Manufacturing facilities strive to improve the quality of their finish while reducing color changeover time in an effort to produce the most desirable product quickly. In this study we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to improve in these areas and how improvements can be made within a custom powder coating operation.
A local wheel remanufacturer and custom coater located within North Carolina.
This facility was constantly losing valuable production time due to quality rejections. Once rejected, the part was reworked and coated a second time. This caused a cumulative effect on both powder usage and man hours proving rework within this facility a high cost and overhead factor. In addition, the existing manner of color change resulted in the facilities inability to keep up with current workload. Daily operation consisted of: 4 main colors, an occasional “custom” color, and a clear coat.
Air Power’s Solution
Air Power proposed a Gema OptiFlex 2 Wall Unit with multiple dedicated fluidizing hoppers. These fluidizing hoppers are plumbed for the 4 main colors. A Gema cup gun was provided for the “custom” colors and clear coat. Air Power was able to provide an onsite demo at the customers facility allowing the customer to test, prove, and inspect the proposed solution prior to investment. The improvement in both quality product output and line throughput was dramatic. In addition, the facility was impressed with Gema’s five (5) year manufacturer’s warranty and Air Powers local support and service.
The immediate improvement was first observed within the finish quality which was noticed within the existing customer base. Due to this improvement, repeat business was observed more readily and additional customers were earned, growing an ever increasing need for a more expansive customer base. Even though workload was increased, production never had to slow down. The quick color change system, with dedicated pump/hose combination, allowed operation to change color quickly removing the former bottleneck. An added benefit of the system was the removal of pre-heating parts to achieve powder thickness and build. This result was observed due to Gema’s industry leading transfer efficiency, new found operator control, and recipe programing within the system.
Can you color change too fast? If you ask this custom coater the answer is no; and their ability to change colors faster with an increase in finish quality has taken the operation to new heights.
OptiFlex 2 Wall Unit color change system
Gema Gun with Cup for small and test batches