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Ink Preparation

for additive manufacturing and precise application of materials in layers, with addition, dispersion, inertization and heat treatment integrated into the production environment.

Constant quality assurance

Our ink mixing system continuously monitors key parameters including flow, temperature, and viscosity. The integrated Batch, MES and SCADA/HMI systems provide real-time oversight and control of the entire process, enabling operators to respond quickly to any anomalies. If an issue is detected in a batch, it can be contained and addressed effectively, minimizing disruption to overall production. This system allows the process to continue without the need to restart the entire batch, saving time and materials.

Dosing and
phase control

Precise addition and dispersion of sensitive materials dictates the quality of the resulting ink. Our own phase logic for all processes adheres to the ISA-88 industrial batching standard while adding layers of flexibility and transparency. By measuring everything we can, we ensure each stage of ink preparation is executed up to specification, resulting in batches that closely match the defined recipe. Tanks and dosers are calibrated and cleaned periodically, maximizing material recovery from each flush.

Exact material

In ink preparation, especially when using expensive pigments or catalysts, material costs can be significant. We assure precise dosing of materials at exact pressures, speeds and resulting particle sizes, so that all components of the ink are used effectively. Materials used in each batch are traced and their usage is saved, historized, and available for detailed analysis. In-flight material and residue in tanks are accounted for before the final product is output, minimizing material waste.

End-to-end solutions
with broad support

Our solutions are tailored to the unique needs of each customer, material, and process. They encompass process analyses, custom design, and the development of sophisticated machinery and automation systems. We offer vertically and horizontally integrated end-to-end systems which work seamlessly with hardware and software from industry leading suppliers, such as Rockwell Automation, Siemens, and AVEVA product portfolios.
Ballard Power Systems
Johnson Matthey

End-to-end ink preparation project

We specialize in delivering tailor-made automation solutions for the ink batching process, catering to each customer’s unique requirements and recipes. Our expertise covers every facet of project automation, from initial concept to final implementation, ensuring seamless control and integration throughout the entire process. Our expertise includes preparing IO schedules, electrical drawings, functional design specifications (FDS), and developing PLC code, batch management applications, as well as MES and SCADA systems.

To minimize waste and optimize efficiency, we create a simulation of the entire plant before commissioning. This allows for thorough testing and operator training in a risk-free environment, eliminating the need for physical materials and reducing testing costs. Our approach ensures a streamlined process, well-prepared operators, and increased efficiency from the outset.

Mixing Tool 1

Ink Screen 1 Zaslon

Automation and monitoring of the
complete process

We use PLC control to automate the entire ink preparation process: pumping, dosing, mixing, milling, measuring, temperature control, and final transfer. Real-time monitoring of critical parameters during material addition ensures consistent batch quality and homogeneity, with dynamic adjustments to flow rates, pressure, and particle size distribution as required.

Integrating MES, Batch and SCADA/HMI systems, together with (existing) recipe solutions allow for continuous monitoring and adjustment of key process variables such as temperature and viscosity, optimizing material consistency. Advanced mixing techniques like high-shear mixing and ultrasonication ensure uniform dispersion of catalyst particles, achieving target viscosity and particle size distribution.

Custom-designed vacuum and pump systems are tailored to match specific temperature, pressure, and flow profiles, resulting in consistent ink quality and enhanced end-product performance. Intuitive operator interfaces provide comprehensive real-time process overviews and control capabilities, enabling rapid identification and resolution of operational issues.

Precise material and atmosphere

Precise material addition and dosing are critical, especially for expensive pigments or catalysts. Our proprietary phase logic and dosing algorithms minimize material wastage, maintaining a low margin of error even at varying flow rates. This precision extends to traceability, with detailed reports on material usage and batch history for comprehensive analysis and optimization. Adhering to the ISA-88 batching standard, our system ensures each batch meets exact specifications, providing consistent, high-quality products.

Periodic calibration and cleaning of tanks and dosing equipment recovers as much material as possible, further reducing waste. Since some tanks are inerted using nitrogen to create a safe, non-combustible atmosphere, they also need to be safely flushed with air to create a human-friendly atmosphere for maintenance. This is done regularly to always ensure proper functioning of all parts of the system.

Ink Atmosphere 1@4x Zaslon

Zoho Support Kanban Zaslon

Simulation, deployment, training,
and support

We offer comprehensive training and first-line support directly from the engineers who developed the system, ensuring expert assistance is always available. Detailed manuals and reports support ongoing operation and maintenance. Our simulation-based testing approach minimizes material waste during training and commissioning.

Our thorough understanding of ink mixing and years of experience with batch automation more broadly give us a competitive advantage. We develop our own algorithms and phase logic for process control and integrate specialized equipment for mixing and dispersion. Our solutions include supported vendor MES, BATCH, HMI, and SCADA systems resulting in highly optimized, reliable systems that enhance operational efficiency.

