Cerion’s proven, proprietary scale-up processes and analytical capabilities bridge the gap between applied research and manufacturing for companies in more than 40 industries.
Performance of materials and cost competitiveness are critical benchmarks for a successful project, and above all, the material must be able to transition from applied research through manufacturing while keeping critical design attributes in spec. We get it. We can help.
Historically, nanomaterials have been fraught with technical and cost challenges when scaling-up for industrial manufacturing. While there is a collective understanding of its potential to enable a broad range of technologies across industries, there is a lack of experience in transitioning nanomaterials effectively for commercial-scale use. Nanomaterials require a commercialization process unto their own that, when thoughtfully executed, works in harmony with your internal product development systems & processes.
During our 15+ year tenure in the nanomaterials space, Cerion has invested $50M in equipment and capabilities and continued to develop methodologies and best practices for preserving the technical attributes of nanoparticles during scale-up – with some proprietary processes surpassing the maturity of the industry overall. For over a decade, our industry accepted methods have broken down barriers to entry for companies considering using nanomaterials by cost-effectively transitioning accredited materials, often scaling between 1,000 to over 10,000 times what has been created in the lab.
- Prototype and Pilot Production
- Propriety Methodologies
- Analytical Characterization
- Stress Testing
- Batch to Batch Consistency Testing
- Cost Optimization
- Raw Material Quality Assurance
- Manufactured Price Simulations
- And more…
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Let’s discuss options for optimizing and scaling-up your candidate nanomaterial.
Design for Manufacturing
When commercializing a new product or system a reliable, cost-effective source of supply is critical to the process.
Our preparations for scale-up start while we are designing your nanomaterial in the lab, by leveraging “Design for Manufacturing” (DFM) principles. Our approach leverages DFM best practices including a set of strategies, methodologies and tools to ensure that nanomaterials made in the lab today will seamlessly and cost-effectively transition to our manufacturing environment tomorrow.
Phase / Gate Approach and Tech-Economic Analysis
Cerion’s DFM program uses a phase / gate process to simplify, optimize and refine the nanomaterial – while avoiding excursions that may complicate scale-up or increase cost during manufacturing. The methodology includes a holistic approach to address all critical business, technical, engineering, regulatory, supply chain and logistics that ultimately inform the final cost of the nanomaterial.
Using this approach, manufactured price simulations can be performed early on, and the pathway for scale-up is well-defined prior to the nanomaterial leaving the lab on its way towards manufacturing. This allows for a high degree of confidence that the material can be manufactured at volume and ultimately be integrated into a customer’s product or system successfully.
Preparing for Scale-Up
The process of transitioning a nanomaterial from the lab to the manufacturing environment follows a carefully choreographed process created at Cerion to ensure cost-effective materials can be manufactured at whatever scale the customer requires.
When a nanomaterial made in the lab has been qualified by a customer for use in their product, the material transitions to Cerion’s development labs. During this stage the synthetic approach and customer’s specific formula are replicated, stress tested and optimized.
- Stress testing involves a deliberate and thorough testing of the chemical and process sensitivities of the synthetic method and formula used to make a customer’s material. During this phase we determine breaking points and safe usage limits of the future manufacturing process – with the goal of improving manufacturing reliability and repeatability in the plant.
- Optimization focuses on improving the nanomaterial’s economics. Here we evaluate different methods to improve upon factors that impact cost – including chemical yield, volumetric yield, takt time and energy inputs.
Along the way quality assurance requirements are set for all raw materials, as well as defining all necessary in-line and post-manufacturing quality control parameters. The final step during the development process is to increase from lab-scale to small-scale production, typically on the order 10 to 20X what has been made in the laboratory.
Transition to the Manufacturing Plant
Successful nanomaterial manufacturing starts in R&D. As a nanomaterial transitions out of Cerion’s development labs, where it was characterized with manufacturing in mind, it moves to the Cerion facilities. During this stage, the production of the material is scaled to one of our pilot manufacturing systems, 10X or greater than what was produced during the development process. Once the material formula has been manufactured, passed all quality control parameters and accredited – it can then be progressively moved to one of our larger scale manufacturing systems.