Composition Design Tool Overview

Composition Design Tool Overview

Composition Design Tool Overview

The Composition Design Tool (CDT) is where components are added to formulations and raw materials. The CDT screens are slightly different for raw material and formulation versions.

When you ‘view’ an existing composition, you are presented with a ‘View Only’ version of the CDT. Some of the functions discussed in this article are available in the view only version. Additionally in view only you can make temporary changes to the composition for example adding and removing ingredients and calculating properties. This is to see ‘what-if’ type information. This information is temporary and cannot be saved.

The formulation CDT is used when you Add a New Formulation

The raw material CDT is used when you Add Composition to a Raw Material

Using the CDT

Once you are in the CDT, in the box headed ‘Code’ enter the name or code (or a partial name / code) for the item you want to add; the system returns results based on your entry. Select the component using the mouse or using arrow keys and enter key. After selecting the component, the focus moves to the Concentration column for you to enter the quantity. After entering the quantity press the enter key to go to the next line and repeat the process.

To Print, select ‘Other Menu’ button, then Print (select Basic format to print just component and concentration e.g. suitable for laboratory compounding).

To Save a formulation, choose ‘Save & Check In’. To save a formulation for completion later, choose ‘Interim Save’.

To change information displayed, click on column heading to sort. Drag and drop column headings to move them. See Customise Screen below for further information.

To change the sort order of the ingredients in the composition click on the column heading.

Guide to CDT panels

The CDT contains several collapsible areas (panels) as follows:

Edit History: The history of changes made to the composition during the CDT session are stored here. You can select a place in the edit history to go back to that point in the development.

Properties: Key item attributes such as code, price and concentration can be seen here. Price, concentration and others are automatically updated in response to composition changes.

Composition: The work area to add and modify components of formulations.

Composition Properties: Selected properties of the composition being worked on. These can be calculated by selecting ‘Calculate Now’ from the ‘Other Menu’. You can choose which composition properties to show in Other Menus > Customise Screen > Composition Properties.

Job Panel: Details about the job which relates to the formulation being worked on. This can contain the application and dosage, plus the company for which the item is being designed for. If this information is held here, then it will be the default party, application and dosage for suitability checking whilst in the CDT.

Guide to buttons and other functions in CDT

Total price: The calculated price of the formulation based on current composition in CDT. This is recalculated upon each change to the composition. This is not calculated for raw material compositions.

Components Count: How many components in the composition, this is recalculated upon each change to the composition.

Total Concentration: For Formulation compositions: When the default ‘Adjust all components’ is selected, the Total Concentration is recalculated upon each change to the composition. When ‘Selected components’ is selected, the concentration of the component highlighted will change in response to the Total Concentration entered. This can be useful to increase the level of solvent to make the formulation total 100. For Raw Material compositions: Total Concentration is not calculated, because each component is treated as a percentage. It is possible for a Raw Material Composition to have more or less than 100 parts, still each component is treated as a percentage.

Save & Check In: Save the composition and mark it Checked In – this is the normal state of a composition. When a composition is Checked In, this also increments the version number of the composition and calculates the properties of the item.

Interim Save: Save as work in progress. This saves the composition to be completed later. This is useful if a formulation development takes a long time or is interrupted. To find formulation work in progress, use menu option Search for Work In Progress. To find Raw Materials work in progress, use “Undo pending changes to Composition of Raw Materials”.

View: View the details for the Item highlighted (this is a shortcut to View a Raw Material or View a Formulation).

Availability: The highest Availability of the components in the formulation. This is recalculated upon each change to the composition. This is not calculated for raw material compositions.

Add: Add a component, after the component currently highlighted.

Insert: Insert (add) a component, before the component currently highlighted.

Delete: Delete a component.

Undo: Go back one step.

Redo: Go forward one step (can only be performed after Undo).

Full Screen (Exit Full Screen): Change between normal view and Full Screen view.

Cancel: If you are in the middle of adding components, you will be prompted to save. If you are in View mode the CDT window will be closed.

Other Menu

When you are adding a formulation into the CDT (Composition Design Tool), there is an area ‘Other Menus’ which is a drop-down list with many useful functions.

Save Sort Order: Saves the sort order on the screen, renumbering the sequence numbers of the components.

