PF Blog

Air Knives Achieves Efficient Cleaning, Drying and Cooling

23. April 2014


Air Knife systems from Air Control Industries says its new products can help achieve an effective elimination of residual moisture and/or debris from manufacturing processes thereby helping to ensure blemish free end products.


ACI says they are suitable for both continuous feed/web materials and conveyorised products/components. The company says an optional deionisation attachment makes ACI’s Air Knives particularly suitable for applications with static issues.


ACI's Matthew Forknalkl said a variation on Air Knives is reciprocating nozzle systems which are ideal for irregular shaped items. These systems comprise reciprocating nozzles in robust synthetic fabric that can brush against items without risk of causing damage.


All ACI’s Air Knife systems are blower powered and are therefore cleaner, safer, quieter and less expensive to operate than compressed air alternatives.


Forknall said they are cleaner because there is no risk of air contamination from oil and/or condensate; quieter and safer because they deliver large volumes of air at low velocity as opposed to low volumes at high pressure. He said they are also highly efficient because they use correctly sized dedicated blowers that require only minimal maintenance and do not suffer from the innate weaknesses of compressed air systems, such as leakages, airflow impedance through extended airlines and compressor sizing to match maximum line loadings.


Because these Air Knives provide a continuous and even curtain of deionised air across full product/web widths via linear plenums, they ensure full surface areas are treated.


ACI Air Knife systems can be as simple as connecting a single blower to a 1 metre Air Knife, or it might incorporate multiple blowers and Air Knives, as well as including an array of accessories, depending on the size and shape of the customer's product.  The blower might be located locally or remotely and housed in an acoustic chamber.


For more information, please visit

Elcometer Launches Next Generation Coating Thickness And Surface Profile Gauges For iPhone, iPad And iPod Touch

21. April 2014



Elcometer has launched its next generation Elcometer 456 coating thickness gauge and Elcometer 224 surface profile gauge with Bluetooth connectivity made for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


When used in conjunction with any iOS device running ElcoMaster mobile apps, data from the Elcometer 456 and Elcometer 224 can now be easily and seamlessly transferred to an iOS device.


ElcoMaster Mobile is the free, easy to use, data management app from Elcometer which allows users to transfer inspection data from their Elcometer gauges to their iOS device. ElcoMaster can then produce professional inspection reports instantly – without having to switch to a computer.


Elcometer’s new range of Made for iPhone inspection gauges can be easily integrated into customer’s own paperless inspection applications; and unlike Wi‐Fi, Elcometer’s use of Bluetooth allows multiple gauges to be connected at the same time, without the need to disconnect other devices.


 “Having the ability to seamlessly generate professional inspection reports from the inspection site in an instant not only provides a competitive advantage to our customers, but also increases productivity as they no longer have to go back to the office to write a report – ElcoMaster does it for them.” says Elcometer Managing Director, Michael Sellars.


For more information on ElcoMaster or the Elcometer range of Made for iPhone inspection gauges, please contact Elcometer at or visit our website at The ElcoMaster App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch or at

Atotech Holds POP Summit For Customers

19. April 2014

Atotech held their second Plating on Plastics (POP) summit in Rock Hill, SC on Tuesday, April 15.


The company provided several technical presentations on POP and decorative plating and introduced their new Cr(VI)-free etch technology. The fully Cr(VI)-free technology has already been successfully qualified in the plating line at the Atotech TechCenters in Berlin, Germany under production scale conditions. The Cr(VI)-free technology meets the automotive, sanitary and consumer goods industries’ requirements in terms of cosmetic appearance, adhesion and thermocycle tests.


Following Atotech’s standard new products’ development procedure, the Cr(VI)-free etch process is at present ongoing field testing, delivering encouraging results.


In addition to speakers from senior Atotech worldwide management, the event included presentations from Bing C. Xu, Enterprise Materials Management Program Manager, Ford Motor Company and Federico Gambina, Materials Science Engineer, Honda R&D Americas.


For more information, please visit

Nordson Powder Coating Training Is May 13-14 and August 13-14

17. April 2014


Nordson Corporation has announced two new hands-on powder coating workshops for May 13-14 and August 13-14 at their Amherst, Ohio facility.

The hands-on, two-day Powder Coating Workshop is an intensive, introductory seminar on powder coating materials, their application, troubleshooting and maintenance, as well as hands-on training.

You should attend if you are:


  • New to a powder coating operation
  • Considering converting from a liquid to a powder coating system
  • Involved in or currently working on a powder coating line


In the classroom, learn the latest:

  • Properties, storage and handling of powder coating materials
  • Application equipment – components, use, maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Powder booth and recovery systems and troubleshooting


Attendees will first learn how the equipment is designed to work, then how to use and maintain it. There will also be a hands-on portion of the workshop in the powder demonstration lab.


Lunch is provided both days


May 13-14 or August 13-14

Time: 8:00-4:30pm
Location: Nordson Corporation, 300 Nordson Drive, Amherst, OH 44001
Continental breakfast and lunch provided both days.
Cost: $450 per person (includes workbook)


Please visit to register.



