Painting Q&A: 2K Electronic Mixing Equipment Versus Hand Mixing


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Q. What are the advantages of 2K electronic mixing equipment over hand mixing (or hot potting)? Which option is more expensive?

A. There are no advantages of 2K electronic mixing equipment if an employee precisely mixes the exact amount of paint and hardener (catalyst) to paint a part, at the exact mix ratio required, in a very short period of time. However, if your finishing operation disposes of excess paint, cups, stirs and solvent, or you have ever experienced a defective part from improper ratios or mixing, then 2K electronic mixing equipment might help improve your daily processes.

2K equipment has become very simple and intuitive over the years. Make sure there is resin and hardener feeding the equipment and set the desired ratio for that color. The system will load paint on ratio into the hose and be ready for the trigger of the spray gun to be pulled. Once spraying is complete, the equipment will flush out the hose with a mixture of solvent and air to scrub the hose clean. The only waste will be the mixed material in the hose and the solvent needed to flush the hose.



Booth 1

Booth 2

Booth 3

Color 1 usage total/shift

5 gal

4.39 gal

4.11 gal

Total solvent usage/shift

3 gal

0.85 gal

1.35 gal

Average color change time

15 min.

2.25 min.

3 min.

Number of parts painted




Average paint usage/part

.83 gal

.55 gal

.59 gal

Total profit less cost/ year for painting






If resin or hardener ever become empty while spraying, 2K electronic equipment will detect the lack of material, alarm the system and shut down spraying. The objective of the equipment is to only spray mixed material on ratio. If it ever detects the ratio is off or paint is not present, the system will stop spraying until the issue is resolved.

However, 2K mixing equipment is sometimes considered more expensive than hand mixing. There are some costs to consider, such as taking time to mix paint, the potential issues of mixing paint off ratio, mixing too much paint that must be disposed of and paying to dispose of the solvent and waste generated. However, most customers see a return on their investment in less than one year.

Every finishing operation has different costs for their material, solvent and labor. To understand your savings, you will need to gather information on the waste in your finishing operation and work with an industry expert to calculate the savings from 2K electronic mixing equipment. To understand your potential savings, look at how much liquid waste is being generated.  If it takes less than one month to fill up one drum of waste, hand mixing is probably the more expensive option.     

If consistency and repeatability are important to your finishing process, 2K equipment can assist in maximizing your production while minimizing your operational costs.  The automation of the equipment will enable your painter to spend less time mixing paint and more time focused on properly applying the right amount of paint the first time through.  

Justin Hooper is the product manager at Finishing Brands, makers of DeVilbiss, Ransburg, BGK and Binks products. He can be reached at jhooper@finishingbrands.com, or at 630-660-4377.


Originally published in the February 2016 issue.

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