Explode: Explode (flatten) the highlighted formulation. This makes the Raw Materials of the highlighted formulation appear in the composition at the appropriate concentrations, instead of the formulation itself. When raw materials exist at multiple levels, the result is one line item with the total quantity represented. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + X

Move To: Move the highlighted component to a different line (you will be prompted to enter the line number to move the component to).

Compare: Compare other compositions to the one being worked on. You will be prompted to select additional compositions and these will appear in the CDT alongside the original composition.

Simplify: Simplify (explode) the composition. This differs to Explode function by taking into account ‘Prevent Explosion’ if indicated on any formulations.

Explode Everything: Explode all formulations contained in the composition. This ignores ‘Prevent Explosion’. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + A

Customise Screen: Here you can change the details which appear on the CDT screen. You can modify which details are shown in the columns next to each ingredient. For example, you can choose to show CAS number, FEMA number, unit price, properties, classification and application information. You can also select ‘Composition Properties’ to display properties for the whole formulation. Composition properties appear at the bottom of the screen. For a new composition, Calculate Now needs to be used to calculate properties before the values are available to be displayed.
To save the screen display settings as your preferred setting, select ‘Save Default’. To save for this formulation view only, select ‘Save’.
You can additionally move the columns around, using drag and drop; plus re-size the column widths. To preserve the display order and column widths, go back into ‘Customise Screen’ and Save.

Print: It is possible to change the quantity to be printed, select different report styles and printing formats. Options for layout are

  • As Screen: shows the information and columns on the screen
  • Basic: Shows header details, no costs, plus component sequence, code, name and quantity.
  • Basic (50): Like Basic but shows 50 ingredient lines per page.
  • Development: Like Basic, but includes cost of formulation, plus unit cost and extended cost for each ingredient.
  • Development (50) Like Development but shows 50 ingredient lines per page.
  • Default: Like Development, but also includes availability, properties determined and NAT status.

You can change the format of the print to PDF, HTML, Excel or CSV. Please note it’s possible to request custom versions of these reports. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + P

Print Laboratory Formulations: Here you can add formulations and quantities to print in a format which is friendly for mixing in the laboratory. You can add individual formulations into a list, using smart search, or use ‘Add From Basket’. As each one is added the application also shows the ‘Components Count’ (how many ingredients are in the first level of the formulation), and the ‘Composition Total’ (how much the formulation adds up to based on the natural / as entered formulation). There is a column for Quantity which defaults to the Composition Total; this quantity can be altered to any quantity desired.
When your list is complete, press ‘Print to PDF’ to generate the formulations in a single PDF file ready for printing. You will be asked if you want to allocate a Laboratory Batch Number and if so, which sequence to use. For more information see Manage Laboratory Batches.

Abandon: Abandon the composition, which removes the composition and removes the composition header.

Calculate Properties: Calculates properties such as health, safety, technical and regulatory, based on the components and concentrations. The results are displayed in a new window, alphabetically. See also ‘Calculate Now’. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + C

Item Analysis: Opens a new window containing access to Item Analysis reports. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + I

Check Suitability: This initiates Check Item Suitability for the composition under development. This will check if the formulation is compliant with any associated rules and restrictions, which you can configure in Formpak. For example you could check if the formulation is suitable for Halal, conforms to customer restrictions, conforms to IFRA or flavour regulations for specific applications. A suitability check is usually focussed on an intended customer and application, and you can specify these in the criteria.
When you perform a check, you get a pass / fail message and a report is generated which provides details of the compliance status.
When you add a new formulation, you can optionally include the intended customer (Party), Application(s) and Dosage(s). If you use projects and tasks, and use the function ‘Add Formulation’, this will populate the customer, application and dosage from the task, so you don’t need to manually add it. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + K

Calculate Now: Calculates properties such as health, safety, technical and regulatory, based on the components and concentrations. These results can be displayed in the CDT by selecting the properties of interest in ‘Customise Screen’. When changes to components or concentrations are made, Calculate Now should be performed to update the composition property values. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + U

Modify Formulation: Opens a new window to show ‘Modify a Formulation’. Here you can add details to the header of the formulation, for example to add an appearance, add mixing instructions, add classification information and more. – Keyboard shortcut Alt + M

Calculate Cost: Updates the costs for the composition. Usually, costs are updated as you make changes to the composition. However, if you update the price of a raw material at the same time as you are developing a formulation which uses it, then you can use ‘Calculate Cost’ to obtain the latest raw material costs.



Last updated July 2021
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