The product quality produced by the web-coating process can vary from high-quality, low-defects film used for products such as imaging and printed electronics to low-quality films such as inexpensive adhesive tape. It is an important factor in the design and building of the new capacity because higher quality levels require tighter specifications and low tolerances in the manufacturing of hardware components. This results in higher costs. Some of the quality parameters that should specified are:
- General quality level
- Unacceptable defects
- Number and type of defects allowed per 1,000 sq ft
- Acceptable defects at a low level
- MD & TD coating-weight uniformity
- Substrate uniformity and flatness
Coating methods required
There is no one coating method that can coat all product requirements, therefore more than one method may be needed. This can be accomplished by a cartridge-coating station, which permits the rapid changeover of coating methods with minimum downtime. It may be beneficial to install one in the new capacity project so that it is instantly available in the future when it may be needed.
New capacity options
Options for adding the new capacity are developed based on the data in the Technical Specifications (see Parts 1-3). Potential options are:
- Purchase a new coater: This is a good option if the volume forecast is for steadily increasing large volumes. It is also an opportunity to incorporate new technology into the coater.
- Upgrade current coater hardware by increasing the drying capacity, by adding additional drying modules or auxiliary drying (such as IR). Increase performance of the current dryer upgrading web handling and adding on-line quality control modules. This is a good approach if a small amount of additional capacity is needed or if the coater is relatively new. However, for an older coater, this may not be justified because it may be close to the end of its useful life.
Developing the specialized information on process and product will allow selecting the best option for required performance of the new coating capacity.
1. Cohen, E.D., “What are the Sources of Technical Information on the Web Coating Process?” Converting Quarterly, 2017 Quarter 1.
2. Cohen, E.D., Gutoff, E.B, Water and Solvent Based Coating Technology, in J.R. Wagner, Jr., Multilayer Flexible Packaging, Elsevier, 2nd ed., 2010.