One vital element of component and product manufacturing is the finishing process. Traditionally, finishing methods involved segregating the various phases of an assembly line based upon the parts’ specifications, and using the most common finishing process for each respective section. While initially seen as efficient, this process is not sustainable. When design needs change, this system is exceedingly unagile, making it unadaptable in an ever-increasing culture of lean and just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing strategies. This lean approach has triggered a significant paradigm shift in industrial finishing, resulting in a move towards techniques that provide the optimal finish for each individual part—not just a primary collective denominator. This innovative turn in production methodology presents tremendous opportunity for manufacturers of finished products.
Why the Current System Is Broken
Looking at existing systems, curing factors pose a significant production obstacle. To achieve the best outcome, curing times must be relatively exact; yet cure times are dependent upon the thickness and composition of the respective substrate as well as the specifications of the paint or powder used. Examples: a 12-gauge steel product will require a different cure time than that of a thicker grade steel product. Dissimilar metals, such as steel and aluminum, each necessitates its own unique process because aluminum cools and heats quicker than steel. Each liquid and powder finish has its own cure requirements, often with significant differences but even within the same formula – differences can occur simply due to color. Continue reading Modern Industrial Finishing Solutions: Shifting Paradigm Opens Up New Possibilities for Manufacturers