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Powder Coating Q&A: Identification of Parts on the Line

How to inexpensively identify parts on a line.

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Q. We do thousands of different part numbers that are not identified on parts and we are trying to determine a good way of identifying them at the end of the line as we pull off and package. Is there an inexpensive way to identify a part that could go through the wash, powder coat and oven so that it would not be destroyed?

A. The only material that will take repeated trips through the process is a metal that is not too heat sensitive (such as steel or stainless steel). Many coaters run a flag on the line to indicate color or tooling changes. It is a simple piece of steel with a hook to suspend it from the conveyor. They also sometimes attach a flag to a rack of smaller parts to provide identification. I am not sure this is practical for you with the large number of parts you run, but it might work. The flag has numbers or digits cut out of it by flame or laser. A light gauge material could be stamped with your part numbers and attached to a small hook on the rack or from the conveyor.

I am not aware of any material that will take the process repeatedly other than metal.

Originally published in the December 2015 issue.

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