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powder coating, agriculture, coating farm equipment

Bridgeview Manufacturing produces large farm equipment such as this Pulldozer Land Shaper. All of the company’s products receive a powder coated finish. Photo Credit: All photos courtesy of Bridgeview Manufacturing

Bridgeview Manufacturing in Gerald, Saskatchewan was formed in 1983 when founder Kevin Hruska set out to combine his love of farming with his welding skills and began building farm equipment for local customers. Today, Bridgeview produces such machines as the Bale King Bale Processor, Grain Express grain handling systems, the Bale King Rake V-Rake line, and its Pulldozer Land Shapers and Scrapers. The company boasts a 70,000 square foot factory and its machines are distributed throughout Canada, the United States, Eastern Europe and Australia. Bridgeview also offers custom manufacturing and its capabilities include precision CNC punch, CNC press brake, shearing and welding.

Bridgeview powder coats its products and found itself looking for additional guidance and technical support. The company sought to improve the uniformity in coating thickness for its products. 

“We needed help with how to best finish some of our large items,” says Riley Apland, who handles purchasing and parts at Bridgeview. “Our powder wasn’t getting baked properly.”

Bridgeview turned to TIGER Drylac (Guelph, Ontario) for help improving film thickness uniformity, transfer efficiency, and Faraday penetration. In some instances Bridgeview’s powder was dripping down the edges of parts, yielding excessive film builds of 7.0 mils at the bottom of the part. TIGER Drylac sales engineers and application field specialists ran multiple production trials at Bridgeview, calculating film thickness, gloss and transfer efficiency. Collaboration was required across production, process engineering and R&D teams in the facility. The result was powder that charged more consistently and ultimately established an even film build from top to bottom, averaging 4.2 to 5.0 mils over the areas in question.  

powder coating, agriculture, coating farm equipment

Bridgeview Manufacturing turned to TIGER Drylac for support achieving uniform coating thickness and improved coverage for parts with sharp edges.

According to Apland, the collaboration helped improve coverage on sharp edges of the parts, which is a critical requirement in the agricultural industry. 

“With the color of our powder — which is a construction yellow — it’s tough to cover edges,” he says. “[TIGER] helped find the balance, giving us a nice smooth finish and still getting edge coverage.”

Bridgeview was also looking for ways to improve efficiencies. The company’s massive agriculture blades require steel shot blasting and preheating before coating. Apland explains that before any powder is sprayed, the parts are pre-baked to remove the oils from the steel — this ensures that oils do not surface underneath the coat during the cure cycle, whic can cause defects. However, Bridgeview’s technicians found that if parts were sprayed at temperatures above 100°F, there was significant dulling of the finish. As a result, technicians would often find themselves waiting 60 minutes to allow the blades to cool. TIGER Drylac provided powder that allowed parts to be sprayed at warmer temperatures ranging from 130°F–175°F. This eliminated gloss loss, reduced orange peel and improved penetration into Faraday areas.

powder coating booth

In addition to improving film thickness uniformity, Bridgeview was looking for ways to minimize powder waste and reduce defects and re-work.

Bridgeview also wanted to minimize powder waste and reduce defects. With an optimal particle size distribution, TIGER Drylac powder stuck to parts and reduced re-work. The powder coating, combined with harmonization of electrostatic forces, airflow rates and part density/racking, helped Bridgeview improve first-pass transfer efficiency and reduced powder waste by 75%. 

Ultimately what Apland says made the biggest difference was the expertise and support TIGER Drylac offered. “We needed someone to just spend some time with us and understand what we were trying to do,” he says.