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Bringing Your Powder Coating In-House

We’ve already covered many of the advantages powder coating has over liquid paint: how it can cost you significantly less and is more durable all while being a cleaner and safer process. This time we will discuss when manufacturers are outsourcing their finishing to a job shop and are deciding whether or not to bring their powder coating in-house.

Yellow Powder Coated Rims

Adding a powder coating line can help increase quality and reduce cost. (Photo courtesy of Espo’s Powder Coating in New York. Reliant equipment shown).

Getting Control Over The Finish

Every manufacturer I’ve worked with told me that improved quality was the number one reason for bringing their finishing in-house. This isn’t to say all job shops have poor quality, but they may not have the tight specifications that the manufacturer would like. Irregular thickness, adhesion problems, surface defects, gloss, color mismatch, and damage are all characteristics of outsourced coatings, and all of them create costly delays. For many manufacturers, adding an in-house line was easily worth the investment to control the defects from their outsourced partners .

The Costs of Outsourcing vs Coating In-House

As an example of typical powder coating costs, I looked at a large chain automotive parts retailer. To buy an uncoated wheel rim it costs roughly $50. For this same wheel rim, it costs $100 for a single color powder coat. For an exotic two-coat color (such as Hyper Silver) the wheel rim can reach $450. Granted the last wheel is far more stylized and the finish must be perfect, but the mark-up involved can be substantial.

Outsourced Cost: 4 Rims x $50.00 = $200.00 + Freight

In the above example, if brought in-house, the materials cost for doing a set of 4 wheel rims would be about 1 pound of powder. Say $7.50 a pound for a normal color. Pretreatment chemicals would cost about $0.50 per gallon of water. You would use approximately 2.5 gallons of water to clean 4 wheel rims, so $1.25 for chemicals. Well-insulated ovens have a gas/power cost of about $5-8 an hour, so let’s say $6.50 an hour. It only takes ½ an hour to cure the 4 rims, so energy cost of $3.25. Labor would be approximately $20 an hour and you could cycle 4 rims every 30 minutes, so $10 labor in 4 rims cost.

In-house Cost: $7.50 (1 lb of powder) + $1.25 (pretreatment chemicals) + $3.25 (Oven operating cost) + $10 (1/2 hour labor) =  $22.00 for all / $5.50 per rim

The total part cost for finishing in-house would be $7.50(powder) + $1.25(pretreat) + $3.25(oven) + $10 (labor) = $22 for 4 rims or $5.50 cost per rim. This is a rough estimate and doesn’t include all costs but if the wheel manufacturer was having their wheels painted somewhere else, the $50 cost versus $5.50 cost is significant. This example also only factors for a small batch of 4 rims; with a larger coating production run, the in-house cost goes down even further.

Manufacturers know their cost of outsourcing by how much they pay per part. But there are other costs besides raw production to consider. Shipping the part back and forth, packaging the part, inventory costs of parts coated and waiting to be coated, delay of available parts costs, and damage to parts are all factors when comparing outsourced to in-house coating.

Flexibility and Rush Delivery Favor In-House Operations

Often times manufacturers need a small parts run fairly fast to avoid costly delays. Whether you’re replacing something that may have been fabricated wrong, or a slip up on a pick list that they didn’t have the correct inventory, being able to fix these issues prior to shipping is valuable. Having the powder coating in-house allows for quick turn-around for these and other unforeseen issues. As we’ve already discussed, since powder coated items can be finished, cured and packed quickly, having the ability to coat in-house can save days of delay.

 Having your coating in-house is also instrumental for the research and development of new colors or new fabricating designs that you would rather keep private. This finishing flexibility allows for the experimentation with new technologies and improved quality processes that can give companies a competitive advantage.

