Architectural & Industrial Metal Finishing: Boosting Efficiency and Tackling Powder Coating Challenges

As highlighted by Products Finishing in their article “Causes for Cross Contamination,” a manufacturer of lawn mowers and small tractors, Architectural & Industrial Metal Finishing, has been grappling with cross contamination issues in their powder coating process. Initially a minor concern, this problem has intensified with an increase in production volume, leading to significant rework costs.

Employing three powder booths within a large powder room, each dedicated to specific colors helps mitigate contamination. One booth exclusively handles color 1, another is dedicated to color 2, and a third accommodates all other colors. The booths for colors 1 and 2 utilize a cartridge module type of reclaim system, while all other colors are sprayed to waste in the third booth. Despite these measures, the rise in production from 12 to 18 load bars per hour on a single shift has led to more noticeable cross-contamination, particularly with color 1 parts showing specks of color 2 after curing.

The primary issue stems from the increased production volume, which has exacerbated the cross-contamination problem. A power-and-free rail system directs different load bars to the appropriate booth, stopping heavy loads for loading and unloading processes. This system, while efficient, may contribute to contamination if not properly managed at higher volumes.

Addressing these challenges is crucial for maintaining the quality and efficiency of powder coating operations. Potential solutions include redesigning booth layouts, enhancing cleaning protocols, and upgrading reclaim systems to better handle the increased production load without compromising quality. Implementing these changes can help reduce rework costs and improve overall operational efficiency.

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