3M- Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing
As known, five targets have been set out in the aftermath of the BEYSAD Strategy Paper for the White Goods Supply Industry and five committees have been created for achieving these targets. In the scope of the activities of our “R&D Capacity Improvement and Innovation Committee”, a visit was made to the Innovation Center of 3M, a member of the committee, located in Minnesota (St. Paul), USA on 24-30 June 2013.
This visit was a great opportunity to get to know 3M better, which is one of the Top 3 innovative companies in the world, in addition to finding out more about technologies, R&D activities and innovation approaches that make the company an innovation giant for the past 111 years. 21 people from 18 different firms (including main industry firms) attended this event which has proved to be an effective means of contributing to the appliance sector and BEYSAD members and enriching their vision.
3M technology advancing every company
3M products enhancing every home
3M innovation improving every life
With a quick innovation center tour and introduction on the first day, we have spent three full days in the 3M world of innovation. 3M opened the doors of specialized laboratories to us that are usually closed to usual visitors and we had a chance to see all aspects of the facilities. Thanks to 3M’s well-planned organization, evenings were fun and we had the opportunity to know one another better.
On the first day of the trip, Mr. Don Kwak, 3M Global Appliance Market Business Development Director; Ms. Wei Moline, 3M Global Business Director Bonding Tapes and Converter Solutions; and Mr. Günther Gressler, 3M Industrial Bonding Tapes General Manager, made brief opening speeches and told they wanted to know us better, learn about our expectations from this trip and understand to what extent they can meet our expectations during the course of this event. After the opening, BEYSAD’s introductory movie was screened in the hall where 3M’s Global Bonding Tapes Directors were present. Hasan Danişment, the Vice-Chairman of BEYSAD, made the opening speech on behalf of BEYSAD. One of the founding members of BEYSAD, Mr. Danişment told BEYSAD was very pleased to witness the remarkable progress of the Turkish white goods supply industry and see the ambition and global vision of the young professionals in the sector. He then introduced the team and expressed his wishes for a fruitful event.
In the scope of workshops made throughout three days, the future of the appliance sector, Turkey’s position in the world, 3M solutions available for the sector and collaborations that can be made between the main industry and supply industry were discussed in detail. Applications were made on products and parties exchanged opinions. 3M officials shared examples from their world in order to help participants understand how an effective R&D structure can be set up and how a sound innovation culture can be created. In addition to very useful technical presentations, joyful workshops were made on how to apply these technologies in practice.
Probably the biggest surprise of the event took place when Mr. Arthur Fry, the inventor of the well-known 3M Post-it, stepped into the room on the second day. With his great energy, smiling face and modest attitudes, he told us the story of Post-it. Born in Minnesota in 1931, Mr. Fry has been working for 3M since 1953. It is very easy to spot his car in the car park, because its car plate number is “post-it”. The story of Post-it is as follows: “The product was born in 1974. Fry attended a seminar given by another 3M scientist, Spencer Silver, on a unique adhesive Silver had developed in 1968. Silver's innovation had an unusual molecular structure, yielding an adhesive strong enough to cling to objects but weak enough to allow for a temporary bond. At the time, Silver was still searching for a marketable use for his invention. Fry was at school when he came up with the perfect application. Fry sang in his church choir on nights, and he used slips of paper to mark the pages of his work book. When the book was opened, however, the makeshift bookmarks often moved around or fell out altogether. On a Sunday in 1973, it occurred to him that Silver's adhesive could be put to use to create a better bookmark. If it could be coated on paper, Silver's adhesive would hold a bookmark in place without damaging the page on which it was placed. The next day, Fry requested a sample of the adhesive. He began experimenting, coating only one edge of the paper so that the portion extending from a book would not be sticky. Fry used some of his experiments to write notes to his boss. This use led him to broaden his original idea into the concept that became the Post-it note.”
So, the invention of Post-it was not just a mere coincidence. Post-it was in yellow color, as pink or blue would be interpreted as representative of different genders. Yellow was a good preference for attracting attention.
On the last day of the workshop, it was apparent that all the parties were satisfied with the outcome of the event. The 3M team, members of the BEYSAD Innovation and R&D Capacity Improvement Committee and other BEYSAD members were all smiling. 3M global R&D team was excited to see that successful professionals from different areas of the sector came together and shared their knowledge. For the first time in the history of 3M USA, people from so many different companies came together to do workshop on the appliance sector. Both 3M Turkey team and BEYSAD R&D committee were proud to be part of these efforts.
We would like to thank each member of the delegation for sparing their time to this visit, including primarily 3M officials. The efforts of Ms. Wei Moline and Mr. Don Kwak were worth of appreciation and we are truly grateful for their hospitality. Since the early days of the works for the Strategy Paper we have always seen the great support of main industry firms. By taking part in the committee activities in the fourth month, they have made us even stronger and added new knowledge to our portfolio. We are also thankful to them for being with us in this trip.