Coating Pilot Plant Machine


Western Michigan University is a leader in the field of paper coating research and applications as well as a leading provider of undergraduate and graduate engineers and scientists.

Pilot Coater

1 meter wide (40 in)

Western Michigan University can take your project from coating through production printing and/or converting it in one location.

The Western paper pilot plant staff excels not only in running novel base-stocks and new chemistries; they also are exceptionally good in adapting or retrofitting the coater to apply new surface treatment applications and metering technologies.

WMU Coating Machine
Looking from the coater end toward the dry end.

  • Applicators
    • Metering size press (MSP/film press), simultaneous two-sided
    • Pond size press, inclined
    • C1S — Roll applicator (flooded-nip), LDTA
    • C1S — Short dwell applicator, SDTA
    • Airknife
  • Metering
    • Rigid or bent blade in a large variety of sizes
    • Rods — grooved or smooth in a large variety of diameters and grooves
  • Calender
    • In-line
    • Default set-up three-nip hot-soft, one-nip steel-to-steel
    • Four hot-soft nip also available
    • Steam moisturizer available before
  • Width
    • 40 in (1 m) nominal
    • 20 to 43 in (510 to 1090 mm) if not calendaring or using steel-to-steel calendar nip
    • Air knife at 26 in (660 mm)
  • Cores
    • 3 in (75 mm) ID, 4 in ID, or 6 in ID
    • May use other sizes, please contact the director for more information.
  • Maximum roll, speed and weight

    Roll maximum:

    • Diameter 60 in (1500 mm) or 3750 lbs (1700 kg)

    Speed maximum:

    • 4,000 fpm (1220 m/min)

    Basis weight:

    • Very light weights to very heavy boards
  • Supply Fill and Tanks

    Supply fill volume:

    • 36 gal. (136 l) with filter
    • 26 gal. (100 l) without filter

    Supply tanks:

    • Two 250 gal. (950 l), hot water-jacketed, steam drop leg, variable speed agitator
    • Requires 42 gallons (160 l) fill volume to reach agitator

Converting and printing

Rewinding and slitting rolls is available on site. Rolls are rewound to make composite rolls of the various trial points or slit down to narrower rolls to fit a variety of converting operations. The 1-meter width of the coater produces rolls that will fit many commercial presses. WMU can also arrange local resources for sheeting or rewinding.


A concise multipage report is provided for each trial. The report contains trends of real-time process data recorded off the machine automatically, coating formulations, machine setpoints, base-stock rolls used, all test results, and operational notes for each trial point.