Press Releases


October 7, 2010

KCDI®-SP Developed to Help Plating Factories Reduce Environmental Impact and Improve Plating Quality through Recovery and Optimal Use of Valuable Resources

Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku Tokyo, President: Hiroshi Saito) developed the KCDI®-SP water treatment system to recover valuable resources (copper and other metal ions) both from the solutions used in the plating process and from the waste liquids resulting from the process. Kurita has already delivered the first KCDI®-SP system to a leading plating company. This system was developed by applying Kurita Continuous Deionization (CDI)* technology, which Kurita has accumulated over many years in the ultrapure water field, and adding a new function allowing the selective separation of ions contained in the solutions and waste liquids. By using the KCDI®-SP system in the plating process, plating factories can recover and make effective use of valuable resources contained in process solutions and can also control ion concentrations in the solutions in an optimal manner, thereby stabilizing the quality of plating including copper foil plating.
Kurita will promote sales of KCDI®-SP to plating companies as a high value-added product that helps the companies reduce their environmental impact and improve their plating quality. Kurita will also foster the application of this system in the manufacturing processes of a range of industries, including the electronics, machinery and automobile industries by highlighting the system's special function of separating ions contained in solutions and waste liquids in a selective manner. Kurita is planning to actively promote this system overseas, particularly in China, where the plating market is expanding in line with the rapid economic growth.

  • *CDI: This deionization system uses electricity to continuously regenerate ion exchange resins, eliminating the need to use chemicals for the regeneration and allowing the continuous production of pure water.

1. Needs of Plating Factories

(1) Reduction of environmental impact

Plating factories use process solutions containing valuable metals in the electroplating process. Generally, the concentrations of ions in the process solutions become excessive as the electroplating process is continued. To maintain the plating quality, it was therefore necessary to suspend the plating process and replace all the remaining solutions (still containing significant valuable resources) with new ones over a short cycle. The replaced solutions were then simply disposed of as waste.
To reduce the environmental impact and the running costs of the electroplating process, plating factories, therefore, need to recover and reuse remaining valuable resources from the process solutions.

(2) Higher quality

In recent years, electronic parts have increasingly been required to be of higher quality and precision to help improve the performance of electronic devices. To meet this requirement quality must be strictly controlled in the plating process, which is a part of the manufacturing process. A particular concern is that changes in the pH of plating solutions might lead to variations in the quality of plating.
To address this problem, plating factories are required to control the ion concentrations in plating solutions, thereby preventing changes in the composition and pH of the solutions and ensuring a uniform plating quality.

2. Kurita's Initiatives

(1) Kurita's concept

In recognition of the aforementioned needs of plating factories, Kurita thought that it might be possible to help the factories reduce their environmental impact while also improving their plating quality by making it possible to remove excess ions from plating solutions in a selective manner, and to also separate, recover and make effective use of the valuable resources contained in the solutions.

(2) Development of KCDI®-SP

Outer appearance of the system

Outer appearance of the system

  • 1)Product outline
    The system was developed by applying Kurita's long-accumulated Kurita Continuous Deionization technology. To this system, a new function to selectively separate ions contained in process solutions and waste liquids was added.
  • 2)Features
    • Can separate and remove anions (negative ions) and cations (positive ions) in a selective manner
    • Can keep ion concentrations in process solutions at certain levels by controlling electric currents
    • Does not require the use of chemicals to regenerate ion exchange resins because the resins are continuously regenerated through the use of electric currents, which also leads to lower cost, smaller space requirements, and to continuous and stable operation compared with ion exchange resin methods using chemicals to regenerate ion exchange resins
  • 3)Specifications
    • Size:
      H1,800×W1,200×D1,200 (standard specification: treatment capacity of 100 liters per hour)
    • Lineup:
      two types (anion-removing and cation-removing types)