Process Development Services

B&W MEGTEC Development Center

To support the development of specialized and proprietary coating and drying applications, B&W MEGTEC has an in-house Development Center located at its headquarters facility in De Pere, Wisconsin, USA. The Center features world-class laboratory bench-top tools and a complete roll-to-roll pilot coating line that can be rented. The pilot line includes full coating and drying capabilities, providing a controlled test environment for process development and trialing of short production runs. 

Bench-Top Drying Lab

Our in-house Drying Lab is a bench-top system that captures complete drying characteristics of coatings and substrates from small-size samples. The system enables B&W MEGTEC process engineers to track rates of evaporation for water and organic solvents, along with determining the drying time required to reach target solvent or moisture residuals in the product.

In parallel with the development of new coatings, researchers often need to define a method/process for proper drying. But in the early development stages, advanced materials are often available in limited quantities, which makes traditional pilot-scale coating and drying trials impractical. However, the ability to characterize drying behavior on a smaller scale makes it possible to capture key information for timely process design decisions before making extensive development expenditures in time and capital. 

Our bench-top laboratory methods make it possible to leverage early returns on key data to help assess the commercial viability of web-based substrates. 

Pilot Coating Facility

The B&W MEGTEC in-house pilot coating line enables customers to test, develop and improve web-based processes by evaluating system variables and components without having to invest in full-scale production. The goal is to optimize coating and substrate performance and web-based operation to shorten the time between trial and commercialization. 
 
The pilot coating line is an important factor in establishing the viability of emerging and advanced materials applications. It can help confirm the potential for technology patents by providing a highly confidential environment needed for new-product development. It’s also the ideal environment to produce prototype materials for further research, marketing, and quality testing. 
 
Related services and equipment capabilities of the pilot coating line facility include preparing slurry mixtures, access to multiple coating methods, a three-zone dryer that can be used with a wide range of substrates and tensions, plasma and corona treaters for foil substrates, and on-line coating thickness measurement and performance tracking.
 
Customers may apply their own proprietary expertise in a confidential setting. If required, our process engineers, R&D technicians, and analytic staff are available to leverage their collective process and materials expertise to solve drying and coating challenges for an ever-increasing array of substrates. Mixing, coating, and drying capabilities of the pilot coating line include:
 
Manual unwind and rewind
The ability to run multiple coating methods with precision coating modules for single- or dual-side         slot-die coating
A flexible machine layout that can accommodate custom changes to the line as needed
Convection dryer with either impingement or flotation nozzles to dry the coated side of  the web
The ability to handle substrates up to 600 mm wide
Line speeds up to 200 meters/minute

 

Pilot Distillation System

B&W MEGTEC also has an in-house Pilot Distillation System. This bench-scale lab is available for process development testing of various liquid feed materials to identify what purity levels are possible, as well as to generate data for determining full-scale commercial design. Testing in a laboratory setting reduces risk and development costs by providing a fully controlled environment to research first-of-a-kind concepts and process improvements.