Deciding When an In-house System Is Right For You

When deciding whether to install a new powder coating system in your operation, the real challenge is comparing all your costs to see if the benefits are worth the investment, labor and learning curve of developing a good finish process. Training and flexibility are very important when starting a new finishing process, as is setting realistic goals or expectations (though we can certainly help you get up to speed with your new equipment). Remember to keep a good relationship with your job shop vendor, since you may need them in the interim and if your finishing capacity gets maxed out.

Ultimately, if you are only coating a few things a year and don’t anticipate adding powder coating to your process, outsourcing can be a very effective way to handle your coating needs. However, if you’re already outsourcing a sizable amount of work every month and are concerned about cost, quality or delivery deadlines – or all three – it’s time to consider bringing you powder coating in-house.

Looking for additional information to help your purchasing and powder coating operation? Please check our Resources page.

Advantages of Powder Coating Over Liquid Coating

In the previous article, I talked about pure cost per square foot savings and general material cost savings of powder coating over liquid coating. Today I’ll discuss some of the other advantage of powder coating that can save you significant time and money.

Curing Times Are Significantly Faster With Powder

Powder coating can help you get the results you want in a fraction of the time.

Powder coating can help you get the results you want in a fraction of the time.

The average catalyzed automotive or industrial liquid polyurethane is 2-4 hours cure to touch. The drying time can be accelerated by baking at around 235 F for 45 minutes, but that will only get the parts dry enough for limited handling. In most case, an extended cure time of about 1 hour is required before the parts can be assembled. Most liquid coated parts cannot be packed for shipment unless they have had an overnight dry time.

After the metal reaches a part temperature close to 400 F, powder coating cures on average in 10 minutes. Sometimes thick metal requires 30-45 minutes in the oven (and sometimes longer for especially dense objects). But after the part has cooled to handling temperature, it can be assembled and packed right away. Powder coating results in hours of saved process time and fewer parts in inventory waiting to be assembled or shipped.

Environmental Impact And Flammability Concerns Are Significantly Decreased With Powder

The average VOC (volatile organic content) of liquid coatings is between 3.5 to 5.5 pounds per gallon. This usually means about 1/3 to ½ of a gallon of paint goes into the atmosphere as emitted solvents. Many manufacturers have limits on how many tons (yes tons) of solvent they can put into the atmosphere. They have to pay for permits and will pay fines if they exceed their limit on these emissions. Powder has zero emitted solvents and no solvent flammability concerns. Using powder simplifies the permit process, reduces insurance risk, and generally provides a much more environmentally friendly process.

Processing Time And Number of Coats Are Greatly Reduced With Powder Coating

A regular polyester powder coating is comparable to a two component liquid polyurethane over an epoxy primer. Both systems need good clean metal that has had some kind of pretreatment to achieve maximum salt spray resistance. The liquid system then needs an additional primer to aid the topcoat in further durability and adhesion. Powder can eliminate the primer and be directly applied to the clean pretreated metal.

Powder also is 100% solids while liquid coatings average 50% solids. So if you have a paint thickness specification of 4 mils DFT(dry film thickness), then you can achieve this with one pass of powder. It will take 2-3 passes of the liquid coating, with some dry time in-between, to achieve the same thickness.

Powder Coating Is More Energy Efficient Than Liquid Coating

Powder coating equipment is generally much more energy efficient than equipment used for liquid paint. Because of safety concerns, liquid paint equipment uses more air and requires more air changes to filter out VOCs.

A liquid paint booth sized at 8’H x 10’W x 10’L uses approximately 16,000 cfm. A similarly sized powder spray booth uses approximately 8000 cfm, half what the liquid booth does. This means smaller fans and less shop air drawn through the booth when using powder. Liquid booths must also be exhausted to the outside to vent their emitted solvents. Since powder coating has no solvents, powder booths can be exhausted back into the shop by using HEPA filters on the final filter. The air is cleaner than the supply air that went into the booth.

If you are using a liquid coating oven to reduce your drying time, it will require more air exchanges than a powder coating oven. Since the powder oven can recycle its hot air more, it uses the burner less, thus saving energy.

