Detection of Transparent Chemical Residues on Glass

Request Number REQ6306992
Due Date February 12, 2016
Author Nick Kacsandi
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Detection of Transparent Chemical Residues on Glass
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a Leading Manufacturer of Consumer Products, invites proposals for technologies capable of detecting the presence of unwanted chemical residues on a silica glass surface. Technical solutions describing equipment, processes, or testing protocols are encouraged from experts across the landscape of industry, research, and academia.


NineSigma’s client is seeking innovative solutions to accurately determine the presence or absence of coating residues on the interior of a silicate glass tube. For quality control purposes, the glass tubes are coated with optically transparent anti-stick / anti-friction coatings (e.g. polyethylene glycol, etc.) at a point upstream in the supply chain. Such coatings are meant to be applied only to the exterior surface of the glass, leaving the interior untreated. The presence of any such residues on the interior glass surface can negatively affect performance characteristics in the end application and must be detected prior to processing by the client. Traditional testing methodologies, such as gas chromatography of surface swabs, have not delivered satisfactory, inclusive results to date.


This issue is central to the client’s business and a successful solution represents a potentially game-changing innovation. The client believes that novel techniques or devices may exist within adjacent industries to address this concern. Viable collaborative partners should be capable of establishing proof of concept on samples provided by the client and would ideally support the development pathway through optimization and industrial implementation.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Confidential discussions under NDA and preliminary project planning


Additional project Phases will be subject to negotiation with any top-rated solution providers following a review of the full, proposed technology / approach and its suitability for the client’s intended application. For developmental approaches, incremental funding will be made available in accordance with completion of to-be-determined milestones.



Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Be compatible with or adaptable to non-porous, annealed soda lime silicate glass surfaces
  • Detect the presence of optically-transparent chemical residues on the interior glass surface
    • Variable material types, including:
      • Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
      • Polyethylene / potassium oleate / surfactant / water solutions
      • Other glass surface lubricants
      • Ideal solutions would account for most or all of the above materials.
        • Component concentrations may vary
    • Residue / coating thickness from 5 to 50 microns
    • Must accomplish the above independently of chemical coatings present on the exterior surface
  • Exhibit high reliability in the client’s application
    • Minimal instance of false positives and/or false negatives
    • Scalable or adaptable to industrial volumes without loss of efficacy



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Approaches optimized for detecting transparent polymer coatings
  • Chemical testing and analysis
  • Physical testing and analysis
  • Optical or imaging-based detection methods
  • Laser technologies
  • Novel spectroscopy approaches
  • Solutions describing novel sensors, devices or equipment for detection of residues
  • Approaches that can be adapted from cross-industrial applications
  • In-line approaches that can be implemented into an existing process environment


Solution providers proposing external testing and analysis services are invited to respond. Any and all such proposals must include a clear indication of the anticipated testing methodology or services employed to address the above problem statement and an explanation of the novelty of this approach.




Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Solutions limited to detection of microbial contaminants
    • Cell culturing and other microbiological testing methods are not applicable
  • Traditional gas chromatography approaches



Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology
  • Compatibility of the proposed solution with the requirements outlined in the “Key Success Criteria” section above
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, proof of concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
    • Current IP for the proposed technology (patented, etc.)
    • Overview of organizational position on handling IP
  • Discussion of how to resolve unmet Success Criteria.
  • Performance data, if available and applicable
  • Budget / Cost information, if available
  • Team / Organization description
  • Relevant expertise, experience or background related to the RFP topic area
  • Desired relationship with the RFP sponsor



Area of Interest
Request Priority
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