Stimulating Challenges of Improving Processes

Dr. Kenneth McCarthy has over 35 years of experience in the coating industry and will be a featured "Ask the Expert" at ICE USA.

Dr. Kenneth McCarthy has over 35 years of experience in the coating industry and will be a featured “Ask the Expert” at ICE USA.

Welcome to everyone who is registered, or is considering registering, for ICE USA 2015. There are tremendous opportunities available at this conference for people in the converting industries.  For people who are fairly new to this field, the CEMA seminars on Monday, February 9th, are a great way to get a deeper understanding of the many processes that are used in these industries. The AIMCAL Technical Presentations, from 10-12 each day during the exposition, are an excellent opportunity to develop skills for your current job, or your next job. And the free “Ask the Experts” 15 minute technical consultations are a great way to get some insight and advice on those vexing problems that can beset any operation from time to time, so take advantage of all these opportunities to make yourself all you can be.

I am happy to meet with any of you who have questions that I may be able to answer. I worked at Polaroid and its derivative Multilayer Coating Technologies for 37 years, mostly in clean room coating operations, as an engineer, supervisor, and film plant manager. I was responsible for the introduction of new products in several film plants, bridging the transitions from R/D through Pilot Plant and scale-up to full production of more than 20 Polaroid products. It was always a stimulating challenge to get to the bottom of the underlying product technology and to improve our coating processes to meet the new product requirements.

Much of that time was spent on solving product defect issues, so I am happy to discuss those types of issues with you. I plan to bring my Celestron Digital Microscope with me to analyze any defect samples you may have.

At the 2014 AIMCAL Technical Conference, I gave a talk on Dispensing Systems, which included a discussion of bubbles in the dispensing systems for fluid coating operations. Most bubbles are caused by air entrainment, and there are several process steps where this issue can occur. On the suction side of pumps, any leaks can introduce air into the coating fluid. If there is recycling or solution is being added to an open container, bubbles can form if the solution is added above the fluid level, causing splashing to occur. Air pockets in lines caused by inadequate design can be sources of bubbles. Lastly, dissolved air coming out of solution is another cause of bubbles, so degassing is needed to eliminate this source. I am happy to discuss any dispensing issues and fluid mixing issues as well. See you in Orlando.

You can make an appointment with Dr. McCarthy or any other the other “Experts” here.

ICE USA’s Guest Blogger is Dr. Kenneth McCarthy. Ken has over 35 years of experience in the coating industry. He previously served as Senior Product Development Manager at Polaroid and Multilayer Coating Technologies. His company, Clean Room Coating Solutions, provides consulting services in coating, drying, defect characterization, coating heads, mixing, and scale-up projects, and more. His areas of expertise include coating fluid mix preparation and delivery, coating operations, clean room operations, coating applicator design, environmental management, and new product development. In addition, he has extensive experience in new product translation, from laboratory through scale-up into full-scale manufacturing. Ken received a PhD and MS in Chemical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

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