Inco has cutting-edge equipment that allows an in-depth study of all the technical and scientific parameters that characterize the marketed products. From research to quality assurance, to technical and graphic assistance, there are numerous tools and equipment used.
XRF spectrophotometry, laser granulometer, viscometer, tensiometer, pH meter, conductivity meter, microscope, spectrophotometer, thermogravimetry.
For more than 15 years, the Inco laboratories have been equipped with an X-ray spectroscopy that allows us to know the elementary chemical composition of a sample, in a non-destructive way, through the study of X-ray fluorescence. It allows us to identify the chemical elements of the sample analyzed, precisely. Widely used as a quality control of raw materials for the production of inorganic pigments in input, but also in the research phase to identify suitable formulations and production processes.
The laser granulometer is ultimately the most used device in Inco laboratories. Determining the particle size distribution is essential when we talk about inks and inorganic pigments, and raw materials for the production of pigments; but also in ceramics when it comes to dough, glazes or grits.
For this reason, we boast different granulometers, to carry out both measurements in water and measurements in solvent; to carry out measurements of materials with sub-micron particle size distributions or even over 40-micron meters.
Thanks to years of experience, we have built precise SOPs that allow us to have excellent reproducibility of results.
We have different types of viscosimeters that allow us to evaluate the viscosity of a given sample, whether it is ink or a raw material for the production of inks.
Thanks to scientific procedures made over the years, through this scientific equipment, we can also evaluate the quality of a sample, in particular, the quality of a digital ceramic ink.
Both in the research phase and the quality control phase, we are going to evaluate the surface tension of our sample, which is precisely an ink, which is a raw material for the production of inks. We use a device that is able to measure the surface tension both static and dynamic of a sample, also as a function of temperature. In this way, we can evaluate the kinetics, behavior, and effects of surfactants as well as the stability of a sample during the research phase. In the phase of quality control; instead, we are going to evaluate the constancy of the produced lots, and if necessary, we modify them to guarantee the maximum performance.
We know that pH can be significant and can influence certain behaviors, as well as, if not stable, lead to qualitative problems in the long run.
For this reason, we measure the pH both in the research phase and in the quality control phase on many of our products. Furthermore, in the research phase, we subject our products to a forced fast aging process in order to evaluate precisely the pH in extreme environmental conditions.
Conductivity measurement is fundamental both for inorganic pigments and for inkjet ceramic inks. We measure conductivity both on incoming raw materials for pigment production, on the same pigments, and inkjet ceramic inks and guarantee our customers extremely low conductivity values so as to have excellent behavior and consistency over time.
The research laboratory is equipped with a sophisticated optical microscope that allows to analyze and evaluate different types of samples allowing digital photographs for a more accurate evaluation and also at a distance of time of the analyzed samples.
Always the basis of the evaluation of inorganic pigments and their colorimetric yield, the spectrophotometer is used to allow an objective assessment of the tone, not only of pigments but also of inks. We have multiple spectrophotometers in each department: technical, graphic, and commercial. Thanks to this, we guarantee our customers maximum quality and consistency over time.
Filtering control system
We have scientific equipment that allows us to evaluate the quality of the filtering of our products in order to guarantee our customers high performance and constant products.
Inco research laboratories have equipment that allows the evaluation of weight loss and stability over time at high temperatures of their own samples, in particular inks or raw materials for making inks.
In addition to the scientific instruments owned and present in the research center, necessary for the daily verification of the chemical-physical properties of the products, Inco boasts structured collaborations with suppliers, research centers and universities that allow the use of even more specialized scientific equipment such as: gas-chromatography, gas-mass, XRD, ICP plasma, SEM, heating microscope, SOV analysis, analysis of odorous substances, etc.
Inco also owns several pilot plants for the production of its products on a small scale and the complete simulation of the real production processes so as not to leave anything to chance.
- Several laboratory muffles that allow the calcination of the products;
- Traditional wet milling mills, compressed air grinding mills (also known as jet mills), up to different mills with laboratory microspheres for the production of inks.
Several roller kilns for simulating the firing of the ceramic piece;
- Several digital testers for simulating the behavior of the inks on the printheads in the first place, and an assessment of the quality and colorimetric yield of the inks produced in the second file;
- Several plotters to simulate the ceramic application of printing inks and study, with the help of color management software, the best possible color profile in the customer’s condition based precisely on his needs.
Finally, the technical assistance department is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery that allows the cleaning of all types of ceramic printing heads in order to help its customers with any problems.