Minimizing Disruption, Maximizing Output: Total Solutions for Powder Line Applications

Revolutionize Your Coating Process with PPG's Powder Coatings

June 2024

Blog tag icon INNOVATION

As a coating solution, powder is one of the most durable options available, able to withstand harsh environments for long lengths of time while maintaining color and gloss. These features, along with sustainability advantages like formulations made without solvents, are driving powder's popularity.

Powder's versatility and performance are dependent on a variety of factors, including proper application technique and optimal line maintenance.

Understanding the challenges inherent in the powder coating process is paramount as problems can halt production and create far-reaching implications for manufacturers in terms of dissatisfied customers and lost revenues.

PPG's Red Powder Coatings Application Line

Reclamation Systems

One of the advantages of powder coating technology is the ability to reclaim and reuse overspray. While it is optimal to recycle as much powder as possible from a sustainability and material cost standpoint, there are some circumstances that make it less feasible.

For many coaters, it comes down to a cost versus time savings equation. Color swaps can be time consuming since a full cleaning of guns, hoses and pumps is required before a new color module can be added. In some cases, coaters may choose to reclaim only the most widely used color.

In other situations, the decision to reclaim powder depends on the limitations of the equipment. For instance, a cartridge booth with a single removable color module makes reclamation more difficult since the operator must separate the color module for each reclaimed color. A full cleaning is needed before being replaced by the next color module.

For coaters who reclaim, proper maintenance of the system is necessary to avoid film build issues and finish defects.

A clean environment free of debris is essential. While some contaminants can be sifted out in the powder recycling process, it’s very difficult to remove all of them, particularly if the particles are small enough to pass through screens used in the reclaim system.

Taking the time to sweep the booth or application area at regular, scheduled intervals can help to ensure that small contaminants like lint and fibers are unable to reach the part or interfere with the powder application process.

Prevention Through Best Practices

The first step in addressing a coating line problem is an inspection of the application setup, starting with basics like checking to ensure that hooks are clean and parts to be coated are properly grounded.

Because powder is an abrasive material, powder equipment requires proper maintenance to ensure sufficient fluidization and atomization of the coating.

Coating applicators should also frequently replace worn equipment with new, high quality parts for better finish quality and application ease.

Creating and adhering to a regular maintenance schedule where settings are properly inspected can help avoid such problems. With standard procedures in place, an application line is inherently more efficient and far less likely to experience preventable disruptions.

Proper application technique and clean working habits are essential to minimizing powder line disruptions. By focusing on the details on a regular basis, manufacturers can keep productivity high and stoppages low.

Despite the best practices, problems with powder coating lines do occasionally occur.  A partnership with PPG provides powder coating applicators with invaluable technical service expertise that can solve tough challenges, improve finish quality and optimize the powder application process.