Start Your Operation With Quality Equipment

Reliant Finishing Systems is a U.S. leading manufacturer of efficient and affordable powder coating equipment, from small batch systems for rims and wheels to large automated systems for constant throughput and rapid production. Whether you need to replace your existing coating equipment or are bringing a new operation in-house, our systems specialists can help. Give us a call today.

If you are looking for more educational information, please check out our Resources page.

 

Switching From Liquid Paint To Powder Coating: What You Need To Know

Powder coating is a more economical and longer lasting alternative to traditional wet paint application with far less environmental impact. If you’re comparing these two finishes from a production standpoint, here’s what you need to know.

Powder Coating Is More Durable Than Liquid Paint

Powder Coated Pipes

Powder coated items are more durable and last much longer compared to liquid paint.

Switching from liquid coating to powder coating has many advantages. From a performance perspective, powder coating is more durable physically and chemically. Most liquid coatings are typically softer than an average powder coating. When coating parts like semi-truck wheel rims, this improved durability and corrosion resistance make trucks safer and longer-lasting. In the oil fields, replacing corroded pipes or junctures is expensive and leads to oil flow downtime. These parts and fixtures are perfectly suited to powder coating and benefit from its performance advantages.

Powder Coating Is More Efficient & Easier To Use

If you’ve worked with liquid paint, you know that mistakes can be time-consuming and costly. In comparison, powder coating is generally much easier to apply. Operators require less training to apply a quality finish and mistakes can be easily fixed with powder (as long as you catch them prior to curing). Since rework issues are fewer and coating is usually faster, you can coat more items on a given day. You can expect increased throughput with fewer errors by switching to powder coating.

Most Importantly, Powder Coating Is Cheaper  

Cost savings are another great benefit to powder coating and often provide a very fast return on investment.

Since everyone has different size and shaped parts they need coated, we can determine ROI by calculating a 1 square foot panel cost. For this example, we’ll eliminate the labor and fixed costs and focus on just material costs. This will show the cost savings of powder coating versus liquid coating.

For our examples, I’m going to compare the amount of powder versus the amount of liquid paint to cover a 1’ square at a standard 2.5 mils. The mil, or thousandth of an inch .001, is most commonly used in engineering or manufacturing. It is used to specify the thickness of items such as paper, film, foil, wires, paint coatings, latex gloves, plastic sheeting, and fiber. (For example, most plastic ID Cards are about 30 mils in thickness.)

I’ll be calculating material costs using the coverage formula:

192.3 / Specific Gravity / Film Thickness = Coverage (Square feet per pound)

Let’s use a 1.4 specific gravity powder at 2.5 mils. The powder costs $4 a pound and we calculate our transfer efficiency at 70%. 192.3/1.4/2.5 = 55.2 coverage at 100% TE. 55.2 * 0.7 = 38.64. $4/38.64 = $0.10.

It costs $0.10 for a powder coated 1 square foot panel at 2.5 mils.  (For more info, Akzo Nobel has a great online calculator to do this at: http://www.interpon.us/our-coatings/powder-coverage-calculator/)

To get the same 2.5 mils DFT in a traditional liquid polyurethane, it will take a different calculation. Coverage is:

 ft2/U.S. Gallon = (%Solids/100 *1604)/ DFT (For a more comprehensive description of the liquid paint coverage formula: http://www.wellservicingmagazine.com/featured-articles/2007/11/applied-cost-a-useful-tool-in-paint-purchases/)

So to get 2.5 mils DFT with 45% solids polyurethane, 1 gallon can cover 289 square feet at 100% transfer efficiency. The average price for catalyzed polyurethane is $55, so at 50% transfer efficiency we get:289/2= 144 ft2 coverage and $55/144 = $0.38 paint cost per square foot. 

It costs $0.38 for a liquid coated 1 square foot panel at 2.5 mils.

Note these are only material costs. Liquid coating usually takes multiple passes and has much longer dry time. Flammability and waste disposal are also a concern for liquid coating operations.

