Interview with Savina Pianesi, Head of Research and Development

Can you explain your role in the company and what you do?
 
I am responsible for Plados Telma's Research and Development Divisione. Together with my staff of chemists, physicists and engineers, we study improvements in componenents of composite materials, define new functionalities, new surface finishes and colourings.
In addition, I am Project Manager of a multidisciplinary structure that deals with national and European funded research and innovation projects and innovation patents on composite materials.
 
What does it mean to do research and development in a company like Plados Telma?
 
Doing research for us is like taking out an insuranceone on the future. We put a lot of our energy and best resources into research and innovation.
Investment in research and development has enabled the evolutionone and improvement of products to meet customer needs and tastes.
The high quality raw materials used in the production of our kitchen sinks are the result of years of research and studies that have allowed us to be the first to offer the market the most innovative and performanti composite sinks.
The study continues steadily and does not stop at the material alone, it also goes in the direction of innovative finishes and new functionalities to make the sink structure ever more resistant, performante and aesthetically pleasing.
 
Can you tell us what role the R&D department plays today and how it has developed over the years?
 
The department today is very different from 25 years ago, when I started my professionone. Today, it has been enriched with technologically advanced equipment, different staff who graduated formato the most prestigious universities, a wealth of know-how.
 
How does technology help you innovateone?
 
The kitchen sink has behind a simple product appearance a lot of research, study and innovationone.
Technology allows us to obtain informaions that are fundamental to decoding, modifying or improving the sink.
The structure of the composite is studied by means of new technologies, high-resolution electron microscopesone or scanning electron microscopesone (SEM) are used for surface analysis, which provide informaions on the chemistry, size and quantity of phases and particles present, thermal analyses such as DSC, DMA and DEA ion viscosity provide indications on the bonds that formano during polymerisationone of the dispersions.
With these technological tools combined with 30 years of know-how, we have been able to achieve brilliant results and performance.
 
If you look to the future, what are the company's objectives in terms of innovationone?
 
Certainly the goal of Plados Telma for the future is the market launch of the eco-sustainable GREEN sink made from completely recycled raw materials, the green resin (r-MMA monomer and r-PMMA polymer) and recycled mineral fillers, but optimised, coloured and made ideal for the application one sink.
The GREEN sink will be the world's first sink produced exclusively from recycled material.
We have already been working for years on environmental issues through regional and European projects such as:

- The European project MMAtwo is funded under the European Unione Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (820687). The main objective is to create a new value chain for the depolymerisationone of PMMA. Plados Telma has the role of end user then as validator of polymeric materials and recovered minerals from European companies for use in kitchen sinks.
 
- The regional MARLIC De-manufacturing project as part of the collaborative platformforma on sustainable production, eco-sustainability of products and processes for new materials and demanufacturing. Plados Telma through industrial symbiosis sharesone resources with other companies belonging to different production sectors, obtaining competitive advantages as well as economic, environmental and social benefits. Universities in the Marche region and scientific institutions (UNICAM, UNIVPM, CNR and ENEA) support us in these activities.
 
But we will definitely not stop here because we have ambitious goals and many ideas to develop.
 
What is the link between research and development and environmental sustainability?
 
There is an increasingly close link between sustainability and research, because one cannot think of an industrial world that generates waste and costs for waste managementone. It is necessary to change the designone and development of the product starting with the choice of individual componenents, so that they are recoverable, reusable or recyclable.
It is necessary to think of energy savings, a revenue from the sale/cessationone of resources, using 'secondary', commercially available, increasingly green resources.
Among the environmental benefits, a more efficient use of resources is a must; less exploitation of the environment, less demand for virgin raw materials and water, as well as less reliance on landfilling of waste.
 

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MARLIC is a project funded by Regione Marche under the POR MARCHE and stands for Laboratorio di Ricerca Applicata nelle Marche per i Compositi Innovativi.

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