Professional Societies & Alliances

Our MCF team has worked in web handling for decades and has woven a team of professional alliances for optimum problem solving strength. We have alliances with the team operating Kodak's Pilot Coater Line and with TJ Walker + Associates. Our workshop series is just one way to tap into our combined knowledge. Professional societies include AIMCAL and Oklahoma State.


TJ Walker + Associates

Optimation has an alliance with TJ Walker + Associates, based in St. Paul, MN.  A recognized industry expert, Tim Walker has been a process development engineer for over 25 years at 3M and as an independent consultant. In 2009 we started to work with Tim Walker on a series of workshops. The workshop format is a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity, combining classroom lecture with 'live' lab demonstrations (even the opportunity to use your web or rollers in the demonstrations). Most of the workshops focus on a special topic of web handling, allowing the most in-depth education on that topic anywhere.  Our workshop series is just one way to tap into our combined knowledge. We also provide custom consulting and other services for our clients. 


AIMCAL

Optimation is a member of AIMCAL, the Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL), founded in 1970, is a global nonprofit trade association representing converters of metallized, laminated and coated flexible substrates and their suppliers.  Dr. Kevin Cole is a known expert, regularly publishing and presenting on his expertise, and that of the MCF team. 


Oklahoma State WHRC

Optimation works with colleagues at the Oklahoma State Web Handling Research Center (WHRC).  The WHRC is an Industry / University Cooperative Research Center. It was originally established in 1986 as a National Science Foundation Center (I/UCRC). The WHRC is the only center of its type in the world; this leading corsortium works at the forefront of web handling technologies.


Kodak Pilot Line - Coating & Testing Services

Optimation works with the team at Eastman Kodak Company’s pilot facility in Eastman Business Park. This collaboration offers you the ability to prototype and scale-up your materials into cost-effective product offerings using roll-to-roll manufacturing methods. Services available span a wide range of media manufacturing techniques (extrusion, lamination, coating) as well as testing expertise for process influencers. For more information on how we can serve you, please email PilotServices@optimation.us.

Extrusion Pilot Equipment

Thermoplastics can be formulated to achieve customer required physical properties and performance.  These resins can be extruded in the form of thin films in multiple layers, or laminated onto other flexible substrates, to demonstrate a variety of product configurations.

Leistriz Compounder: Combine various thermoplastic resins with powder and/or liquid additives and reconstitute the mixture as a pelletized solid that can be case or extrusion coated in a subsequent process step.

  • 0-50 lb/hr compounding rate
  •  Low volume powder addition
  • Low volume liquid addition

Extrusion Coater (MPX): Extrude up to three resins simultaneously and either cast as a sheet or apply as a layer onto paper or plastic substrates.

  • 1-200 fpm web speed
  • 2-80 lb/hr extrusion rate
  • 6” coated width
  • 2-500 micron thick layers
  • Uses 20 lbs resin/part
  • In-line compounding

Extrusion Coater (SXT): Simultaneously extrude up to three resins and either cast as a sheet or apply as a layer onto paper or plastic substrates.

  • 1-200 fpm web speed
  • 2-80 lb/hr extrusion rate
  • 6” coated width
  • 2-500 micron thick layers
  • Uses 20 lbs resin/part
  • In-line compounding, CDT 

Coating Pilot Equipment

Three coating platforms are available to lay down thin films (both aqueous and solvent based).  Coating methodologies are designed to demonstrate ability to control coverage and consistency of coated layer.  The client will gain knowledge about the constraining parameters of selected coating processes as applied to his product.

RC5 Slot Die Coater: Apply 10-100 micron thick wet films of aqueous or solvent solutions onto paper, plastic or metal webs.

  • 5-60 fpm
  • 50-250 micron web thickness
  • 4-9.5” coating widths
  • Uses as little as 300 g of solution per sample
  • CDT and UV curing

GC1 Gravure Coater: Apply 1-10 micron thick wet films of aqueous or solvent solutions onto paper or plastic webs.

  • 50-600 fpm
  • 4-250 micron web thicknesses
  • 5” coated width on 6” support
  • Uses as little as 300 g of solution per sample
  • CDT

Digital Pilot Coater: Apply a wide range of wet thickness films of aqueous or solvent solutions onto paper or plastic webs using gravure, rod, blade, or curtain coating

  • 50-5000 fpm
  • 4-250 micron web thicknesses
  • 9-16” coated widths
  • Uses 10 kg of solution per sample
  • CDT, electrostatic coating assist
  • IR and NIR drying capability 

Environmental Conditioning

Test chambers provide the ability to subject your materials to controlled levels of all critical environmental factors. Your materials can be subjected to a single condition or a combination of conditions to simulate how your product will age. Critical environmental factors include:

Temperature: Temp conditioning at constant RH (23 to 90 C)

Humidity: Humidity conditioning at constant temp (5% to 90%)

Ozone: 1-5 ppm ozone treatment at constant T/RH

Light

  • 50 kLux light fade at constant T/RH
  • xenon light source through glass with UV filtration
  • xenon light source through glass with no filtration
  • xenon light source with no glass or filtration
  • 5.4 kLux light fade with xenon light source
  • 5.4 kLux light fade with flourescent light source
  • 80 kLux flourescent light fade though polycarbonate

Walk-in chambers

  • 250 sq ft
  • 23-40 C
  • 10-90% RH
  • High Altitude simulation 

Physical Property Testing

A wide variety of tests can be conducted over a range of precisely controlled environmental conditions to enable an evaluation of the performance characteristics of your materials. Some examples are:

Adhesion

  • Adhesive Peel Force
  • Blocking Analysis (paper and film)
  • Scott Bond (z-direction)

Curl

  • ANSI/Disc Curl
  • Coreset Curl
  • Edgerise Curl

Dimensional Stability

  • Dimensional Change
  • Shrinkage
  • Thermal Expansion

Friction

  • Dynamic Coefficient of Friction
  • Static Coefficient of Friction

Optical Properties

  1. Colorimetry
  2. Illumination

Mechanical Properties

  • Brittleness
  • Caustic Breakage
  • MIT Fold
  • Splice Strength Evaluation
  • Stiffness
  • Tensile/Modulus

Surface Characteristics

  • Bekk Vacuum
  • Contact Angle
  • Federal Profile
  • Gloss/Haze
  • Surface Roughness
  • Sheffield Porosity/Smoothness
  • Surface Resistivity
  • Scratch Resistance