Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Multi-Color Digital Printing & Coating Systems for 3-D Objects

Request Number
Due Date
Mar 12, 2015
Program Manager

RFP Custom Information


Nick Kacsandi


Depending on the nature of the proposed solution this RFP could result in one or more of the following: technology licensing, technology acquisition, machinery purchase, joint development, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing.



Phase 1 – Proof of technical concept (3-6 months)

Phase 2 – Technology acquisition and commercial scale-up (6-12 months)


Client targets implementation by Q3 2015 to allow purchase orders with delivery in Q1 2016. Exact timeline will vary based on nature and maturity of the proposed solution.



Initial investments up to US$2,000,000 are available for systems and equipment meeting client’s stated needs. Funding for proof of concept or sample acquisition may be available based on the nature and maturity of the proposed solution.




Phone: +1-216-283-3901


RFP was closed on

RFP Title


Multi-Color Digital Printing & Coating Systems for 3-D Objects
RFP Description
NineSigma, representing an International Supplier of Packaging Components, invites proposals for systems and equipment to create high quality, multi-hued designs and decorations on complex, 3D packaging components comprised of glass or metal.

Vivid, complex packaging decorations can set products apart in the competitive global marketplace, but overall quality of many designs is limited by package shape and substrate material. NineSigma’s client employs packaging that ranges from simple cylinders to complex three-dimensional structures, comprised of plastic, glass or metal. Inherent geometrical limitations prevent printing around surface edges or transition areas. Furthermore, anodized aluminum and glass are not readily receptive to inks and coatings and can be problematic at high volume.


Many systems that have overcome these limitations still cannot print across a diverse color spectrum, often being limited to a single- or dual-color system. Standard decorating techniques such as screen-printing and pad printing are not sufficient. Novel automated solutions are required to meet near term production opportunities.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Execution of non-disclosure agreement
  • Prototype or pilot scale demonstration

Phase 2 – Technology acquisition and commercial supply

  • Implementation into client’s existing manufacturing operations
  • System optimization
  • Scale-up to commercial volume


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

  • Full technical report including
    • System overview
    • Compatibility with client specifications
    • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for chemical components
  • Prototype / pilot demonstration
  • Samples
  • Implementation, scale-up and optimization plan



Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Print, coat or otherwise apply designs to cylindricals and other complex three-dimensional objects
  • Be compatible with one or more of the following substrate materials:
    • Glass
    • Metals, specifically anodized aluminum
    • Plastics and polymers, in addition to either glass or metal
  • Operate at high volume
    • Example: For a product 20mm in diameter x 40mm in height, the successful technology would be capable of multi-color printing and coating at a rate of at least 60 parts per minute.
  • Have multi-color, full palette or full shading capabilities
  • Be highly automatable

Additionally, proposals should address one or more of the following:

  • Environmentally friendly
    • Low VOC
    • Low solvent
    • FDA compliant
    • REACH compliant
  • Produce a durable surface decoration
    • Withstand mechanical abrasion from high-speed filling
  • Compatibility with alcohols, terpenes, lubricants, etc.
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital, laser and inkjet printing technologies
  • High quality lacquering or over-coating systems and processes
  • Systems eliminating the need to apply separate under-/over-coat layers
  • Novel chemistries to enable printing on glass/metal
  • Cross-industrial printing or decorating systems that can be adapted to the client’s specifications


Ideal respondents will have the in-house capabilities or existing partnerships to propose and support a full systemic solution, including any under-/overcoating materials, inks and pigment, means of application and relevant equipment.



Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Screen printing solutions
  • Pad printing solutions
  • Hot stamping solutions
  • Technologies cannot be applied to complex, 3D surfaces
  • Technologies that cannot be adapted to either glass or anodized aluminum



Items to be Submitted

To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.


Appropriate responses will use the Response Form and address the following:

  • High level, non-confidential, description of proposed technology including:
    • Working principle or knowledge base to support your approach
    • Availability of technical data
    • Technology maturity (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • High level, non-confidential, description of proposed technology including:
  • Pathway to industrial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated cost of technology (if available)
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience




Respondents from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example:


You represent a manufacturer of digital printing or coating systems that should provide a solution for testing in the intended application


You represent an organization with expertise in ink or coating chemistry with capabilities to develop a system for decorating on glass and/or aluminum at high volume.


You represent an organization with technology that should provide a solution but that requires optimization to ready it for transfer to commercial use.



Expiration Date
Area of Interest