Material use precision
and tracing

Our solutions focus on sustainability through precise material conservation and efficient batch management. Precise dosing and phase control algorithms minimize material waste, supporting cost savings and environmental goals.

Batch production allows for easy tracing and isolation of quality issues. Our system monitors key parameters for quick reactions to problems, containing and resolving issues effectively. The process can pause while maintaining critical activities, resuming smoothly after minor anomalies are addressed.

With extensive experience and specialized algorithms, our ink preparation automation solutions deliver precise, reliable, and efficient control. From initial design to final commissioning, we provide a comprehensive and integrated approach, reducing waste, enhancing product quality, and achieving significant cost savings.

Ink Mes 1 Zaslon

Related Solutions

Batch Automation

Automate ISA-88 batch manufacturing processes with resource allocation, recipe management, and real-time monitoring. Used in the production of washcoats for catalytic clean air solutions, inks and ionomers for additive manufacturing, as well as paints, glues, broths, titania, and resins.

Washcoat Preparation

Catalytic washcoat preparation features precise dosing and phase control, real-time monitoring, and material traceability focuses on consistent individual batch quality. The ISA-88 compliant and improved process can be vertically and horizontally integrated into the wider production environment.

SCADA Solutions

Unified industrial software platform offers real-time management, visualization, analytics, and control across thousands of mobile touchpoints. Essential for industrial control and monitoring, it enables efficient operation, real-time oversight, and detailed analysis of complex, dispersed processes.

Precision Coating

Fully automated, highly accurate precision coating of liquids and powders for a uniform, high-quality protective or reactive coating on any kind of substrate, suitable for washcoats, catalysts, and inks in the automotive, chemical, and fuel cell industries.

Chemical Processes

Comprehensive, automated, and ISA-88 compliant software and hardware solutions for the synthesis of resin, nanomaterials, preparation and addition of reactants, neutralization, pH regulation, peptization, pigmentation, crystallization, and production of PVA glue.

Data Historian

Specialized software system designed to acquire, store, process, and display real-time data from industrial equipment and processes, providing a centralized repository for time-stamped production data, machine performance metrics, and environmental conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

We create plant simulations for batching processes to test all recipes and phases before implementing the system. This approach reduces commissioning time and mitigates potential troubleshooting delays. The simulation replicates the behaviour of all plant devices, such as valves, motors, digital or analogue sensors, and processes like transfers, additions, heating, and cooling. With this simulation, users can test the system's operation, induce unexpected situations, and observe the system's responses.
Yes, the batching and automation methods are widely applicable to the preparation of other liquid materials. The same approaches can be adapted to the manufacturing of liquid emulsions, suspensions, gels, and slurries, used in several industries, mostly chemical, pharmaceutical, and plastics. Such products include inks, like those used in additive manufacturing of fuel cells, paints and coatings, machine lubricants, ceramics and polymers for casting or moulding, and gel medication. Each product has a different process and a distinct set of steps, but automation knowledge of dosing, mixing, milling, and measuring is necessary in creating the production process of all of them.
The ISA-88 (IEC 61512) batching standard is a globally recognized framework for batch process control. This standard, also known as S88, provides a consistent model for designing, operating, and managing batch processes. It helps ensure repeatability, scalability, and quality across various applications.

Using the ISA-88 standard, we can break down the washcoat preparation process into smaller, manageable steps or "phases." Each phase represents a specific action or set of actions needed to complete a part of the process, such as filling a tank, mixing, heating, or dosing. By structuring the process this way, we can precisely control and monitor each stage, ensuring that the final product meets exact specifications.
Yes, we perform both on-site and remote commissioning, depending on the needs of the project. Since we use an in-depth plant simulation during the testing phase, commissioning times are appropriately shorter, taking from one to eight weeks based on the process and client needs. To reduce administrative and travel overhead, as well as our environmental footprint, parts of the commissioning can be done remotely. Even with most of our automation technology team connected remotely, some technicians and electricians are still needed on site.
Yes, our system is designed to be highly versatile and can integrate seamlessly with a wide variety of controllers and control equipment. We understand that each plant has unique requirements and existing setups, so we do not mandate specific equipment. Instead, we tailor our solutions to work with the customer's existing infrastructure and preferred vendors.

We are experienced and certified in working with leading equipment from Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley, FactoryTalk View, FactoryTalk Batch, PlantPAx), Siemens (SIMATIC, WinCC, PCS7), and AVEVA (Batch Management, System Platform, InTouch HMI). We develop for and integrate solutions using this equipment, as well as offer vertical and horizontal integration with other systems, such as warehouse and recipe solutions, if that is beneficial for the solution outcomes.

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