In today’s Information Age, the most valuable commodity in the world is no longer silver, gold, or oil—it’s data. What makes data so precious is its ability to help businesses optimize processes, marketing, products, services, and of course, revenues. So, you may ask, “What does this have to do with finishing systems?” Well, if you’re using a traditional automated finishing system with very limited control and no data logging, then you’re not optimizing your operations and potentially losing tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars each year to inefficiencies. Switching to an IntelliFinishing System that includes smart controls enables a better workflow and better finish quality, saving both time and money.

Actionable Insights

Famed management consultant Peter Drucker had a saying, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” In other words, a business can’t improve its processes and achieve greater successes without clearly defined and quantifiable metrics. Or if you prefer Sherlock Holmes, the legendary detective had a famous line: “Data! Data! Data! I cannot make bricks without clay.” The idea is the same—you can’t achieve the desired outcome without first capturing and understanding the proper inputs. If you want to increase the consistency, quality, and throughput of your finishing process, then you need a flexible finishing system that also includes smart controls – delivering valuable data and actionable insights that can be used to enhance operations.

Smart Controls Drive Improvements

While many of today’s industrial machines now feature smart controls, the same can’t be said of traditional conveyorized finishing systems—most are commonly equipped with limited controls that offer no data logging or measurable analytics. But an IntelliFinishing system with smart controls allows operators to track parts as they move through the system. The system can log all production data of interest including pre-finish process settings and times per loadbar, part, or order; coating times and paint or powder usage and settings; carrier dwell times, speed per section, or status; dry off or cure oven timing, temperature, and trends; and more. The data is all stored in a database that can be customized into easy-to-read reports, tables, and graphs so that improvements to quality, productivity, and performance can be made.

Smart Features of IntelliFinishing

IntelliFinishing takes your finishing system to the next level. With IntelliFinishing, parts are processed according to each carrier’s selected recipe. Recipe’s can be fixed or customizable per your finishing needs. For example, the smart system uses recipe information to determine which cure oven lane the carrier of parts will enter to achieve optimal cure time but avoid slower curing items that can bottleneck the system. And while traditional monorail systems convey parts at the same feet per minute speed for the entire system and with limited abilities to adjust speed without negative consequences, an IntelliFinishing system can change blast, wash, cure, and non-process area conveyor speeds, settings, and times per carrier. An IntelliFinishing system also enables the adjustment of component variables, like wash sequence or pressure, oven temperatures, air turns, and timing—depending on the recipe. The system can run very dissimilar products back-to-back for a “Lean” product flow that can greatly reduce system WIP.

Of course, one of the key features of the smart system is the ability to track and record part data for product validation and analysis. The IntelliFinishing industrial software provides a view of your entire finish facility, part processes, and productivity from any HMI station or networked computer, with insights that enhance quality and increase throughput while facilitating production scaling as needed.

A Cost-Effective Finishing Solution

IntelliFinishing is a cost-effective, revenue-boosting finishing solution. It uses a friction-driven tube conveyor with extremely high uptime ratings, low maintenance requirements, and which eliminates chain-based part finish contaminations. The system also greatly reduces utility and overall costs to operate since there’s no need to heat up a chain conveyor continuously as it flows through ovens and our systems feature the most energy-efficient washers and ovens in the business.

Further, due to modular construction and recipe control, an IntelliFinishing system more easily adapts to future changes in processes, finishes, throughput requirements, or part profiles, ensuring facilities are ready for whatever comes next! To learn more, check out our video on smart controls.

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