In this example, the powder costs 3 times less. If a liquid coating operation uses $100,000 a year on paint costs, they can cut their paint expenditure by $50-60,000 being conservative. That difference is the price of a nice medium sized powder coating batch system.

Can I Use Liquid Paint Booths For Powder Application?

Powder coating equipment reliant finishing systemsWhile it is certainly possible it is definitely not recommended. Liquid booths are geared for a larger airflow pull than their powder equivalents. Too much airflow and you start pulling powder away from the part. This wastes money. Also, if you plan on continuing your liquid operation, you do not want to use powder and liquid in the same booth. It plugs up your filters fast and is a safety hazard if you are using solvent based liquid paint.

In future articles, I’ll be explaining more of the differences between liquid paint and powder coating, including specifics on transfer efficiency, waste, and energy savings. If you have any questions at all, or any topics you’d like me to cover, please e-mail me at bruce@reliantfinishingsystems.com

Looking for more information on powder, powder coating and application techniques? Please visit our growing list of articles on our Resources page.

 

Reliant Finishing Systems Announces “Green Aware Initiative”

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Reliant Finishing Systems announced today that they have expanded their commitment to going “green” with a program that involves significant revisions to the company’s packaging methods. The plan, known as the Reliant “Green Aware Initiative,” focuses on a new method of crating the equipment manufactured by the company. It will dramatically decrease the amount of lumber being used and replace it with recyclable scrap material.

This is Reliant’s largest step to date towards decreasing the company’s environmental impact. The company examined their packaging material’s complete life-cycle beyond consumer use to disposal. “This initiative is being undertaken across the company,” said Mr. John Thomason, Reliant’s Executive Vice President. “The changes we are making now not only reduce the amount of new packaging materials we must use, but also help assure that the products we manufacture arrive in perfect condition.”

Mr. Manolo Diaz-Marta, who operates Spray Booth Supplies (http://www.sprayboothsupplies.com), believes that Reliant’s Green Aware Initiative will reap long-term benefits for everyone. “Powder coating is a much ‘greener’ process than traditional painting, and Reliant’s equipment is the most fuel-efficient on the market. I feel that Reliant is taking the next logical step by addressing their company’s entire environmental impact, from manufacturing to delivery. By implementing this change, Reliant will be able to reduce tons of incidental waste on an annual basis. We’ve enjoyed being a leading online outlet for Reliant’s equipment. The advantages of their products are easy to sell and the value of their new packaging method is obvious,” he said.

Reliant’s new plan is the direct result of a series of customer service surveys conducted by the company. In an effort to improve customer service, the company tasked sales support personnel to establish on-going dialogues with clients as they began to install their new equipment. Certain behaviors were noted as being consistent from client to client. One of these behaviors caught the attention of Reliant’s management team. “We determined that our conventional wooden crating was typically dismantled and disposed of by customers immediately after our products were unloaded. This seemed like a terrible waste. Finding a better way to package our products became a top priority,” said Mr. Michael Schuerer, President of Reliant Finishing Systems. “We felt that this was an issue where we could provide leadership within our industry, reduce our impact on the environment and generate tangible benefits for our clients. We’ve developed a revised version of our logo to remind our employees, distributors and clients of Reliant’s commitment to increased awareness and on-going improvement. The changes we’ve made have led to a win-win situation that is hard to find in today’s business environment,” he said.

Reliant’s Green Aware Initiative involves significant changes to the company’s crating methods. The company has replaced a portion of the lumber used in their crates with sections of sheet metal scrap. This also reduces the crates’ overall weight, which can decrease shipping costs. As an added benefit, end-users typically sell the steel crating material back to recyclers, rather than discarding wooden material as trash. The decision to crate certain components in a vertical fashion rather than build large, flat crates eliminated the need for plywood crate lids. The components are now secured to the crate frames using small sections of strapping material. On a typical project, approximately four to five hundred pounds of crating lumber has been eliminated as a result of the initiative.

