Manufacturing facilities in today’s competitive market strive to produce the highest quality product. In this case study we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to produce a premier product with the highest first place transfer efficiency.
A Custom Fabricator, producing products for the truck & and Bus industry
In order to distinguish them within the marketplace, the current manufacturing process needed to meet customer’s mil specs. Their current Powder Units were not producing enough Mils per MFG spec with a Quality finish. Examination by quality control engineers revealed that they were getting back ionization and orange peel when applying more powder and second coats. They determined that each operator had different settings and too much powder output. In addition they did not understand current and voltage and how they relate to a quality finish and high transfer efficiency.
In partnership with the customer, Air Power implemented an Gema OptiFlex 2 manual powder unit. The unit comes with 3 presets: 1: Flat Parts, 2: Recess/complex parts and 3: Recoat mode. In addition these cannot be changed by the operator and allowed ease of use with a simple repeatable process. The Patented Digital Valve control allowed for consistent precise powder output, powder savings, and reproducible coating results.
Currently, the customer is meeting their mil spec and producing repeatable results and has increased there transfer efficiently that has provided a 1 year Return on equipment investment.
Dedicating your powder hose specific to your color and special type of powder can save you time in color changes and prevent costly rejects. It can speed up your paint process, eliminate powder contamination and reduce clean up time. If you are frequently changing your powder color throughout the day, this is a great way to quickly and easily eliminate pain points and improve your application process.
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The Gema E-APP paired with the OptiStar 4.0 Control Unit puts powerful information at your fingertips on your Apple or Android phone or tablet. Update software, change gun settings, manage run time, monitor powder output and keep an eye on powder usage. All this information is available to you through a single APP. If that’s not enough, you can also create and send PDF documents straight to your email from your device.
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The NEW Gema OptiFlex Pro is here. Air Power’s Travis Stirewalt shows off the OptiFlex Pro features and upgrades including the gun, control unit and the E-App.
Power: Maximum coating performance
The newly developed PowerBoost technology of the OptiFlex Pro series offers with the 110 kV the highest powder charging capacity in the powder coating industry while complying with safety regulations. The operator benefits from an outstanding coating performance.
Quality: Best application results
With OptiFlex Pro you coat extremely efficiently and with consistently high quality. The PCC (Precise Charge Control) mode regulates the spray current even in the lowest ampere ranges (0-10 μA) with the highest accuracy. This prevents overcharging of even the most demanding powders such as metallic powder and ensures the highest quality in thick film and multi-layer applications and recess areas.
Control: Master the application!
The new features of OptiFlex Pro also give you a technological edge. The Electrostatic App (E-App) with the integrated line management functions and service features make the coating process transparent and better controllable.
We’ve put together some helpful how-tos to help you powder coat like a PRO! Check out these informational tech tips:
Powder Coating Gun Corona Field Explained
Proper positioning of a powder coating gun while powder coating your parts helps the proper powder cloud optimize proper transfer efficiency and even coating of the powder coating finish. Learn about the corona field and how utilizing proper powder coating cloud positioning can help achieve not only a better finish, but save you money on costly rejects and over use of powder.
Gema OptiStar Controls
Gema OptiStar controls and presets are easily explained for optimum powder coating performance.
Checking Wear Parts on a Gema OptiFlex 2 Powder Unit
Maintaining easy to replace Gema OptiFlex gun, hose and pump wear parts from a preventive maintenance perspective yields high transfer efficiency, powder savings and a reduction in part rejects.
The new generation of OptiFlex Pro manual units impresses with additional application performance due to the outstanding PowerBoost technology. With OptiFlex Pro, you easily process all powder types and coat complex parts in superior quality – all this worldwide and in the most difficult industrial environments. The use of the Electrostatic App is your first step into Smart Factory Automation and makes the manual coating process transparent.
Maximum Coating Performance
The first choice in manual powder coating
The OptiFlex Pro manual units are uncompromisingly and agilely designed for maximum industrial suitability and worldwide use. The intelligent and durable components fit perfectly together and form the powerful package for superior manual powder coating. The ergonomic and intuitive operation enables every user to achieve the best coating results at any time.
Safe technology for more power performance
The newly developed PowerBoost technology of the OptiFlex Pro series offers with the 110kV the highest powder charging capacity in the powder coating industry while complying with safety regulations. The operator benefits from an outstanding coating performance. The new feature completes the proven high-voltage functionalities, such as PCC mode, presettings an individual coating programs and extends the application range significantly.
highest industrial suitability
– The new OptiSelect Pro gun features a particularly robust and durable design. The ergonomic and light-weight gun is well-balanced in the hand, has a good grip and enables you to coat efficiently and faster.
– The new PowerBoost high-performance technology charges all types of powder even more efficiently. The benefits of the additional power provide higher productivity, faster conveying speeds and maximum area performance.
– The integrated remote control allows easily to activate the PowerBoost powder charging mode and to regulate the powder output right away.
– The integrated cleaning of the powder conveying components can be enhanced by the optional PowerClean module, which ensures a faster and efficient cleaning. This improves performance when processing difficult powders and facilitates colour change.
– The latest generation of nozzles ensures an excellent powder distribution and penetration.
Best Application Results
Be one step ahead of the competition!
