Page 3: Research and development
Research and development involves the use of scientific knowledge to develop new products and processes. An important stage of the research and development process is testing.
New product ideas have to be tested to ensure they are:
- capable of being manufactured
- safe in their intended use
- able to deliver the required performance level
- desired by the market
- able to generate a profit.
If a product is launched without sufficient testing, it can damage the reputation of a business and lead to a loss of sales. In some cases it may also lead to legal action.
Corus pays particular attention to the testing of its products because of its focus on quality. It adopts a Total Quality Management approach that aims to 'get it right first time'. By insisting on thorough testing at every stage it ensures that a product fulfils its requirements when it is launched.
When working on Assure, for example, Corus tested three different anti-bacterial additives from three different solution providers before making the final choice. Corus wanted to assess:
- the speed with which the different options killed bacteria
- the variety of different bacteria killed.
The additives were tested in the laminate to ensure that they would not adversely affect the desired material properties and the manufacturing process. With a new technology in the offing, the challenge then was to market it.