Mr. Todd Hicks, Reliant Finishing System’s Production Manager, pointed out one of the most satisfying changes. “We have replaced our smaller wooden hardware crates with inexpensive plastic storage bins. This drastically reduced our hardware shipping weights and reduced our manpower needs. Due to this change alone, we anticipate saving thousands of dollars each year. Also, the wooden crates ended up being broken down and incinerated or tossed in the garbage. Now our customers save and reuse the plastic bins,” he said.

Reliant Finishing Systems is a U.S. manufacturer of high-performance finishing equipment that specializes in powder coating systems. Beginning this month, all Reliant curing ovens (https://www.reliantfinishingsystems.com/powder-coating-equipment/powder-coating-ovens/) and powder coating spray booths will be packaged and shipped according to the guidelines of the company’s Green Aware Initiative.

Reliant Launches What Is Powder Coating.com

What is Powder coating_logo

Reliant launches WhatIsPowderCoating.com a research and resource tool for potential clients and customers to familiarize themselves with powder coating processes and the basic uses of powder, coating equipment, and powder spray guns.

The site covers the basic definition of powder coating, the differences between conventional wet paint finishing and powder coating, and provides a glossary of common coating and industry terms. In addition, What Is Powder Coating also has a series of articles entitled Start Powder Coating which outlines a number of reasons why powder coating is a profitable way to increase your business, even in difficult economic times. The site also features a growing finishing FAQ and a help section for customers and coating enthusiasts to ask their coating questions.

Please visit What Is Powder Coating and suggest any additional content in the comments below, or post your suggestions to our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Choose Reliant Finishing for your Custom Coating System

Custom Coating System

If you are struggling to determine which coating system is the best on the market then look no further than Reliant Finishing Systems. Powder coating systems can be very expensive, but at Reliant we ensure that you will be getting a top of the line coating system at an affordable price.

No matter what you are in search of, whether it is an affordable batch system or a turn-key automated finishing line, Reliant will help you choose the best product to meet your needs. Our modular equipment design allows for unrivaled customization and configurations. We provide custom equipment solutions at a fraction of the cost to you. Reliant Finishing Systems leads the industry with the most accurate lead times which means you will get the equipment you need on time and within budget.

Our experienced team at Reliant will be happy to assist you with which powder coating system will be the best option for you. With years of experience delivering unique custom coating equipment solutions, our dedicated staff of engineering and support technicians can help design and provide a system to meet your need.

We provide custom coating tools for all sorts of business and government projects including aviation, large industrial, custom manufacturing and military applications.

Fill out the form on the custom coating page if you require your own custom powder coating equipment solution. For more information on powder coating systems call Reliant Finishing Systems at 888-770-0021.

New Reliant Finishing Systems Updates All Existing Models, Adds New Product Lines

Spray Walls

New Reliant Finishing Systems Updates All Existing Models, Adds New Product Lines

Reliant Finishing Systems is proud to announce our updated and expanded 2014-2015 equipment catalog. Reliant now offers a wide variety of equipment for multiple finishing applications in both batch and automated configurations and can be built for almost any sized requirement. All of our models have been reviewed and updated to provide the most capable and efficient finishing equipment on the market today. Revised specifications and more accurate lead times are provided on all our existing models, and expanded offerings are available in a number of categories. In addition, Reliant has added a number of new products for 2014-2015, including Composite Curing Ovens, Media Blast Enclosures, Manual Wash Stations and an expanded line of high- and low-temperature Electric Ovens as standard items.
2014-2015 Reliant Finishing Systems Powder Coating Equipment Catalog Overview

Powder Coating Ovens (PCO) : Our most popular item with standard sizes available as small as 6’x’6’x5′ and up to 12’x12’x’50’. Available in natural gas and liquid propane gas configurations. Top-mounted heat units, tunnel-style configurations with double doors, and fabric roll-up doors rated up to 450°F are also available on all standard oven models. Custom-programmed touchscreen control panels and tubular steel doorframe upgrades also available.

