About: Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Franz Durst - Shareholder
FMP Technology is a start-up with its origin in the Institute of Fluid Mechanics of the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany. FMP took up its activities in 2006. The company works in the fields of coating and drying of thin liquid films on substrates of different materials.
1. FMP Technology commenced its journey almost a decade back; it has branched into diverse sectors of application. How was this expansion materialized?
FMP Technology is a start-up with its origin in the Institute of Fluid Mechanics of the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany. FMP took up its activities in 2006. The company works in the fields of coating and drying of thin liquid films on substrates of different materials. Roll-to-roll equipment is sold, but also sheet-to-sheet coating and drying facilities are within the product range of the company.
The business of the company has been based on extensive research and development work in the fields of coating and diffusion optimized convection drying, hence the work of FMP has a sound theoretical basis.
2. How did it feel to be awarded the “Bavarian Founder Award” for being the outstanding entrepreneur in Bavaria? Does this set the bar at a prominent standard for your future plans?
The continuing development of diverse products by FMP attracted considerable attention in the coating and drying community. Franconian, Bavarian and German company start-up awards were received by FMP Technology in the years 2010 and 2011. Additional awards were also received and this made clear that the developed company products were considered to be not only innovative, but also of commercial interest.
3. What are FMP Technology’s contributions to the pulp and paper industry?
The slot dies of FMP Technology have been designed and built to work in various fields where coating and drying of thin liquid films are of interest, among them the paper industry. FMP slot dies have a special feature, namely that the coating of thin films is independent of viscosity and mass flow, i.e. the gross web thickness distribution of the film is not dependent on the fluid viscosity and the fluid mass flow. Hence, the slot die can be used in different fields of coating. The company has focused on the coating of paper, foils, textiles, lithium ion batteries, etc. Its entry to a greater extent into the paper industry is limited owing to the investment required to set up demonstration coating facilities, but such demonstrations in the paper industry are currently being developed.
The energy consumption of the paper industry is very high and, although it has been reduced tremendously over the last few decades. Further, reductions will be possible only if new paper drying techniques are introduced. Such technology has been developed by FMP and reported in recent publications. The drying technique is referred to as “diffusion-optimized convection drying”, yielding reductions of the thermal energy of about 50% and more. This has been proven in the meantime.