Isolated Paint Control Panel Brings Consistency and Speedy Changeovers to the Production Line

Problem

A local gearbox manufacturer has had ongoing issues with multiple paint operators making changes to the paint system throughout the day. They rotate painters every couple of hours so the paint quality and consistency is all over the board throughout the day. We have isolated the spray gun controls and implemented electrostatic painting but they still have issues. All colors run through a manual color change manifold and fluid pressure regulator which limits the fluid pressure even when color changing. There are also issues when the colors aren’t changed on a long run that the other colors settle out in the lines.

Air Power Solution

Paint Control Panel

Air Power built a custom, lockable, control panel with a multitude of controls for the company and for the operators.

  1. Hi/Lo fluid pressure settings though independent air regulators controlling a single Graco air piloted fluid pressure regulator. These are set with supervision and management and are locked from the operators. They have 2 fluid pressures to select from and nothing else to minimize operator adjustments. Pressure selected is visible via included gauges.
  2. Select-able color valve stack via a rotary control to select the color being sprayed as well as the solvent flush.
  3. Graco back pressure regulators on each recirculating line for the 3 colors to allow paints to recirculate when not in use.
  4. Atomizing air pressure adjusted internally and locked out from the operators.
  5. Integrated inlet air filtration to ensure clean, dry air to feed the spray gun

Effect

This solution will eliminate the operators each making many adjustments throughout the day and tighten the quality and consistency of their paint process. It will also speed up color changes now that they are select-able via the color stack rotary control along with a flush setting that will allow full solvent pressure to clear the lines. When the flush cycle is selected the atomizing air will be cut off to eliminate the estat safety concern associated with a solvent flush. The re-circulation of the colors will improve the quality and consistency of each color when selected via the color stack. The integrated air filtration will extend the service life of the spray gun while improving the quality of the paint process also.

Graco HydroShield Electrostatic Spray System

Air Power in partnership with Graco is working hard to prep the Hydroshield for upcoming customer demos throughout our entire territory!  Pre-plan, setup, and spray prior to demo ensures a successful onsite demo. We’d like to thank the team of Graco Representatives Nick Lewis, Nick Yanavitch, and Chris Maicon for all working with the Air Power team to establish this product in the field.

The Graco Hydroshield Spray Package is an operator-friendly solution for spraying waterborne material that improves transfer efficiency and safety. This system includes manual electrostatic air spray or air-assist guns, controller interface, and high-performing pumps.

 

 

 

 

The HydroShield Batch Waterborne System makes it easy to safely use electrostatics to spray waterborne material.

  • Refill paint supply without having to open the isolation cabinet.
  • Use one controller with simple screens to set and adjust system parameters.
  • Minimize downtime with durable components that are easily accessed and maintained.

 

Check out these pictures of the Air Power team setting up this system in the Air Power High Point Finishing Lab!

How to Properly Dispose of Paint Booth Exhaust Filters to Protect the Environment

 

For collision repair centers and industrial manufacturers who own a paint booth, one of the easiest ways to protect the environment is to properly dispose of paint booth exhaust filters.

Since most paint that is sprayed contains hazardous compounds and is potentially flammable, extra care must be taken when it is time to dispose of your paint booth filters. At this time, it is not possible to recycle paint booth filters. Proper paint booth filter disposal not only ensures your business is following the law, but it is also what is best for the environment.

Here are five steps for proper paint booth filter disposal:

1. Determine If Your Used Paint Booth Filters Are Hazardous

Before disposing of your paint booth exhaust filters as general waste, you need to verify your filters have not been exposed to any of the hazardous compounds that are frequently found in paint. You must perform a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratory test to determine if the paint you sprayed contains specific compounds. Your filters are considered hazardous if a certain amount of any of the following compounds are present in your filters:

      • Arsenic
      • Barium
      • Cadmium
      • Chromium
      • Lead
      • Mercury
      • Selenium
      • Silver

Paint booth intake filters are designed to remove dust and other small airborne particles to supply a contaminant-free environment for painting. As long as the intake filters have not come in contact with paint, they are not hazardous. This means the intake filters can be disposed of in your normal trash.

2. Properly Dispose of Hazardous Paint Booth Exhaust Filters

If your paint booth exhaust filters are deemed hazardous, they should not be disposed of as standard waste. Instead, they must be properly stored and sent to a hazardous waste disposal facility. Store them in a non-leaking container marked with the words “hazardous waste” and a description of the waste, such as “waste paint booth filters.” Then, use a licensed hazardous waste transporter to ship the container to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

Before disposing of hazardous paint booth exhaust filters, you should always let them dry. Allowing your paint booth exhaust filters to dry typically eliminates the chance of ignitability. It is safest to subject the filters to the same curing process you use for painted products to accelerate drying of the filters and ensure they are completely dry before disposal.

 

Loaded Filters

3. Contact Trash Collector Before Disposing of Non-Hazardous Paint Booth Filters

Even if your paint booth exhaust filters are not deemed hazardous waste, you should notify your trash company that you are disposing of the filters as standard waste. Your trash collector may ask you to provide proof that no hazardous compounds are present in the filters. Make sure to retain documentation of the safety data sheets (SDS) of the materials you are spraying, lab test results and any other pertinent information your state recommends you keep on file.

4. Do Not Spray Gun Cleaners Into Paint Booth Exhaust Filters

Many spray gun and wand cleaners contain solvents that are classified as F-listed hazardous waste, including methylene chloride, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and toluene. This is indicated on the SDS of the solvent as F001, F002, F004 or F005.

Spraying solvents into the exhaust filters during gun cleaning can cause your filters to be considered hazardous waste. When cleaning your spray gun, make sure to keep solvents away from the paint booth filters. It is best to spray solvents into closable hazardous waste collection containers or use a gun washing system.

5. Test Filters Whenever You Make a Change to Your Paint Process

Determining whether your paint booth exhaust filters are hazardous waste can be an ongoing process, depending on how often you introduce new paint into your operation. Testing is required whenever parts of your painting process change.

Any time you add a new paint, you need to evaluate the paint to see if it contains hazardous compounds. Since testing can take some time, you should give yourself a buffer before you intend to spray the paint.


Regulations regarding paint booth filter disposal vary from state to state and sometimes even from county to county; your local authorities can tell you the requirements for your area. Since you cannot recycle paint booth filters, considering them hazardous waste and coordinating with a hazardous waste disposal company to dispose of them properly is the safest thing for the environment.

 

Source: Global Finishing Solutions

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