Powder Spray Enclosures (PSE): Powder spray enclosures with multi-stage filtration designed specifically for powder coating. Available in multiple sizes in standard, crossflow and double-crossflow configurations. Filtered-doors, personnel doors, VFD upgrade, white-metal construction, and True 3-Stage HEPA filtration all available options.

Oven & Booth Extension Kits: Extension kits now available for existing Reliant Ovens (PCO) in 2.5′ and 5′ increments and Reliant Spray Enclosures (PSE) in 5′ increments. Certain restrictions apply.

Electric Curing Ovens (ECO): An expanded line of smaller electric curing ovens perfect for small shops, product prototyping and educational uses. Available for single or three-phase power. Low-temperature output electric curing ovens also available standard. Recirculation fan upgrade also available.

Powder Spray Walls (PSW): A complete line of space-saving Powder Spray Walls provide excellent air-filtration while conserving shop space. VFD upgrade and True 3-Stage HEPA filtration available.

Blast Rooms and Media Blast Enclosures (MBE): For your blasting needs, Reliant now offers a complete line of Blast Rooms and Media Blast Enclosures. VFD upgrade, personnel doors, and True 3-Stage HEPA filtration options available. Cartridge module filtration, reclaim units, and blast pots available on request.

Industrial Wash Stations (MWS): Reliant now offers complete range of Manual Wash Stations, constructed out of stainless steel and ready to meet your pretreatment and wash requirements. VFD upgrade, personnel doors, and stainless steel enclosure doors all available options.
Complete Automated Finishing Systems

In addition to our wide range of batch equipment, Reliant also specializes in complete turn-key solutions for automated finishing systems. We offer custom automated finishing systems that feature manual or powered conveyors in floor-mounted and overhead configurations optimized specifically for your site. No matter your process requirement, Reliant can meet and exceed your expectations.
Composite Curing Solutions

Reliant is now proud to offer composite curing ovens in a wide range of standard sizes . Please contact your Reliant Finishing Systems representative for more information.
Custom Finishing Equipment Designed For Your Requirements

Does your project require a custom powder coating equipment solution? Reliant Finishing Systems can deliver. Our modular equipment designs allow for unrivaled customization and unique process-specific configurations. They also allow us to offer custom equipment solutions at a fraction of the cost of many of our competitors. As an added benefit, by using a modular design as the foundation for a customized appliance Reliant can often shave weeks off the manufacturing lead-time. Contact your authorized Reliant representative today for more information.
Full-Service Installation, Start-up and Technical Support Available

Reliant Finishing Systems now also full-service installation and technical support on all systems, batch or automated. Reliant -authorized installation crews can reduce your construction and start-up times by weeks. No matter what, all Reliant equipment is sold standard with start-up and calibration from an authorized factory technician to make sure your equipment is up and running smoothly.

Reliant Finishing Systems to Exhibit at Fabtech Expo Atlanta, Nov 11-13

Reliant Finishing Equipments

Reliant Finishing Systems today announced its planned exhibition at the upcoming FABTECH Expo, November 11 – 13, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. FABTECH is the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America. This year, FABTECH plannersexpect over 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors.

Reliant Finishing Systems will be exhibiting their powder coating equipment solutions at Booth B313.

Headquartered in Alabama, Reliant Finishing Systems is a leading powder coating equipment manufacturer. The company manufactures industrial automated finishing lines and batch powder coating ovens, spray booths, media blast rooms, and manual wash stations. Reliant Finishing Systems also builds customized finishing solutions that are tailored to the intended workspace, and provides installation and technical support as well.

FABTECH is held each year for metal workers to meet with suppliers, learn cutting-edge industry news and developments, and facilitate relationships thatimprove metal forming and fabricating. FABTECH also hosts educational sessions, keynote speakers, and panel discussions.

