Speaker interview: Oxford Instruments

Alexander Sagidullin is a speaker at Polymer Testing World Expo 2020 in EssenWe were joined by Dr. Alexander Sagidullin, NMR Technologist for Oxford Instruments, who shared his insights about his company and the industry. He will be speaking at the Polymer Testing World Expo.

Oxford Instruments plc is a leading provider of high technology products and services to the world's leading industrial companies and scientific research communities. Whether the properties of polymer products and materials, components in polymer blends and polymer composites are monitored, or quality of packaging is tested, or layer thickness and uniformity of coatings are measured, or effects and distribution of additives are characterised, our solutions enable their customers to achieve their goals.

What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?

Oxford Instruments aims to focus directly on providing solutions to identified customer challenges and enable our customers to overcome them using our technology. Being a broad-based instrument supplier, we can look at the challenges from a number of different perspectives and provide a solution that doesn’t just solve the challenge but fits within our customers’ specific processes. We also have a strong focus on ease of use in our control software to further enable our customers to overcome their challenges. 


Are there any new technology developments that your company is working on at the moment?

Oxford Instruments are always working on new technologies. Our current focus is on broadening the range of applications in the polymer space that we can address with our benchtop NMR solutions, whether by adding a wide range of sample temperature control or by adding new functionality to enable deeper understanding of physicochemical properties.

A vital aim in spectroscopy is to convey the advantages of Raman microscopy to the wider scientific community. Many fields accustomed to other techniques could benefit greatly from its sensitivity and precision for chemical imaging applications. Advances in user interfaces and automation will make powerful analytical tools easy to use for non-specialists.


What are the biggest challenges facing the industry today, and how can this be overcome?

The biggest challenge for the industry today is sustainability, as it is for the whole world. However, for the polymer industry, the challenges associated with sustainability are particularly acute. New material development to enable sustainability is going to be crucial, particularly in areas such as fluorinated polymers where many applications rely on the particular properties of these materials, however their environmental impact has ceased to make them a viable solution going forward.

Knowledge on polymer properties at every stage of the product lifecycle is crucial for successful material development or polymer waste detection in ecosystems. Finding, classifying and identifying large numbers of microparticles to provide significant insight in a practical amount of time is essential to, for example, studies of microplastics in the environment.


How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?

I believe over the next five to ten years we will see changes driven by sustainability. We will see a wide range of new materials come to market that support this agenda and a drive to ensure that not just the materials, but their manufacturing processes, are cleaner and greener than ever before. Oxford Instruments is well-placed to support the industry over this period given the suite of materials analysis tools that we can supply to ensure the performance, quality, and consistency of new materials as they are developed.


What are you most looking forward to at this year’s show?

We are always happy to see our customers and partners and to talk to them about our instruments.

We would like to learn more about:

• New materials, production and recycling processes allowing to minimise negative environmental impact;
• The current state of material safety and quality control requirements;
• User experience and challenges in using analytical methods that allow decent optimisation of the polymer production and recycling costs.
• Advances in R&D of new polymer products requiring insights to the chemical and structural material composition

We would be happy to have as many face-to-face conversations and discussions with the polymer experts from Industry and material development field as possible.