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How to Reduce Powder Coating Costs A Complete Guide

As a manufacturer keeping the cost of production down is a key priority. if your painting process involves powder coating there are a lot of ways you can help reduce the cost of your powder coating process in your manufacturing. This article will discuss a variety of ways of how you can reduce powder coating costs. 

Variable one-the powder coating you are using

The first factor that you may consider help reduce the cost powder coating process is the quality and type of powder coating that you are using. Powder coatings come in a variety of different types with a variety of different characteristics. One characteristic that can help reduce your powder coating costs is the price of powder compared to its theoretical coverage rate. The theoretical coverage rate is an estimate of how much area a given quantity of powder (usually listed in pounds) will be able to cover a surface at a give mil thickness.  Depending on who the manufacturer of your powder coating is, this rate may be different between different manufacturers. By being able to compare the price of your powder versus the amount of coverage you can achieve out of it you may be able to find powder options that will help reduce your powder coating cost.  If this is a potential option, you want to ensure that other characteristics of the powder coating match the original powder you used

Variable two – the powder coating application equipment

In general there are two common types of powder coating on. One is called a tribo d design and the other is called a corona style powder coating gun. The tribo style gun has less issues with far a day cage effect, which is where due to electrostatic spray principals, the charge applied to the coating can create problems applying powder in recessed corners and similar situations. If you have a product that has a lot of crevices, recessed areas, or similar design challenges, a tribo style powder coating gun can often prevent you from using extra powder to make up for issues with consistency of powder application.  If you want you can also learn more about the differences between tribo and corona style powder coating guns here.

A second aspect of your powder coating equipment you should consider is the type of prep/feed system you will use for your powder coating gun. The two primary types of powder coating feed systems are the box feed and fluidized bed systems. A box feed system allows powder coating to be fed directly out of a box of powder (with a common box being a 5 lb box). A fluidized bed system requires powder coating to be placed in a stainless steel drum. A box feed system will allow powder coating to be supplied directly out of a box. This can help if you have frequent color changes or work in small quantities of powder at a given time. However, a fluidized bed system is required if you want to recover your powder coating, which recovering powder coating can help significantly reduce the powder you waste. A fluidized bed system, especially with the ability to recover your powder coating, will often be a higher initial investment but if you have a higher volume of powder coating work recovering powder coating is one of the best ways to reduce your powder coating costs. . 

Variable three – Powder Coating Environment Factors

Since powder coating relies on an electrostatic charge to cause the powder to initially stick to a products surface, transfer efficiency can be significantly impacted by environmental factors. In particular, the product you are painting should be grounded well. If the product is on a conveyor line the conveyor should be routinely inspected to ensure a good earth ground is being maintained.  If powder coating has built up on the ground contact, the ground is not properly established, or something is interfering with the ground the transfer efficiency of your powder equipment could be negatively impacted. Other environmental factors include humidity which can also negatively impact electrostatic spray efficiency.

Variable four – Powder Curing Options

A final aspect to consider is the curing method you use with your powder coating.  Two common curing methods for powder coating include infrared and convection batch ovens. Infrared ovens often have lower operating costs but a higher initial investment. A batch oven is often lower initial cost but higher operating costs.  There are a variety of other factors to consider about these ovens as well which you can learn the differences between infrared and convection ovens here.

Ultimately powder coating is a critical cost in your production as a manufacturer.  By evaluating pertinent ways you can reduce your powder coating costs you can ensure you maintain a low cost of finishing your products. If you want further guidance on the options mentioned or whether one would work for you contact us today

 

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