“FABTECH is an excellent way to build relationships between buyers and suppliers of finishing solutions,” said Josh Strickland, Executive Director of Marketing and Brand Development. “We’ve just introduced a number brand new products as well as significant upgrades to our entire product line. We’re really excited to show off these new offerings and improvements at FABTECH.”

About Reliant Finishing Systems

Reliant Finishing Systems is the fastest growing powder coating equipment manufacturer in North America. Based in Somerville, Alabama, Reliant designs and manufactures automated finishing systems, as well as popular “batch” coating systems, curing ovens, powder spray booths, media blast rooms and custom-manufactured finishing equipment for powder coating operations of all sizes.

Batch System vs Automated Line: Tips to Choose the Right Powder Coating System

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The powder coating experts at Reliant Finishing Systems have years of experience manufacturing and installing powder coating equipment. One of the most common questions they get asked is whether to use a manual batch-type system or an automated line. Batch systems and automated lines use different approaches to powder coating, each with their own advantages. Reliant recently began distributing comparison guidelines to help business people choose the right powder coating system.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, an “automated system” (or automated line) is a powder coating system that moves parts automatically through the various steps of the powder coating process. These steps usually include using a chemical wash to prepare the surface of the parts, drying the parts, applying the powder coating media, curing the powder coated finish onto the parts, then allowing them to cool. The parts typically move in one direction from device to device and these all of these tasks are done to different parts at the same time. A “batch system” allows the operator to manually prepare and accumulate parts, then coat and cure the parts in batches. The parts are typically moved from one device to another by hand using carts.

These are some of Reliant’s most useful tips for deciding whether a batch or automated system best suits a coater’s needs:

Consider the volume of work and the nature of the parts being coated. If you’re dealing with thousands of similarly sized parts per shift, an automated system is probably your best bet. The more varied the shape and size of the parts, the less advantage an automated system typically offers. A batch system provides significant benefits in terms of equipment cost and workflow versatility, but relies on workers to move parts, prep parts and apply powder coating media. So, if the volume of parts is quite large, the advantages of a batch system are lost.

Determine how quickly you’ll need parts to be powder coated. If the coating process outpaces the manufacturing process, a batch system is ideal. If the powder coating process delays output, an automated system may help. You can coat large quantities of similar items quickly since parts don’t have to be handled between stages. If the automated line is designed for rapid throughput, a constant flow of parts can be coated at a rate that usually can’t be matched by manual techniques.

Evaluate floor space. Batch systems generally take up less room, so they’re better for businesses that can’t spare extra space. Batch systems sometimes use one oven to do the work of both drying and curing parts, which further reduces cost and saves on floor space. By using ovens where the parts move back and forth multiple times inside relatively short but wide enclosures, some automated lines fit into surprisingly tight spaces. But, most automated lines involve restricted access to at least some key components, especially in cramped spaces. This drives maintenance and repair costs up.

Budget is always a primary consideration. Batch systems are significantly cheaper than comparable automated lines, usually costing less than half as much, so if your budget is tight it might be best to start with a batch system. Batch equipment requires more manpower, but also tends to have lower maintenance costs. Batch systems can also provide lower operating costs because you only use equipment as it is needed. With automated systems there is almost always a constant process of coating taking place, so relative operating costs can increase if the system isn’t being used to full capacity. No matter what type of system is used, Reliant advises coaters to have a plan for growth and size their equipment accordingly

Reliant Finishing Systems is devoted to making sure every client gets dependable, fairly priced equipment that perfectly suits his or her needs. For additional powder coating information, visit WhatisPowderCoating.com.

About Reliant Finishing Systems

Reliant Finishing Systems is the fastest growing powder coating equipment manufacturer in North America. Based in Somerville, Alabama, Reliant designs and manufactures automated finishing lines for industrial use, as well as popular “batch” coating systems, curing ovens, powder spray booths, media blast rooms and custom-manufactured finishing equipment for powder coating operations of all sizes.