From any material within Prospector, clicking on an icon called Alternatives starts a search of the 49,000-plus materials database, and then ranks the results according to how many performance criteria are matched. Users can then customize the search to highlight critical properties, and receive a second list of matches.
IDES added the Alternatives feature in answer to customers who wanted to find a suitable replacement for a resin already in use, either to reduce cost or because the material was being discontinued. For instance, one
beta customer had been ordering 900,000 lb of a nylon material at $1.45/lb for a total annual cost of $1.305 million. Using the Alternatives Search the molder found a replacement product that cost only $.90/lb and had lower specific gravity, enabling the processor to purchase fewer pounds as well. Total annual savings on the project: $622,000. ?Because of the tenuous climate right now relative to resin pricing, OEMs and molders are constantly on the prowl to find lower-cost alternatives or need to replace discontinued materials,? says Mike Kmetz, president of IDES. ?With a single click, our search engine scours the database, finds alternatives, and ranks them so users can easily review new resin candidates. This feature can save a company thousands of dollars by identifying a lower-cost plastic that may be a drop-in replacement.??MM