Finding new market opportunities in process manufacturing and life sciences.


A common Challenge


Especially in process manufacturing and life sciences markets, innovations can open new opportunities in more than one industry or segment. Consider Teflon or biodegradable polymers – many product applications are possible, each potentially representing lucrative markets. The challenge: How to identify these markets, quantify them and sell to the companies in those value chains?


A new Solution


To answer the challenge, it is relevant to know how much of which material or substance is required at each point of a value chain to produce a single unit of a given product. Sankey diagrams (named after Irish Captain Matthew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey around 1900) are a useful way to visualize material transfers between processes and entire process chains.


Sankey diagrams put a visual emphasis on the major transfers or flows within a system. They are helpful in quickly locating dominant contributions to an overall flow. Often, Sankey diagrams show conserved quantities within defined system boundaries.


Our highly dynamic Sankey Diagrams in Makersite are called Mattermaps©. They visualize material flows for products and processes with inputs and outputs of every unit process in a supply network. In combination with additional, real-time data sources, Makersite can visualize where things are located, identify bottlenecks or geographic concentrations. The benefit of the calculation performed in Mattermaps© is the normalization of the quantities along the chains to  (typically) 1kg or 1 unit of the final product. To quickly find out the composition of a final product, they are best read from right to left.


Now, what’s not been done before at scale is the inverse: where are specific ingredients, chemicals or components used downstream? This means we can also query our data for unknown market opportunities. The graphic below highlights the use of rape seed oil as an example. It answers the question: In which products or processes is rape seed oil used or potentially usable? What you can see are the current uses of rape seed oil.


We applied the same approach to identify the uses of Palm Oil. We found an astonishing 1700 products where Palm Oil is used. Since Palm Oil doesn’t necessarily have the best environmental footprint, a manufacturer applied this query to investigate the use of alternative products and find customers and use cases to sell to.


If you’re a product lead in process manufacturing or business-to-business markets with a similar Challenge, reach out to discuss how this new approach to query the industrial data in Makersite can find new market opportunities for you.


  • Use to find alternative use cases and potential markets and customers.
  • Design responsible supply chains and procure transparently.
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