"The wheel itself has been reinvented over and over again… in fact to make it even more perfect."

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | October 2020

Why we need to reinvent the wheel

Working in the TFL R&D Screening department, we often see recurring topics which come on our table with stubborn regularity and want to get solved.For all those who are already some decades in this business (like me) often think by themselves: Oh no, here we go, they want to re-invent the wheel again.And here I need to pull the break, also in my own thinking. The negative taste in "don't re-invent the wheel" is so wrong! Especially if we take a look at the development of the wheel itself.

In fact it was reinvented over and over again… making it even more perfect.The first wheel was not a full rubber wheel on shiny aluminium rims packed with tons of engineering time. The first wheels were probably made from stone, then wood, then combinations of materials and clever technologies.

The wheel developed to its current level of perfection because people "reinvented the wheel over and over again" and we should take this as an example to work on perfecting our trade, products and technology.

Another saying has accompanied me for years :"A thing of beauty is a joy forever " - I first saw this on a poster at one of our customers. I like that and sometimes I feel we would need to have more of this attitude in our daily work, in our industry and frankly speaking in our society. It’s the spirit of craftsmanship which develops a profession into an art. Together these sayings can be simplified in modern words such as: continuous improvement & quality control. And this is our daily job in a team of chemists and application experts by "re-inventing" products to make them better or safer to pass the next circle in their live. With all these regulations and demands hitting the leather industry and their suppliers, we are all doomed to work on constant changes and re- inventions to pass the next level of expectations.

And this is how it should be. We need to improve the image of our industry in all aspects and we need to re-invent the know-how on leather for the consumers. The initiative of leather naturally and many others, including initiatives from the best in class tanneries on our planet are highly needed to make one thing clear: Leather can be a sustainable, high quality material coming from a natural source which is produced in respect to nature and human kind. We need a re-invention and re- focusing on the core benefits leather can offer as a long lasting, durable and natural thing of beauty, which can be a joy for a very long time if treated with a little bit of care. My handmade leather shoes are a sustainable craftsman's answer to throw-away plastic shoes that are polluting our oceans. Yes, my shoes are more expensive, but they are my companions since many years and for many years to come. My shoes can be repaired, saw new leather soles and from time to time some shoe polish. The EU declared war on 'throw-away culture' and adopted a new circular economy action plan with measures the entire life cycle of products. It says this plan will strengthen the EU's economy, empower consumers and protect the environment.

Take a look at your shoe shelf and ask yourself what your impact can be on this, only as example.

My personal target for the years to come is to bring my contribution and help to create products of high quality coming from innovative approaches or from processes based on continuous improvement, with the aim to make the TFL product portfolio more sustainable and effective than ever before and this with very concrete product developments which are now available for the industry.

As an example: I am very glad to be part of the development team of the new MAGNOPAL® Pure A , a bio based polymer, which is the first baby of a fast growing family of products based on renewable materials.

And I am also a little bit proud that my suggestion to use the name "Pure" for this new range was considered.

MAGNOPAL® Pure A is based on a type of production process that is new for us and I am excited to find out what else can be made with this technology based on biological optimisation of renewable materials.

The TFL R&D screening department, where the initial applications for these new developments and re- inventions see the first light of live, is the place where I want to be and where I believe my contribution can have an effect. Looking a bit ahead, I am excited about the new possibilities we will have when we join with the R&D competence of our future colleagues at the Lanxess leather unit.

I am also very confident that this will give us a lot of new input and ideas and I am looking forward to the discussions and joint projects and also the challenges to come.

Nothing is more constant than change.

Let´s get better together.

Florian, Germany

Wet-end screening expert at TFL
#innovativetanner #saxophonist
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