Converting to Powder Coating

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing, , from Powder Coating Consultants, Div. of Ninan, Inc.

Posted on: 5/1/2001

Question: We are in the business of fabricating weather enclosures for generator sets.

Question:

We are in the business of fabricating weather enclosures for generator sets. We use 3003 aluminum and spray paint the enclosures with a liquid epoxy material. We would like to know what type of powder coating could produce a similar finish. At the moment we have no experience with powder coating but have read about its many benefits. Any help would be appreciated. J.A.

Answer:

You're in luck. Your current supplier also has a great powder coating product line. My best advise to you would be to start with them, since they know the formulated properties of the liquid paint you are using and can best match a powder coating to meet or exceed those properties. Powder coatings have been used with great success on similar products in an outdoor environment. This makes changing to powder coating in your application less risky. After you have determined what powder coating materials are available for your customer's requirements, you have to address the equipment issues necessary for this conversion. How much of your existing equipment can be used for the new process will ultimately determine your total capital costs. In this area, a good consultant can be very helpful. Using an equipment supplier to evaluate your existing system can be a problem because some vendors have a tendency to over or under estimate the capital funds to meet your budget. This leads to risking too much capital or having a process that is inadequate for meeting your quality requirements. Therefore, be careful how you approach this effort.

The Powder Coating Institute has a liquid to powder operational cost comparison that is very helpful in determining if any cost savings will be realized in a conversion to powder coating. These operational cost savings are useful in determining what your payback or return on your capital investment (ROI) will be. This analysis will tell you if there is an economic reason to convert to powder coating.



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