Are you looking to save money and protect your next sheet metal project? Powder coating may be the answer. Unlike paint, powder coating won’t chip, fade, or peel and provides a long-lasting, durable finish that will protect your sheet metal from corrosion and other damage. In addition, powder coating is more environmentally friendly than conventional paint, so it is a good choice for those looking to save money and help the environment. You see even greater benefits when your sheet metal fabricator has in-house capabilities.
Automated Powder Coating Increases Efficiency and Lowers Costs
Tusco Manufacturing offers in-house powder coating that will meet your quality standards while keeping your project on time and on budget. In-house coating immediately saves time and reduces costs associated with shipping a fabricated piece to a coater. Powder coating occurs directly after fabrication, and parts never leave the facility, providing a quicker turn-around time. In addition to the time savings, shipping expenses are reduced, and there is no risk of the finish getting damaged in transit.
The multi-part process we use ensures a beautiful finish and high-quality results. It starts with masking, followed by a three-part wash, drying, powder coating, curing, and quality inspection. Many parts move through our assembly area before being packaged for shipping.
Tusco’s Automated Powder Coating Process
After fabrication, the parts go through a quality inspection. Once the parts are deemed acceptable, we carefully mask and plug all areas we don’t want powder coated, such as grounding space, threaded studs, and pins. An 800 ft overhead monorail conveyor provides continuous cleaning and coating of products, creating a more efficient process.
The parts are hung with an optimal line density for greater spray efficiency. By optimizing the number of parts and the orientation, we can reduce the amount of overspray and minimize waste. We take pictures or videos of how the parts are hung, so for repeat orders, we have already determined the best way to hang them, which saves set-up time.
The next step is a three-part wash and rinse process. The first stage washes the parts with iron phosphate detergents that are heated to 120°F. Once the detergent is applied, it is allowed to sit long enough to dissolve any oil or soil that may be on the parts. If the parts are not clean, the powder coating will not adhere. The parts then go through a rinse to remove the detergent and a final rinse to ensure all residue has been removed. The parts are then dried at 220°F before moving to the powder coating stage.
We have a ten-nozzle automated powder coating system with five nozzles on each side of the booth. The nozzles electrostatically charge the powder so that the powder will be attracted to the clean, grounded metal parts. The booth uses a photosensor to turn on the guns as the parts enter the coating station. Because it is automated, the parts receive the same application and coverage every time. The automated system is most economical for larger run sizes.
For smaller runs, we have highly trained and experienced associates who will apply the powder coating manually. We have an inspection tool that gives us a rough idea of the coating thickness before heat treatment even takes place. The heat-treating temperature and hold times will depend on the material and its thickness, but this treatment is used to cure the powder coating and permanently seal it to the metal.
We can powder coat parts up to 8 feet tall and 200 lb. and offer various powder coating options, including clear, metallics, textured, matte, high gloss, and ripple.
Once cured, the parts are processed by undergoing a quality inspection before going straight to assembly. After a final inspection, the components are carefully packaged and sent to the warehouse for shipping.
How Powder Coating Can Save you Money
You have options for coating parts after fabrication. A cost-effective option is to allow Tusco to do your powder coating. Powder coating provides flawless results and offers many cost-saving advantages:
- It costs less than painting.
- It is faster than painting, and Tusco’s automatic system saves you even more time, allowing you to get parts to your customers faster.
- In-house powder coating saves time and shipping costs and reduces the chance of damage during shipping
- Its durable finish resists chips so that repainting won’t be required.
- It protects from corrosion, so parts won’t have to be replaced as often.
- It is safer for the environment and helps you provide a more environmentally friendly product to your customers, which can assist with customer retention.
Let’s Start Creating
Let us help you with your next sheet metal project. As your single vendor for design, fabrication, finishing, powder coating, assembly, packaging, and shipping, you benefit through lower costs, less handling, and fewer vendors to manage. Call us today!