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Brain of Materials: Digital twin of materials

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Resource and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important for furniture and interior design. However, complex supply chains are a challenge for material and supplier markets. The online platform Brain of Materials wants to simplify supply chains and complex data flows and thus contribute to sustainable design. We spoke to CEO Dr Hans Peter Schlegelmilch about the digital representation of material and cutting data and exciting innovations for sustainable product design.

Brain of Materials - Homepage

The online platform Brain of Materials wants to simplify complex data flows and thus promote sustainable design. (Source: Brain of Materials AG)

Simplification of complex processes

Dr Schlegelmilch, what is the concept behind your digital platform Brain of Materials?

Complex supply chains pose challenges for material and supplier markets today. A digital twin of the material helps to support complex processes, such as analysing and displaying the carbon footprint with material properties. This simplifies supply chains and enables more resilient and flexible networks. Brain of Materials AG's digital platform for material and product data can thus simplify complex data flows and contribute to sustainable design, especially in the furniture industry. To put it plainly: Brain of Materials is a process platform that connects material manufacturers and other supply chain participants.

Smarter thanks to digital tools

How can such a digital format support sustainable product development in furniture and interior design?

Material, energy and social resources will play a greater role in the future. This can be seen concretely in terms of raw materials and supplier parts or social resources such as the shortage of skilled workers. So these are limited resources, especially for the furniture industry. The only way to counter this is simply to be smarter. Be it with the help of digital tools or networked systems in material and product development to achieve greater resource efficiency.

CannaReWool yarn

The CannaReWool yarn, developed together with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, consists of hemp fibres and recycled wool. (Source: Brain of Materials AG)

Standardised material data

How do you help companies with this?

We are already noticing that the demand for resource and energy efficiency, for material and product life cycle verification is growing more and more among our customers. Future developments for the digital material and product passport are casting their shadows ahead in order to achieve a consolidated verification capability with material manufacturers and processors and to anticipate future political regulations. At Brain of Materials, we realise this in concrete terms with standardised material data that simplify reconciliations and analyses. With intuitive data maintenance that ensures that colleagues and partners always have access to current data records that are continually updated.

Saving time and costs

How does that help to save resources?

Digital material management allows us to sustainably support product development by saving time and transport costs with digital material releases in sampling. It also makes it possible to make supply chains more resilient and, if necessary, to display them transparently. In this way, Brain of Materials can lay a foundation for future product passports in which all the necessary data can be consolidated on the platform.

Dr. Hans Peter Schlegelmilch

Dr. Hans Peter Schlegelmilch (Source: Brain of Materials AG)

Example for circularity

Where do you see the most exciting innovations in sustainable materials in general?

Materials are increasingly becoming "value" materials, which means that their materiality plays an increasingly important role in development. This could also lead to a new understanding with possibly disruptive influences on supply chains under the question: Who actually owns materials in the future? On the Brain of Materials platform, we have already identified a large number of innovative materials that are designed to be more resource-efficient because their recyclability was already taken into account during material development.

Can you give us an example of this?

One example is the material CannaReWool, which we developed together with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Through the resource-efficient selection of materials, namely hemp fibres and recycled wool, a yarn was developed that is both knittable and sustainable. The project was able to produce a high-performance textile with a small ecological footprint that can be used, for example, as a seat cover for desk chairs.

Under the heading "Digital Material Twin: Sustainable Design and Engineering", Dr Hans Peter Schlegelmilch will present the Brain of Materials platform at interzum. You can find all information about the presentation in the programme of the interzum Trend Stage.