Two major issues that have hindered the commercial adoption of many nano-material based products are inconsistency between production and development samples, and batch-to-batch inconsistencies with volume production output.
To address the first issue, the equipment that SDCmaterials uses for product development is the same as the equipment used for high volume manufacturing. This assures that material produced on a development scale can be replicated in high volume manufacturing.
To ensure batch-to-batch consistency, our manufacturing systems can be dedicated to continual production of the same nano material. In situations where a recipe change is required for a particular manufacturing system, that system can be cleaned and restored, effectively to its original purity specifications, in less than half a shift.
Our production ramp model is to scale-out rather than to scale-up. Similar to methods used in semiconductor manufacturing, as our production requirement grows we simply add more systems. This approach has many benefits including: product mix flexibility; insulation against process excursions; and insulation against equipment down-time.
Our first high volume manufacturing facility went on-line in May of 2009 in Schwarzheide, Germany. At this facility, we can produce up to 30 tons of nano-material (and subsequent nano-intermediaries) per year. At typical loadings, this output can support between 600 and 3,000 tons of our customers' end-product per year.
Safety / Environment:
The manufacture of nanomaterials introduces some unique environmental and safety concerns. Since day-one, SDCmaterials has made elimination of these risks a top priority.
Our production equipment, manufacturing processes, engineering, E.H.S. controls, and work place have all been designed with a clear focus on employee safety and environmental exposure. We have an outstanding record with zero incidents to date.
Our manufacturing process is a green process, requiring minimal input energy and creating virtually zero waste. Nearly all direct and indirect manufacturing materials that do not end up as part of our final product are either recycled or reused.
Our final product, while internally retaining its nano-structure and the related benefits, is no longer a nano-scale material. Therefore, our customers can handle SDC products similarly to the way that they handle existing micron scale raw materials.