Even though the Web Coating Process is an old process, at least 300 years old, there has been an ongoing development and introduction of new process technology. As a result; it has evolved from simple low speed process, coating a narrow range of coating properties into a high speed, low cost process with the ability to coat a range of coating thicknesses with good uniformity and quality. This continued growth is unusual for a commercial process because the standard pattern is for the technology to grow and the peak and fall of in usage 1.e.8 track tape, steam engine
The development of new process technology and new product concepts will continue in the 2016. Improvements in the design, operating range and cost of multilayer slot die coater will be introduced and it will continue to replace some of the older coating methods, However; the 40 coating basic methods, with 1000 or more specific configuration, will continue to be used and ongoing technology advances will increase their effectiveness. The reason for the use of multiple methods is that there is no single coating method that can coat all possible ranges of thicknesses, quality, uniformity. at optimum quality and uniformity. The Mayer Rod, Air Knife etc., will continue to widely used because they can effectively coat products with good quality, low cost and there is an extensive technology base for them.
Improvements in laboratory and manufacturing intermittent coating hardware will result in the the increased development of new products using this technology. The use of improved automated sheet and roll coaters in the laboratory coatings will replace hand coating and will provided commercial quality product coated product, can provide limited basic process data and will speed-up product development time.
Improved coat effective web coater pilot lines, which can coat quality product at low volumes will become available. They are a scaled down version of manufacturing lines and are very effective for optimizing these products and providing small volume production needs for several products. In addition, they will give start-up companies with new product concepts, and no coating technology a cost effective route to producing novel coated product.
The conversion of off-line quality control technology to on-line measurement and control will accelerate as new technology cost effective systems that improves the measurement of on-line coating weight measurements and surface inspection systems. Become available It will become very difficulty to efficiently run a quality and cost competitive coater without them.
As the volume and coating quality requirements of coated products increases. there will be an increased focus on upgrading existing coaters so that they can meet the current product requirements. The Web Coating line is modular and individual modules that are quality and line speed limiting can be identified and modernized. There will be an increase in the conversation of standard one coating method coating stations to Cartridge Coating Stations that permit the efficient changing of coating methods so that multiple coating methods can be efficiently used without incurring a significant amount of down time and lost production.
The drying module can be rate limiting because it cannot dry the product at the drying load at optimum coating conditions. Advances in dryer technology will be implemented to obtain the required increase in capacity and physical quality for both new and improved products. This will be accomplished by using several different drying methods in a drying box instead of a single method. The available options are multiple nozzle configurations, infrared drying zones and use of novel nozzle configurations.