With OptiFlex Pro you coat extremely efficiently and with consistently high quality.
The PCC (Precise Charge Control) mode regulates the spray current even in the lowest ampere ranges (0-10µA) with the highest accuracy. This prevents overcharging of even the most demanding powders such as metallic powder and ensures the highest quality in thick film and multi-layer applications and recess areas.
The DVC (Digital Valve Control) technology allows an exact and repeatable adjustment of the powder output and ensures an uniform layer thickness.
for repeatable quality
The new OptiFlow injector with cartridge design further optimises the venturi principle in terms of transport efficiency and low wear. By simply exchanging the one-piece cartridge, the injector performance is optimally maintained. The usage of fewer parts and the seamless design of the injector improves the ability for fast color changes.
Main features OptiFlow injector:
-Cartridge design merges injector nozzle and conveying insert into a single component
– Powder outputs of up to 450 g/min achievable depending upon hose length and diameter
– Quick release design for the powder hose
– Unique Inline-Design
– Cartridge sleeve manufactured from high quality non stick materials
– Robust diecast injector housing
– Quick disconnect air connections
If your production requires frequent and quick color changes, then we would recommend the OptiFlex Pro B, which is designed to use the manufacturer’s original powder box.
– Highest flexibility
– Shortest and cleanest color changes
– For direct transport from the original powder box
– Complete emptying of the powder box thanks to the tilted vibrating base
– Integrated fluidization
– Scratch resistant and easy accessible box plate
Are super-fast colour changes your priority? OptiFlex Pro Q is equipped with additional features that allow:
– Super-fast colour change in 30-40 seconds
– Suitable for all types of powder
– Minimal space usage
If continuous use of the same powder over a long period of time is the bulk of your production schedule, then we would recommend the OptiFlex Pro F with the 50-litre fluidized powder container.
– Ideal for large powder quantities
– Compatible with all powder types
– Scratch-free 50 litre powder container with fluidization
– Easy cleaning of the container
Do you need to economically process powders with a tendency to separation during fluidization? OptiFlex Pro S is your best choice!
– Unique stirrer system with 18 litre hopper capacity
– Processing of powders with poor fluidization capability
– Preventing the separation of powders
– Processing of small quantities without any loss
– Complete emptying of remaining powder
OptiFlex Pro C
For Lab use
Do you want to coat small batches or samples? Your solution is the OptiFlex Pro C with self-fluidizing application cup.
– Perfectly suited for small powder quantities
– Self-fluidizing application cup (optionally 150 ml or 500 ml)
– Processes powder quantities from 20 g to 250 g
– The application cup can be easily combined with every coating unit
OptiFlex Pro L
For small batches
Do you carry out lab applications or quality tests? The OptiFlex Pro L unit is the perfect solution for lab use and quality control.
– Fluidized powder hopper
– 4 litre hopper volume
– Removable powder hopper
– Easy cleaning
OptiFlex Pro W
The universal solution
For upgrades, to be mounted on booth walls or at your production site: OptiFlex Pro W can be integrated in any existing surrounding.
– Its bracket can be mounted on any powder booth
– Takes the powder from fluidized hoppers or original powder box
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In this video, two of Air Power’s application specialists Travis Stirewalt and Eddie Rhodes discuss the things you need to take into consideration when choosing where to buy your powder coating equipment. Air Power shows our true dedication to supporting the needs of our customer base by not only distributing industrial equipment, but also offering repair services in-house and in the field, engineering services for integrated solutions and over 50 years of industry experience. Contact us today to find out how we can help Powder Coat like a Pro!
Air Power Manufacturing Solutions was invited to attend Gema’s 2019 Symposium held in a small town nestled in the mountains of Pontresina in Graubünden, Switzerland. Two of Air Power’s application specialists, Travis Stirewalt and Bob Cosey, traveled to Switzerland to represent Air Power at the Symposium. Gema invited distributors from 64 countries around the world to participate in this 4-day experience in the Swiss Alps.
The event kicked off with a visit to the worldwide headquarters of Gema in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The group spent the day having the Gema “Lab Experience” which involved touring the lab facilities and interacting with the many systems they have on display. Gema has everything from small, handheld manual applications to large complex fully automated and robotic systems available in their lab. All the systems are fully operational and show the versatility of the line of equipment that Gema has to offer.
Over the three days, the group spent time in an Educational Forum focused on new Gema products to be released to distributors to launch in April/May 2019. Gema presented groundbreaking projects on automation, gave insights into new sales strategies, and demonstrated important standards on service excellence.
THURSDAY: SNOW GAMES
Gema transported the entire group to a ski lodge located nearby, where they had some special events planned for the day. They spent the morning participating in tubing, snow shoe races and other team building games in the snow while enjoying the beautiful view of the Swiss Alps. Gema used this opportunity to unveil the first manufactured OptiFlex Pro units featuring their new design. The group spent Friday learning all about the features of Gema’s new design and the changes they’ve made to enhance the users experience and improve the OptiFlex system.
We would like to thank Gema for inviting our team out to participate in the 2019 Gema Symposium!
Air Power Application Specialist Bob Cosey and wife Shelley Cosey
Air Power Application Specialist Travis Stirewalt and wife Donna Stirewalt
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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.
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