Old Technology. New Technology.

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New vs Old
Why use 40-year-old technology in your new paint system?

Why Use Old Technology on a New Finishing System?

Are you still using old technology when painting parts? We invite you to take a look at some of the new technology that is out there and apply the benefits it can bring to your particular situation!

Visit www.intellifinishing.com where you can take a look at what new technology has to offer when you require a turnkey liquid paint system, powder coating system or an automated paint system.

Alternative to Power and Free Conveyor

IntelliFinishing Complete Paint Systems are an exciting alternative to power and free systems.

We want to share with you a few of the advantages you can expect when replacing your traditional power and free or monorail systems with the newest technology for industrial paint system replacement.

Floor Space Savings

One of the benefits that our customers and potential customers talk a lot about is the amount of floor space that can be saved. In some cases, as much as 43%. By eliminating bulb turns, shuttles used in new technology can decrease your footprint exponentially, which can add up to thousands of dollars of savings. If you are processing large parts, our shuttle demo should move to the top of your “to-do list” right now.

No Chain

picture of IntelliFinishing conveyor
Conveyor is propelled with spinning tube – no chain

Our industrial paint systems are “chain free”. (They are also awesome). No chain means no extra space is needed for the return chain as in a power & free system. Awesome because, your footprint just got smaller again!

On this same note, no chain means the ability to reverse – AND – no messy oil dripping on your parts or collecting dust.

Virtually Noiseless

Another cost-saving benefit, especially for large manufacturing companies, could come in the form of dollars spent supplying employees with hearing protection. One of our customer’s finishing systems is less than 75db, which resulted in the removal of employees from a hearing conservation program. Being a “no chain” system means no dogs or buffer zones, and that equates to: no metal carriers crashing into each other, further reducing noise.

Variable Speeds

A turnkey powder coating system provided by IntelliFinishing makes part sway a thing of the past! New technology with variable frequency drives (VFD) controls the conveyor’s motion, and Smart Controls allow for variable speeds and independently controlled zones for different recipes. New technology gives you the ability to monitor and track parts at ANY point in the system. (Seriously, you need to take a look at one of our demos of an automated powder coating system).

Layout Options

Our switches provide layout options just like the old technology, but additionally, a switch in a complete finishing system provided by IntelliFinishing can be used to deadhead, providing even more layout processing options. (Have you picked up the phone to schedule a demo yet?)

Energy Savings

With the new technology used in an IntelliFinishing complete finishing system, the conveyor runs only when the carrier is present. Additionally, the supporting process equipment, like a washer, also only runs when a part is present.

Modular and Expandable

We all intend for our business to grow. Will your “old” technology grow with you? Our “new” technology will. The modular design of an IntelliFinishing system allows for easily expandable floor plan. As your company grows, your production levels change. Our turnkey finishing systems grow with you and additional processes or applications can be installed quickly. Call us.

Tour an Active Construction Site

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Kevin Howe, IntelliFinishing Project Manager

IFconstruction

Kevin just finished the setup on IntelliFinishing’s latest project installation. During the construction process he took us on a brief tour. It was an active construction site so the system wasn’t running yet. View the tour video >>

The IntelliFinishing system starts with a lift, which is basically an elevator-style, drop section. The orange pieces of the conveyor will come down to a lower height making it more ergonomic for connecting the parts to the carrier. Then it will rise back up after the part information is loaded and send the carrier into the system.

The control stations will have a touch screen monitor that will display different part information.

The uninstalled load bars are the mechanical pieces that support picture frame style hangers that will in turn support the customer parts. The metal trolleys are the load trolleys that support the weight of the entire piece. The rubber wheels on the top contact our spinning tube and provide the propulsion for the conveyer system. It is a friction setup with a spring tension pressing against the tube. The IntelliFinishing system is unique as it goes forward and reverse directions. This typical configuration is capable of supporting 3,000 pounds, including the weight of the load bar.

