Transfer Efficiency

Question: I am the paint line supervisor in our plant.


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I am the paint line supervisor in our plant. Some time ago, we switched to waterborne-paints to meet the local air quality standards, and we are in compliance. I keep hearing about transfer efficiency. I guess that is the latest “buzz” word. In fact, the plant manager just asked me about our transfer efficiency. I heard it is the ratio of the paint that goes on the product to the paint that does not go on the product. Since we are in compliance, do I have to worry about transfer efficiency? C. P.


If you want to save money in your painting operations, you should worry about transfer efficiency (TE). First, you heard wrong. TE has been calculated differently by different people. Simply stated, TE is the ratio of the amount of paint actually applied on a product to the total amount of paint used, multiplied by 100. TE is expressed as a percentage. You can save money by increasing your TE.

For example, consider a hypothetical product that requires 0.66 gallons of 50% solids paint for complete coverage when sprayed using equipment capable of 30% TE. If you use the same paint in equipment capable of 70% TE, you get complete coverage using only 0.28 gallon. You use 0.66 gallon – 0.28 gallon = 0.38 gallon less paint. If the paint costs $10.00/gallon, you save 0.38 gallon x $10.00/gallon = $3.80 in paint costs for every hypothetical product coated. Not only will you save material costs, you will also save labor costs because the paint will be applied in less time. Taking it a step farther, your production rate could also be increased. C. P., you could become a hero!