1. Taking the Lab on the Road
  • Taking the Lab on the Road

    May 20, 2016
    By Janna Fischer/3M Storyteller
    Scientist from 3M Thailand, Sumittra Duangkaewmanee, smiles and poses with a roll of 3M Repulpable Fiber Adhesive Transfer Tape

    Taking the Lab on the Road

    Sumittra Duangkaewmanee proudly sports a lab coat now and again, but the 3M Thailand scientist is quick to point out that it’s what happens outside of the lab that has the biggest impact on her work.

    “At 3M, we are encouraged to go out into the real world and talk to customers about how they use products,” said Sumittra. “Those interactions are what inspire us to do things differently – to come up with a new solution to a challenge.”

    Taking the Lab on the Road

    Sumittra Duangkaewmanee proudly sports a lab coat now and again, but the 3M Thailand scientist is quick to point out that it’s what happens outside of the lab that has the biggest impact on her work.

    “At 3M, we are encouraged to go out into the real world and talk to customers about how they use products,” said Sumittra. “Those interactions are what inspire us to do things differently – to come up with a new solution to a challenge.”

    Taking the Lab on the Road

    Stephanie Jacobs was asleep when she had a stroke at the age of 41. When she awoke, she had double vision.

    She went to the ER twice, but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong – Stephanie wasn’t showing typical signs of a stroke. An MRI eventually detected a brainstem stroke that damaged the optic-nerve muscle in Stephanie’s left eye. Would she really be stuck with an eye patch?

    Two men use 3M Repulpable Fiber Adhesive Transfer Tape at the paper mill to adhere large rolls of paper to the paper core

    Customer-focused field trip

    That’s how she created a new Repulpable Fiber Adhesive Transfer Tape for the local pulp and paper industry. The special tape is used in paper mill manufacturing to adhere large rolls of paper to the roll core, and to help in the roll-closing step of the paper winder process.

    Her inspiration came from taking field trips to her customer’s plant, discussing pain points and getting a better understanding of the unique requirements.

    Customer-focused field trip

    The temporary healthcare solution was a patch over her damaged left eye, allowing her to perform basic daily tasks. Over time, her damaged eye showed signs of improvement, and she was able to put away her patch and wear what others would assume were everyday eyeglasses.

    Her doctor prescribed an application called 3M Press-On Prisms.

    Customer-focused field trip

    That’s how she created a new Repulpable Fiber Adhesive Transfer Tape for the local pulp and paper industry. The special tape is used in paper mill manufacturing to adhere large rolls of paper to the roll core, and to help in the roll-closing step of the paper winder process.

    Her inspiration came from taking field trips to her customer’s plant, discussing pain points and getting a better understanding of the unique requirements.

    Close up image of someone using 3M tape to secure a roll of paper into place
    “Due to the high temperatures and humidity levels we experience in Southeast Asia, our customer needed a repulpable tape that had good initial tack and could tolerate severe environmental conditions. They also needed a test method to easily monitor and evaluate tape oozing. I was excited to help them figure this out.”
    SUMITTRA DUANGKAEWMANEE
    Corporate R&D, 3M Thailand
    Two men use 3M Repulpable Fiber Adhesive Transfer Tape at the paper mill to adhere large rolls of paper to the paper core

    Mission accomplished

    Sumittra worked closely with her team in the U.S. to create a new tailor-made tape that specifically addressed her customer’s needs, and it is now available to the paper mill industry worldwide.

    “When we understand customer-inspired innovation,” she said, “we become a partner to our customers, and we solve problems in the process.”

    LEARN MORE ON 3M TAPES

    Mission accomplished

    Sumittra worked closely with her team in the U.S. to create a new tailor-made tape that specifically addressed her customer’s needs, and it is now available to the paper mill industry worldwide.

    “When we understand customer-inspired innovation,” she said, “we become a partner to our customers, and we solve problems in the process.”

    LEARN MORE ON 3M TAPES

    Mission accomplished

    Sumittra worked closely with her team in the U.S. to create a new tailor-made tape that specifically addressed her customer’s needs, and it is now available to the paper mill industry worldwide.

    “When we understand customer-inspired innovation,” she said, “we become a partner to our customers, and we solve problems in the process.”

    LEARN MORE ON 3M TAPES