From the elevator-style lift section we proceed downstream towards a manual wash booth area. In this instance, we’re interfacing to a customer provided wash booth. We are going to control the doors that will slide open and closed pneumatically. Internally the wash booth will be similar to a manual car wash bay. The operator will select a cleaner rinse, a phosphate rinse and a sealer to keep the parts from flash rusting.

From the wash bay we head to the small drip zone. Currently this is a manual pull through section, which the customer requested for Phase 1. In Phase 2 we will add an automated wash parallel to this section. At that time most of the parts will go through the automated wash so in the future, less volume will run on the pull through section.

Parts will then be pulled to the first motorized section after the wash booth to air blow off. The air blow off is also similar to a car wash system with nozzles and large, electrically powered air blowers. The nozzles will be directed at the parts to dry off any of the residual water.

After the blow off area is a dry off oven. This oven is a little smaller, holding one carrier at a time. The oven is used to help boil off any leftover residual water that was not taken care of in the air blow off stage. It also helps to preheat the part, getting it ready prior to powder coating.

We head out of the dry off oven and around the corner to the powder coat booth. This is a manually applied powder station at this time. They will have several operators, one on each side, applying the powder coat to the parts. Monitors will also let the operators know what color they are supposed to be painting and what is coming up next.

The last station is the cure oven. This is a 450° powder oven. It has 3 motor stations and will be able to hold 3-4 carriers worth of parts at a time. When the units are finished curing, they come out to a several storage areas to give them time to cool.

Since our system is an oval it then brings us back to the beginning. This is the backside of the lift elevator section we saw at the start.

View the construction tour video >>

Midwest Coating Seminar 2014 Review

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Midwest Coating Seminar 2014

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

August 21, 2014

IntelliFinishing hosted our annual Midwest Coating Seminar in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. We had a great time (didn’t lose much money) and learned a great deal from Kevin Biller of The Powder Coating Research Group and Mike Dilday of Fanuc America Corporation. Many companies from a variety of industries including:  aerospace, oil and gas, custom coaters, custom fabricators, construction equipment and ag equipment manufacturers, were present.

The day started with an introduction by IntelliFinishing’s vice president, Doug Olipant, who explained the purpose of the annual Midwest Coating Seminar is to bring in subject matter experts to the Midwest. Doug said, “We travel to trade shows and conferences every year and recognize that our own manufacturing region of the country does not have many of these opportunities to learn about the latest in the powder coating and liquid coating industry. We bring them in to share their knowledge with our staff and others.”

With all of the recent innovations with powder coating and robots used in the finishing industry, we provided a 10-minute introduction to the flexibility that an IntelliFinishing system has to offer. Process changes and product changes are easily adapted with our unique friction conveyor (power and free alternative) and smart controls with recipes for your variety of parts.

A video from an active powder coating system job site was also provided, www.intellifinishing.com/construction. Kevin Howe, IntelliFinishing’s project manager, gave a brief tour of the progress and discussed how the customer was implementing the project in phases. The first phase features some manual pull sections, with most of the system automated. A second phase will later be implemented with more automation and the addition of an automated wash system as their production increases. Since our conveyor has no chain, additions and modifications can be accomplished without affecting production.

Even though Doug warned the audience they would be stuck for hours listening to the commercial, like they do in the timeshare industry, Kevin Biller, from The Powder Coating Research Group, was introduced after the short 15-minute introduction.

KevinBillerKevin Biller’s presentations, “Introduction to Powder Coating Technology” and “Recent Innovations in Powder Coatings Technology”, followed Kevin’s philosophy of formulating – Simplicity + Quality. Kevin’s presentations were easy to understand (even if your last chemistry class was in high school and they only thing you learned there was how excited your chemistry teacher became when you figured out alcohol was flammable).

We look forward to hosting another seminar and if you would like to receive notification of our next one,  click on SUBSCRIBE.

