If external customers are interested, Koehler is available as a contact for contract manufacturing or technology licensing. After clarification of the fundamental applicability of the technologies available at Koehler to the customer's application and an economic evaluation of the application potential, the following steps typically follow:
The first step in the development of a suitable microcapsule is the exact description of the applications and the resulting requirements with regard to the capsule properties. The release, size of the capsule, and specific properties of the core substance are only a few parameters that affect both the formulation and process development.
The suitability of the chemical agent for microencapsulation is assessed in initial feasibility tests. Subsequently the active substance is encapsulated in laboratory scale providing samples for application testing. If an existing capsule system can be used, the compatibility of the core and wall materials is scrutinized, which is generally a productive project. More development work is necessary if the goal is a customized capsule with new functionalities and wall materials. This requires however, a partnership agreement with defined development stages and milestones.
Samples for application
tests are produced at a laboratory scale of 0.5 kg to 1 kg.
Writing the formulas and process scale-up are followed by pilot production batches in our pilot plant. The long experience of our employees in performing laboratory and pilot tests ensures fast process adjustments enabling an easier transfer to the next larger installations. In this test phase many options for possible process optimization are automatically incorporated. The sample quantities produced in the pilot plant range from 100 kg to 300 kg per batch in order to be used for larger applications or market trials.
Koehler operates production facilities of various sizes for manufacturing microcapsules. We produce mid-sized production quantities in batch sizes of 1.8 to 3.6 tons and an annual output of approximately 2,000 tons. Up to 13,500 tons of capsule dispersion can be produced for large-volume products. This makes Koehler one of the world’s largest suppliers in the encapsulation business. These capacities allow us to react with flexibility to our customers’ requests.
Delivering products on time and
the consistent quality of the microcapsules are our top priority. At our
quality assurance laboratory, we conduct a wide array of customized analyses.
The standard physical specification parameters defined include total solids content, viscosity and capsule size distribution. The latter is determined via laser diffraction. The capsules can also be evaluated visually on scanning-electron-microscope images. For chemical analyses, wet-chemical as well as various spectroscopic and chromatographic methods are available.
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