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Managing the costs of catalytic systems

AI interview Doug Kowalski, technology director of Aristo Intelligent Catalyst Technology

With growing environmental concerns and government mandates to cut emissions, the need for igh quality catalysts and catalyst systems is greater than ever.

Founded in 1990, Aristo Intelligent Catalyst Technology has developed a reputation for providing high quality and value in the design and manufacture of technologically advanced catalysts and catalyst systems for the
global emissions market. Aristo offers INTELLIGENT CATALYST products for diesel, gasoline, off-highway, stationary, recreational and marine applications, as well as large industrial stationary power installations. Aristo says it strives to “push the envelope” for catalytic emissions solutions, utilizing the synergies found in leading edge research and design practices, the most advanced process technology systems and dedication to providing its customers with the highest quality product and service available.

As precious metal prices continue to escalate, the need for advanced science washcoat designs to enable more efficient use of precious metals has never been more important. Aristo says it is ready to meet these needs through the use of the most advanced materials in innovative washcoats applied with precision
coating processes. This patented manufacturing system couples the precision catalyst coating process of MISO with BON-X – a proprietary technology to deliver highly engineered, individually traceable INTELLIGENT CATALYST products.

Aristo’s MISO process offers one of the most sophisticated product quality control systems in the industry. The Process Coating Technology minimizes part handling through automation and robotics, leading to the most consistent and predictable loadings, according to the company. It says that the net result of its investment in these advanced technologies is the “highest quality coatings and defect-free finished products available in the world today, with precious metal costs kept at an absolute minimum”. Aristo’s formulation
and manufacturing processes enable the coating of a wide variety of substrates – ceramic, metallic, silica carbide, ceramic and metallic foams, high and low cell densities, standard, thin and ultra thin wall and even diesel particulate filters.

“Today, Aristo’s newest technologies are targeted for OEM gasoline and diesel applications. By coupling innovative design concepts with state-of-the-art process capabilities, Aristo produces catalyst solutions that
meet the most stringent emissions requirements and customer specifications globally,” says Doug Kowalski, technology director of Aristo Intelligent Catalyst Technology.

Aristo has three modern laboratory facilities to insure comprehensive product and manufacturing integrity. In conjunction with new product design, analytical methods are continually refined to ensure performance
is maintained at the highest levels. Another area that Aristo considers critical is quality. The company has ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certification for its design, development, and manufacture of technologically advanced emissions control catalysts for OEM, aftermarket and custom applications, and is
currently underway with TS 16949 Registration.

Automotive Industries asked Kowalski what made the Miso and Bon-X production processes so critical to the catalyst industry.

Kowalski: Each catalyst is individually marked for identification then checked against rigorous specifications. This allows us to provide a complete manufacturing history and details on each unit produced. Catalysts produced via the merger of MISO and BON-X processes satisfy the need for technologically advanced performance characteristics in the most challenging applications. These advances, combined with the fact that Aristo has been successfully manufacturing catalysts to control pollutant emissions in a cost effective and timely manner for over 20 years, enable our customers to be 100% confident that a superior product has been shipped to specification – on time, every time.

AI: Please give us some history on these two processes – how they evolved and developed.

Kowalski: Aristo’s processes were a collaboration of efforts involving product scientists, process engineers, industry experts and the desire to excel as a catalyst coatings company. With core competencies in Research and Development, and through intensive processing studies and catalytic performance assessments, the team at Aristo was able to overcome many obstacles in the pursuit of designing and building the next generation catalyst manufacturing system. By combining steps to improve efficiency,
adding unique and permanent serial numbers to improve product traceability and with marked improvements in product cosmetic values, the efforts paid off – all done while taking precious metal accountability to the next level.

AI: What innovations has Aristo had to make to keep up with changing norms in the OEM market?

Kowalski: The OEM catalyst buyers have moved to a world of material balance processing ushered by analytical verifications down to pieceby-piece quality assurance. Gone are the days or random sampling.
One hundred percent of Aristo’s MISO products are marked, tracked, tested and inspected. If you want unsurpassed product quality characteristics, then Aristo has the process that delivers!

AI: What are some of the advances made in the automotive catalysts and catalytic systems recently?

Kowalski: Of most importance is thermal stability of washcoat components and mixed oxide ratios tailored to specific applications. Better application processes of washcoats, where you actually place coatings on a single substrate, has been the heart of improved technologies. From there, it’s prudent utilization of valuable
precious metals to achieve superior catalytic performance.

AI: What are some of the new emission control technologies that have emerged recently?

Kowalski: The big push over the last few years has been related to diesel regulatory requirements. Conventional diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC) designs needed to essentially change functional requirements due to the presence of additional catalysts further down the exhaust system, and due to limits placed on NO2 generation. Post-DOC systems include particulate filters to control black smoke (soot) and non-PGM catalysts used for NOx control, both of which have emerged as winning technologies well after the
inception of DOC technology.

AI: Tell us a little about the technologies your clients, such as Catco, use in the manufacture of catalytic converters.

Kowalski: Airtek markets the leading brand across the domestic U.S. aftermarket supply base under the brand name CATCO. Aristo Intelligent Catalyst Technologies are certified to EPA and CARB standards. In fact, Catco was among the first to market in California when OBD II requirements were launched in January
2009. Aristo’s technologies are also certified for use in emergency standby power generators, high flow performance converters and even for recreational/off-road vehicles.

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