“Introduction to Powder Coating”

In the “Introduction to Powder Coating Technology”, Kevin provided an exciting announcement about a new company, Matrix Powder Coatings, formed in partnership with Ernie Green Industries (EGI). Matrix Powder Coatings produces and supplies unique custom powder coating technology. Matrix Powder Coatings is a game changing, revolutionary, high tech powder coating manufacturer and supplier specializing in low temperature and UV curable powders for non-traditional substrates, high heat resistant coatings, dead mattes and powders for extreme environments.  (Link to press release or visit July/August edition of Powder Coated Tough )

During the “Introduction to Powder Coating Technology”, Kevin explained powder coating’s value proposition as the following: neat, cleaner for the environment, energy saving, high quality, efficient and economical. He then went on to explain the features and application uses of the powder coating technologies, including:

  • Epoxies – used as functional and primers
  • Epoxy Polyester (Hybrid) – used for interior and general purpose applications, e.g. office furniture
  • Polyester – used in the architectural industry and for general purpose
  • Polyester Urethane – used for its higher toughness, e.g. lawn mowers
  • Acrylic-Diacid – used in the automotive industry
  • Acrylic Epoxy – used by appliance manufacturers
  • Acrylic Urethane – used by appliance manufacturers and architectural industry
  • Silicone – used for exhaust parts and grills
  • Fluoropolymer – used in the architectural industry

The main thing about working with powder coating formulations is to avoid band-aids and to start with the right stuff based on your product’s requirements.

“Recent Innovations in Powder Coatings Technology”

Kevin opened this presentation with the powder coatings shortcomings like

  • Relatively high bake temperature (350 to 400ºF)
  • Need substrate conductivity (electrostatic application)
  • Difficult color change
  • Film thickness

Kevin then went on to discuss the emerging technologies including:

  • Non-Chrome Alternatives using rare earth based primers, Cr+6, Cr+3, Zirconium
  • Smart Coatings – coatings that respond to environmental stimuli and change the nature of coating like superhydrophopic, thermal chronic, photocatalytic self-cleaning, anti microbial
  • In-Mold Coating – developed in 1990’s for sinktops/shower stalls, rejuvenated in 2010
  • Low Temperature Cure- reducing oven temperatures by as much as 35%

The low temperature cure discussion included information about the latest in UV cure as well. Powder is applied electrostatically, melted at 212-248ºF, then cured with UV. An example was provided of the use of a robot to provide the UV cure. Members of the audience were excited about this development and could see the impact this innovation could have on manufacturing and assembly of their products.

Powder on plastic or other non-conductive substrates was also explained and its potential for revolutionizing the industry.

After lunch, Mike Dilday from Fanuc America Corporation demonstrated and presented the use of robots in the powder coating and liquid paint systems. During lunch, he shared videos of robots used in paint systems.

“Robotic Paint and Powder Coating”

FANUC-robot
Click to see video of robot

Robots have traditionally been used on liquid paint lines and recently, the number of robots used in powder coating is growing. Robot usage continues to increase due to demand for better quality, more flexibility and quicker return on investment due to decreases in robot prices. Robots also improve throughput, emissions compliance and are ergonomic.

Mike Dilday reviewed when to use robots.

  • High Articulation Requirements
  • High Material Cost – Minimize Waste
  • Two Shift Operations
  • Multiple Paint/Powder Settings for Control
  • Smart Reciprocator Alternative
  • Labor reallocation/high turnover
  • Safety and ergonomics

    • Minimize carpal tunnel syndrome occurrence
    • Remove sprayer from hazardous tasks

Another consideration of robots is as a reciprocator replacement. The benefits of a robot over a reciprocator include the following:

  • Line Tracking
  • Eliminates Tiger Stripping
  • Extra Articulation Capacity
    • Leading and Following Edge
    • Contour capability
  • Precise Triggering Capability
  • Material Reduction 

Implementing robots can provide a high return on investment due to labor savings, material savings, reduced warranty claims, increased production and throughput. Customer requirements for implementing a robot in your paint system are one dedicated robot operator per shift, knowledge of managing the liquid or powder spray system (robot technical knowledge can be taught) and consistent part presentation (the most important aspect).

