R&D paves the way to innovation

09:31 | 16/09/2013
ASEAN’s leading business conglomerate SCG has placed a strong emphasis on research and development towards keeping its high-quality products on pace with customer demands.

r_d paves the way to innovation
SCG researchers work on developing the group’s products of the future

In its 100 year history, SCG has expanded its business across a wide range of fields including petrochemicals, cement, construction materials, paper and packaging and provided a global logistics network connecting Asia with Africa, Europe, and America.

To achieve its goal of being a sustainable business leader in ASEAN by 2015 – as declared in its vision statement “SCG Vision”, SCG has invested heavily in research and development (R&D) to promote itself as an innovative organisation with high value added products and services.

“Continued R&D promotion is a key contributing factor to driving SCG’s diverse range of innovative products and services that best accommodate the real needs of customers while uplifting people’s quality of life, and contributing to a better environment and sustainable society,” said SCG’s president and chief executive officer Kan Trakulhoon.

SCG’s R&D budget and personnel have regularly increased from 40 million baht ($1.28 million) and 100 professionals in 2005 to 1.43 billion baht ($45.76 million) and 1,034 in 2012. Notably, 71 of the group’s researchers hold doctorates.

The group’s sales of high value added products rooted in their R&D work have risen from 7.7 billion baht ($246.4 million) or 4 per cent of total sales in 2005 to 140 billion baht ($4.48 billion) last year. The group has furthered its innovation with its SCG Eco-Value label that encompasses a broad spectrum of eco-friendly products.

Some examples include special plastic film with high tensile strength which is leak and tear resistant, ideal for food packaging; machine glazed paper with high gloss and thin tissue used for packaging, food bags, and in the medical industry; dissolving pulp used in the production of rayon; and SCG house cooling systems which incorporate three main modules, namely SCG cool roof and ceiling system, SCG cool siding system and SCG cool outer house system.

SCG’s sales of high value added products and services have grown steadily from 32 per cent in 2011 to 34 per cent in 2012, while sales of SCG Eco-Value products accounted for 14 per cent of last year’s revenue.

R&D is central to the group’s development strategy, with the belief that innovation will be the driver of its future success. SCG scientists and engineers continually strive to create new products and improve production processes.

In conjunction with their marketing and production departments, SCG researchers identify product opportunities, conduct lab testing, and scale up the process for commercial production. They also support in the packaging design, commercialisation and return monitoring processes.

To celebrate its first centenary, the group featured its principals into the “SCG 100th Anniversary Innovative Exposition” to present SCG’s endless journey for a better future through series of new innovations and technologies.

“Partnership is very important to us, and we work closely with our customers and suppliers to ensure we are meeting market demands. We also work with international academic institutions and government organisations to identify opportunities for our state-of-the-art technology,” Trakulhoon said.

“SCG is committed to R&D that innovates both conceptually and in terms of the production process. The products and services that come out of that include eco-friendly products focused on not only increasing SCG’s sales, but also supporting the group in striving for energy efficiency and sustainability,” he noted.

By By Thanh Dat

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