Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together.

- Vincent van Gogh

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Ribek Technology
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These are some examples of projects from the files at RIBEK.



Project: Nano Particle Dispersions for Solar Photovoltaic Application
Client: Technology Start-Up
Objective: Develop dispersion chemistry and process

unctional nano-particulate materials had been selected for the application, but there was process technology to successfully deploy them. RIBEK developed a dispersion vehicle (solvent system and surfactants) through a series of designed experiments. Prototype coatings were produced for evaluation. A laboratory-scale bench dispersion process was also developed using media milling technology. This process technology transfer enabled the client to produce dispersions on-site and proceed to the pilot production of functional coatings.


Project: Chemical Sensor Coating
Client: Technology Start-Up
Objective: Develop and scale-up ultrasonic coating method. Build pilot coater and direct the production of 5000 prototype sensors.
A research firm had developed coated sensor technology a for detecting airborne hazardous chemicals. RIBEK entered the project at the end of the feasibility stage: single sensors were being produced. The client was required to deliver a large number of protoype sensors to their customer for evaluation. RIBEK refined the ultrasonic coating technique, designed and built an automated pilot-coater to produce large numbers of sensors. The software interface on the automated coater allowed for rapid training of technicians, meeting the delivery requirements.


Project: Medical Device Coating
Client: Medical Device Company
Objective: Dispersion process development
A manufacturer of point-of-care blood monitors uses a coated dispersion as the core of the analytical product. The volume of the product was expanding beyond the limits of the current (lab scale) system. Variation in the product was compensated for by individual lot analysis. This approach was unacceptable for the larger production volume. The existing bench-scale techniques required upgrading to meet the larger product volume and to reduce the dependency on lot-by-lot inspection. Process development was conducted to select equipment and procedures to satisfy the requirements for increased production volume and to reduce lot-to-lot variation.

Project: Nano-Particle Dispersion for Conductive Coating
Client: Contract Research Firm
Objective: Investigate conductivity improvement in conductive polymer
A contract research firm was developing a novel conductive-polymer coating for aerospace applications. The conductive polymer alone exhibited insufficient conductivity to meet the application requirements. An approach was developed which attempted to introduce metallic nano-particles into the coating to increase the bulk conductivity. RIBEK was contracted to develop dispersion methods for the nano-particles. Numerous attempts were made to produce nano-dispersions. SEM analysis revealed that the metallic particles were not in the nano-size range, but were actually large, highly- fused agglomerates! The dispersion work was suspended until true nano-sized metallic particles were available.


Project: Ink Dispersion Process Improvement
Client: Pigment Manufacturer
Objective: Ink Dispersion Process Improvement
A pigment manufacturer had just acquired a pigment dispersion business as a strategic expansion of their operations. The existing business operated as a specialty, with high variation in batch quality. The client intended to increase the volume of dispersed pigment, and this required a scale-up and improvement of the process. A two-day on-site consultation was conducted to review the existing processes. Equipment configuration, process strategy, and quality control measures were developed to enable the scale-up of the product line.


Project: Equipment Performance Study
Client: Process Equipment Manufacturer
Objective: Independant capability study vs competitor

A manufacturer of process equipment had acquired a new product line of horizontal bead mills of unique design. The performance of the mills had been anecdotally reported to be superior to conventional horizontal disk mills, but definitive data was not available. A set of designed experiments was conducted to compare the client's mill with competitor's equipment. Several products were processed on both mills, and particle size data was related to milling parameters such as energy input and residence time. A report to the client summarized the results of the study. This work clearly showed that the unique design of the mill produced real advantages for its users. This report provided unbiased information that was very useful in marketing the equipment to potential customers.