 

 

Part III: The Lights are On, But No One is Home

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Going beyond our technologically advanced components and space saving design, a large part of our job at IntelliFinishing is working with our customers to solve their problems and challenges. There are usually a few key hurdles that lead a customer to consider purchasing a system or renovating their existing setup. As part of a four part series, we will look at the specific challenges one of our recent customers faced, and the solutions provided by IntelliFinishing.

The third goal for our customer was to reduce energy consumption and eliminate waste as much as possible. This makes sense, as energy rates continue to rise and the emphasis on lean and green continues to grow.

As we promote so often at IntelliFinishing, independent studies have shown that our unique chainless power and free conveyor can save over 40% on utility bills when compared to the antiquated monument systems. This held true for this project as well, but there were other innovations that helped as well.

Simply replacing the 6 open-faced paint booths with a single automated booth went a long way in reducing energy use on the booths themselves, as well as the air handling units used to condition air going into and air being exhausted from the paint line. Our conveyor line is also decoupled, allowing each drive section to operate independently, only running when a carrier is present. The same could be said for the process washer as well. So while a monument system may have two or three large motors pulling chain continuously, the IntelliFinishing system breaks our conveyor down into much smaller sections that are controlled by much smaller variable speed drives. In this way, more motors does not equate to greater electricity usage, but actually reduced demands and added great flexibility.

The process equipment used in IntelliFinishing systems is also a step above the industry norm. Our oven and washer panels are insulated to help keep chemical tanks and curing chambers at temperature. On average this makes our process equipment 75-80% more energy efficient. Automated product doors also help to prevent heat loss. As a side note, the insulated ovens we incorporate in our systems also prevent accidental burns of employees. Even running at temperature, you can place your hand on the sidewall.

Read Part I

Read Part II

Read Part IV

Part II: Safety–Not an Afterthought

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Going beyond our technologically advanced components and space saving design, a large part of our job at IntelliFinishing is working with our customers to solve their problems and challenges. There are usually a few key hurdles that lead a customer to consider purchasing a system or renovating their existing setup. As part of a four part series, we will look at the specific challenges one of our recent customers faced, and the solutions provided by IntelliFinishing.

Another challenge at the top of our customer’s needs was creating a safe work environment. With their existing manual system, the physical demand on the operators of lifting and loading parts through the various processes was excessive. The existing system was also very loud and difficult to keep clean with the several open-faced paint booths used to coat their parts.

Again, IntelliFinishing was able to incorporate several pieces of equipment into the system that all worked together seamlessly for a safe, quiet, and productive paint line. The first step was adding a lowerator to assist the operators in racking parts. The lowerator takes a carrier from the height of the process equipment down directly to the parts. This makes loading much easier, especially on heavier parts, and prevents stretching or straining when loading or unloading.

To limit chemical exposure to the operators, a multi-stage automated washer was added to improve the efficiency of chemical use and provide controlled containment of the chemicals as well. By reducing the overall usage of the chemicals our customer also reduced their chemical emissions to the environment, which was an added benefit.

Other safety factors that were built into the design included laser area scanners that stopped the conveyor when personnel or fork trucks were present in specified “danger zones” and insulated process equipment and special ducting to keep noise levels significantly below the 75dB required. The noise reduction in the paint line led to over 25 employees being removed from our customer’s hearing conservation program. Like my father always said, “A great paint line should be seen, and not heard.”

Though I suppose he may have been talking about us children.

Contact us today to find out how we can make your paint operations safer, quieter, and more efficient.

Read Part I

Read Part III

Read Part IV