Dealing with partial drum storage and handling is the bane of everyone in industrial coating industries, but it is greater for coil coaters than for any other industrial finishing method. The increased number of partial drums generated in the coil coating process represents a significant overhead cost in a low-margin process. In order to deal with the problem, it is important to understand where and how these originate.
In her blog, “Why Partial Drums Pile Up in Aluminum and Steel Coil Coating," our Sarah Ledford identified fill volume as the source of partial drums and, in the process, defined fill volume as “what is left over after a run has been completed."
1. Reduced Fill VolumeIt is the primary function of the PCM to reduce system fill volume. This is achieved by significantly reducing the volume of the paint in the pan. We often say we reduce the pan volume from a “fill” to a "film." This reduces the volume of paint that needs to be purchased for a job, which not only represents a significant cost savings, but also reduces the volume of paint left over when the job is completed. In turn, this reduces the number of partial drums to be handled and stored.
2. Fewer TrialsOne of the ways that the PCM reduces fill volume is by creating a metering gap that assures an even amount of paint is applied across the face of the pickup roll. In doing so, it creates a more even film from edge-to-edge. This makes it easier to achieve the desired coating parameters at setup with fewer trials, and thus it is not necessary to purchase excess paint for those trials. Less excess paint means less paint left over at the completion of the run, which reduces the number of partial drums to be handled and stored
3. Consistent Application RateIn addition to reducing trials at setup, a more even film makes the application rate more consistent during the coating run which makes it easier to estimate the amount of paint required for a job, and allows that estimate to be made with a smaller “safety factor." This also means that less paint – or more accurately, the right amount of paint required – can be purchased for every job. Purchasing less paint obviously reduces the volume of paint left over at the end of the run, and therefore the number of partial drums to be handled and stored.
4. Reduced ReworkAnother basic benefit of the PCM, which also stems directly from improved film control, is a quality improvement that reduces the frequency of rework – especially recoating. This is important in that recoating requires even more paint and significantly increases the opportunity to have paint leftover at the end of the recoating run. By reducing this requirement, excess paint is reduced and therefore so is the number of partial drums to be handled and stored.
It is clear that the excess paint associated with the conventional coil coating process produces a string of partial drums and waste paint that must be handled, stored, and eventually disposed of. This represents a significant overhead cost to the operation, draining resources and reducing efficiency.
The PCM directly addresses these costs by reducing the volume of paint required to produce an order while simultaneously improving the quality of each run. In the process, it reduces the frequency and handling of partial drums, improving any coil coating operation.
Watch our free PCM Webinar to learn about how this innovtive technology can help your business.