Trends in Coating and Finishing
When I joined Products Finishing in March, I had a whole bunch of ideas swimming in my head. Most of them came from my previous work with our sister publication CompositesWorld, where there is perpetual discussion over lightweighting. My CW colleagues teased me about leaving composites for metals. I knew shifting my focus would take some time and research, but I can’t shake the feeling that there are big stories to tell within the coating and finishing world about how all materials and trends are interrelated. Sure, the metal folks will swear by the attributes of metal, and those in the composites industry will champion their benefits, and so forth — but, the truth is, there is really no one material or technology to rule them all. The ultimate goal is good quality for the end product, and that often means components made from a variety of materials — and almost all of them need to be coated or finished in some way. But I digress.
As we look at how products are produced, it is important to take into consideration all materials and processes. A holistic view of manufacturing is important as we consider where the various industries might be headed. Most markets — even ones that were once entrenched in a particular material supply — are today more focused on the right material for job. And lightweighting is important whether you’re talking about metals, plastics or composites.
Vehicles of the future are going to continue to be increasingly lighter. Materials are going to keep evolving and that means a lot of constant change for the whole of manufacturing. What will continually
In this issue, we explore oven-curing technology that takes lightweighting of cars into consideration. The increased use of aluminum in hard-to-cure areas opens the door for innovation and reconfigured ovens that can help improve curing and also save floor space.
If we look at other areas, the industry seems poised for more change as well. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many shop owners to consider new ways of working. New platforms were embraced for connecting with employees and customers. New ways of monitoring processes were also considered. The fact that pretty much everyone found themselves forced to rise to a new comfort level with meeting platforms and smart devices may serve as the long-term bright side of the quarantine. As shop owners embrace smart solutions, how will their processes evolve?
When I worked on CW, I often had exciting conversations with my brilliant coworker Ginger
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Masking is employed in most any metal finishing operation where only a specifically defined area of the surface of a part must be exposed to a process. Conversely, masking may be employed on a surface where treatment is either not required or must be avoided. This article covers the many aspects of masking for metal finishing, including applications, methods and the various types of masking employed.