To Train...or Not To Train?

Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate issues in painting and pretreatment (cross-contamination of tanks due to carryover, running tanks out of range, blocked nozzles and risers, etc.) before purchasing new equipment?


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Q. The company I work for is speaking with a vendor about buying new paint guns due to issues with rejected coatings. My argument has been to delay purchasing the new guns in favor of spending the money to train the painters. Never having been formally trained on how to use the equipment, they paint everything with the same settings, nozzle and pressures—from a 10-lb massive piece to a 12-gauge, 2-inch piece. They go over the part with as many as six passes with the gun 2 inches from the piece.

In light of the lack of training, I think it would be better to spend the money to train one painter and have him come back and train the others rather than to buy new guns. I have dealt with powder coating and pretreatment for about 12 years, and have never seen a lot of the things I see them do, yet I ran into opposition when I began troubleshooting that area. Their pretreatment was pitiful—maybe 30% spray power at most in each of their stages due to blocked nozzles and risers from years of neglect. They have been a hard group to turn around in their ways of doing things, and it was only when they came down with a bad case of anaerobic bacteria within the system that I got their attention regarding clean up. The “old school” attitudes are very frustrating.

Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate issues in painting and pretreatment (cross-contamination of tanks due to carryover, running tanks out of range, blocked nozzles and risers, etc.) before purchasing new equipment? C. L.

 

A. You’re on the right track. I wouldn’t buy new equipment until the old is worn out. I agree that you should address the pretreatment issue first. I would seek help from the chemical supplier for the pretreatment issues, and after that, I recommend sending one of the painters to a “painting course.” 

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