NASF Washington Forum Covers Upcoming Rules, Regulations

By: Dr. James Lindsay 16. April 2014

NASF President Rick Delawder addresses the attendees at the Washington Forum


It had been the worst winter in Washington, DC in most people’s memories (as it was for much of the country), and the surface finishers were ready for Spring and with it, the annual NASF Washington Forum, where one could get the latest information on critical legislative and regulatory matters important to the industry, and make their voices known in the halls of Congress.  Rick Delawder, NASF President, in his welcoming remarks, noted that this was one of his favorite NASF venues, “although I go home with my head spinning at all the legislative and regulatory demands on our industry.”  This year was no exception.


The global profileration of regulations persists, as more countries look into their own set of regulations, often mimicking those that have gone before.  Tim Aiken, President of the Nickel Institute, cited several specific examples of substances under the gun, many of which bordered on the absurd (even stainless steel!).  He did offer a hint of optimism however, as he reported that NASF/NI joint efforts had been effective in informing some regulators of the significance of the surface finishing industry.  In particular, French agencies were exercising caution in the risk assessment of certain nickel salts.


One of the more insidious threats in the regulatory climate was discussed by a number of speakers.  Characterized as “the tyranny of lists” was the practice of listing certain critical chemicals on lists of “substances of very high concern” or other jargon by a single agency, with very little scientific information to support the claim.  Such listings could spread like a disease, prompting others to add the substance in question to their own lists, with no more justification than it being on someone else’s list.  The lack of good science and common sense threatens to result in the ban of many critical chemicals to our industry and commerce in general.


Joelie Zak from the NASF GAC speaks.


One of the problems today is the gap between job openings and the skill set needed by the surface finishing industry.  Morna Foy, of the Northcentral Technical College (Wisconsin), outlined the difficulties of motivating interest in work in the industry.  NASF Stalwart John Lindstedt pointed out a critical need for lower level training courses in surface finishing, and suggested that the AESF Foundation provide this type of course.


Many of the regulations affecting the surface finishing industry stem from environmental and health concerns, both real and imagined.  The positive side of this has been the efforts by some major corporations to address the problems with continued technical innovation and work with their supply chains on chemical and metals policies.  Andrea Fava, of Intel, described her company’s efforts in this regard.  Marty Spitzer, of the World Wildlife Fund, described similar efforts in working with companies on climate and energy goals.  Auto companies in particular have been aggressive in working with their supply chain.  Fortunately, knowledge that there are economies to be realized and the ever-pressing realities of climate science have encouraged many companies to work with suppliers on climate/energy goals.


Many issues that seemed settled not too long ago, are re-emerging.  Just by being around for a number of years, interest in knowing whether a regulation is working well is being asked.  The emergence of new technologies within the purview of a given regulation also piques the interest of regulators. 


Macdermid's Michael Siegmund makes a comment.


Standing out is the potential revision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a regulatory framework that has stood the test of time for decades.  Chris Bell, of Greenberg Traurig, noted that, despite its age, the act was “not toothless and was not going away.”  With legislative gridlock in Washington and election year politics rendering the prospect of a revised TSCA anytime soon, the EPA was using TSCA quite effectively, making the most of existing authority and regulating new technologies (e.g., nanotechnology) quite successfully.


On the political side, a Washington Forum favorite, luncheon speaker Charlie Cook was again on hand to give his outlook for the coming midterm elections.  In essence, he opined that the House would stay in Republican hands, and the Senate would be held by a narrow margin.  Which party?  Mr. Cook noted that the Senate was the Republican’s to lose; their control was likely, but not certain.  As for 2016, he wasn’t convinced that either Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden would run.  He suggested a number of scenarios for the Republican race, stressing that the party had to draw more independents and minorities to regain the White House.


Christian Richter introduces the EPA's Jennifer Lawless.


Washington Forum Regular Andy Friedman, of Washington Update was also on hand to discuss the political situation beyond electoral politics, including the federal budget, taxes and health care.  Regarding the annual budget brouhaha, he noted that a compromise had been reached in Congress where there would be no shutdown or default threat thru 2015.  Nonetheless, the national debt continued to grow alarmingly, raising the question of whether debt purchases by China and Japan could be sustained, and the issues that raises.  He also discussed the reasons for the high degree of polarization in Washington, laying it to the considerable redistricting by largely Republican-dominated legislatures following the 2010 census.  Finally, Mr. Friedman discussed the Camp Tax Reform bill.  Addressing the high corporate tax rates, the bill was said to be revenue neutral, and promising.


Finally, one other area of concern was the trend toward rulemaking.  With much of potential legislation in gridlock, rulemaking has been the order of the day, “putting meat on the bones of legislation,” in the words of Pat Casano, of GE.  Rules by the thousands are promulgated, increasing the need for citizens and businesses to engage across many fronts.


Morna Foy and John Lindstedt speak about training issues.


A multitude of issues and concerns were brought to the fore at this year’s Washington Forum.  On the last day, many of the attendees headed for Capitol Hill for meetings with their own legislators, giving critically needed citizen-input to issues facing the surface finishing industry.  It was clear that the challenges would continue in years to come.


Christian Richter and speaker Charlie Cooke


NASF members gather at a reception at the Capitol.


Dave Marsh and Bernie Haviland talk at the Capital Visitors Center.


NASF members at the Capitol Vistors Center reception.



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