- Union Carbide: The Impossible Made Possible
Union Carbide, one of the oldest chemical and polymer companies, wanted to invent new ways to make the production of polyethylene even more cost-effective, so they turned to Synecticsworld.
The traditional way to create polyethylene was to operate two reactors in a series of processes that led to the final product, which most of us use everyday in the form of white grocery shopping bags. Union Carbide wanted to define a process that would allow two catalysts to work in the same reactor at the same time under the same conditions – a seemingly impossible task.
Synecticsworld brought together scientists and engineers with varied backgrounds for two days of invention and idea development. Custom exercises and activities helped the Synecticsworld-led team approach the problem from different perspectives.
The project was a huge success, with a commercial scale demonstration of the new technology in less than two years. The test results, which exceeded all expectations, convinced the licensee to expand with another Union Carbide licensed plant instead of a competitor, since the technology required 50% less in investment capital. The Net Present Value of the license, a formula used in analyzing the profitability of an investment or project, was approximately $50 million.
Additionally, the technology that the Synecticsworld-led team helped create was also of significant value in negotiating the settlement of a stubborn patent infringement issue.