Achieving Quality and Controlling Costs for Silicone Release Coaters

Controlling quality and costs are critical challenges in the coating and converting processes. That is why coating or composition analysis is essential for silicone release coaters. Product quality depends on proper coating thickness or coat weight. If coatings are not in spec, this can lead to product failure. If too little or too much silicone is applied, this can change the product’s characteristics resulting in product rejection and reduced profitability. Achieving a targeted laydown to ensure release properties or barriers are not compromised is crucial.

Rigaku EDXRF (energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence) technology provides non-destructive coating or composition analysis for web applications. It is a standard technique used by the paper and film industry for determining silicone coating thickness and composition. Applied Rigaku Technologies offers at-line or in-line analysis solutions.

For in-line process control, the NEX LS linear scanner offers cross and machine direction Si coat weight profiling of your process. To maintain consistent quality, improve efficiency, and minimize cost, the NEX LS allows continuous monitoring without the need to stop production. It offers technicians valuable information to quickly identify problems related to the quality of the entire roll as it’s being produced.

NEX LS software is easy to use and provides a clear visual representation of the process, helping technicians make immediate quality control decisions. Using a flow bar method builder, users input basic information about their application, and the advanced NEX LS software helps achieve continuous process control from the beginning to the end of the roll.

Its analytical head sweeps back and forth across a moving web, and the scanner transmits measurements to a console box and industrial touchscreen computer where real-time data displays as a graphical cross direction and machine direction profile. The software includes user-defined recipes, including scan speeds and sub-second measurement settings, and advanced roll reporting provides quality records or audit trails.

Roll reports include machine direction, cross direction, and full lane average graphs — measurement value, date, time, length, product name, and other information. Users can customize reports and export as PDF or CSV and store copies to USB or a network using industry-standard communications protocols.

NEX LS gives users the ability to monitor their process — real-time — from start to finish.

For rapid at-line solutions, the NEX QC Series benchtop EDXRF analyzers enable the measurement of very low silicone coating weights and metal catalysts in silicone coatings, all with one instrument. Challenging applications that were marginal or
not possible with earlier technologies are now a reality.

NEX QC Series spectrometers do not require helium or a special sample cup for Si determination.

By simply placing a sample in the analysis chamber, the NEX QC Series analyzers provide QC technicians with an ideal tool for quickly checking silicone coating thickness and composition Applied Rigaku Technologies, Inc.

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