It’s a colourful world

It’s a colourful world - Knowledge factory

We customise our work at our clients’ request, adapting as the project grows and develops. We’re unique in that we can manufacture small volume, high-end products to tightly controlled, high specifications.

Kelly Schaefer, Colour Synthesis Solutions

Colour Synthesis Solutions Ltd. is a Manchester-based contract research organisation offering bespoke chemistry services, and is a leading provider of both coloured and non-coloured fine chemicals to industry.

Colour Synthesis Solutions (CSS) was set up in 2006 by two professors from the University of Manchester. They built up a contract research organisation that today helps to design, research and develop a variety of dyes and other highly specialised chemicals according to customers’ individual applications and specifications. The company has 12 staff in the UK, including six PhD research chemists, and works with an expanding global client base that includes university groups and technology start-ups through to large multinational chemical and technology companies. Kelly Schaefer, Marketing Director at CSS, explained: “Our expertise is in chemical synthesis – more specifically with colours and dyes. Historically, colour has been associated with the textile industry, but we also serve the plastics and high tech electronics sectors, supplying colours for products such as liquid crystal displays and organophotovoltaic cells. We work alongside our customers to help design new products and develop manufacturing processes, from pilot­scale studies performed in house, to full-scale production with our partners. We also offer analytical services for initial compound identification and analysis, and to ensure compliance with various regulations, such as FDA food contact or REACH guidelines.”

One of the major advantages of working with a small company is that it can react quickly to meet changing customer needs. Kelly continued: “We customise our work at our clients’ request, adapting as the project grows and develops. We’re unique in that we can manufacture small volume, high-end products to tightly controlled, high specifications. Companies can also ‘lease’ one of our chemists for research, directing their work on a regular basis. This gives them the flexibility to focus on different aspects of their project, and to easily switch direction as results demand.”

CSS helps customers to overcome a wide variety of challenges. All potential customers need to do is ask! “While our customers have an in-depth knowledge of their products and applications, they are generally not experts in colour chemistry. Many of them turn to us for help in understanding how a colour is going to work in their product, as they realise that we have the dye chemistry know-how. We help them to find ways to modify their molecules, incorporating specific characteristics to make the dye behave the way it needs to in the end product. It’s challenging, but we enjoy working with our customers to find bespoke, rather than off-the-shelf, solutions to unique problems,” Kelly concluded.

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