fluid dynamics, mass transfer, and heat transfer within chemical processes. The results of physical modelling studies are integrated into first-principle mathematical models that describe chemical, thermodynamic, and transport operations. Our scientists use these mathematical models both to design and scale-up new processes and to optimize the performance of existing commercial processes.
We also dedicate significant resources to application development for polymer processing and converting. Small and intermediate sized twin-screw extruders permit cost effective, timely development of new reactive processes that can be quickly transferred to manufacturing. The reactive processing group has worked collaboratively within the Performance Materials platform to develop a wide range of adhesive resins, compatibilizers, modifiers and additives that are used in both packaging and engineering polymer applications. We have assembled specialized auxiliary equipment for the safe handling and processing of hazardous chemicals associated with reactive processing.
We have built an impressive capability to perform applications development in liquid packaging. This ranges from the seven-layer film co-extrusion for barrier film development, to a number of filling machines and test stands used both to develop next generation filling systems and to test new products prior to market introduction. We have facilities and expertise in the area of microbiology to support our aseptic packaging technology. We use our extensive modelling capabilities to predict product performance based on material properties and to perform dynamic simulation of package sealing performance.
Ultra torque twin screw extruder for reactive extrusion
Our Work Process and Systems
At R&BD, the leadership team manages the work on a site wide basis in order to ensure that we have the right people and facilities available to meet the current and future needs of all our customers. Six Sigma is part of our work processes. We have ongoing training and Black Belt and Master Black Belt support on site. Our safe work practices and operating procedures in support of Process Safety Management and Safety Health and Environmental Management are maintained in a common electronic database that is accessible to all employees from offices or work areas. We use a common database to manage our chemicals and polymers. This one database manages both the physical inventory of chemicals and polymers through bar code scanning and ensures the inventory is in compliance with Federal and Provincial guidelines regarding new product notification. An integrated software solution is used to manage finance, purchasing and maintenance.