THE BUSINESS OF VISCOSITY BLOG



    4 Ways to Use PCM to Increase Metal Coating System Runtime

    Posted by Mike Bonner

    Aug 14, 2015 11:00:00 AM

    industrial metal coil coating system paints for industry
    In our recent blog, “Increase Run Time: Add the PCM to Coil Coating Fluid Process," we showed that if we remove preventative maintenance (scheduled downtime) from total downtime in industrial coating and other paint and coating processes, we could divide the remaining sources of unscheduled downtime on a coil coating line into five categories:

    • Mechanical failures
    • Cleanup time
    • Setup time
    • Wait time (often buried in trials waiting for QC results so the line can proceed)
    • Rework (recoating)

    The best way to increase runtime is to decrease downtime. But we noted that there is little that you can do about unforeseen mechanical failures in such complex mechanical systems – even with the best of PM programs. That leaves just cleanup, setup, wait, and rework times to focus on.

    One of our coil coating clients implemented the Profile Correction Module (PCM) with the initial intent of reducing their fill volume to save money on paints and coatings, but found that they could also reduce downtime therefore increasing available runtime.

    1. Reducing Cleanup Time

    In order to save paint with the PCM they followed our normal procedure, dropping the pan to convert it from a paint delivery system into a catch basin and paint return system. They then angled the pan toward the outlet to speed the paint back to the drum. The result was to reduce the paint in the pan from gallons, to a film on the bottom. Mission accomplished.

    But they also found that reducing the volume of paint that has to be drained from the pan reduced the pan drain time – the first step in a color change. Less paint in the pan made it easier to clean those surfaces, and the quick-release and positive stop features of the PCM allowed it to also be dropped into a cleaning position making it easy to clean with a solvent soaked sponge. These factors worked together to reduce the total time spent cleaning.

    2. Reducing Setup Time

    The first step in setting up a new color after the coater has been cleaned is to pump that new color through the system. Again, the reduced system fill volume dramatically reduced the time spent filling it.

    But, fortunately for them, it didn’t stop there.

    The primary function off the PCM is to meter the paint to the pickup roll. By continuously flushing the metering gap with fresh paint, edge-to-edge variations, commonly formed by swirls and eddy currents in the pan, are eliminated. This also eliminates paint-based film build variations from edge-to-edge.
    They found that this made it easier to balance drive and operator side nip pressures and led to recipes that could be easily repeated from batch-to-batch. This reduced setup time by reducing wet-film adjustments to achieve the required film build, color match and surface finish prior to painting.

    3. Reducing Wait Time

    With repeatable setup recipes came increased confidence. Not only with colors they ran all the time, but also with setups for new colors. This across-the-board confidence allowed them to reduce the number of trials required to get everything right. And since the majority of the time involved in a trial is wait time, this allowed them convert more wait time to actual coating time – time spent producing salable product and providing coatings for industry.

    4. Reducing Rework Time

    The other important “side-effect” of repeatable, reliable setups and lower fill volumes is that there is less opportunity for issues. This enabled them to realize reductions in recoating as well as “short paints” – instances where they simply didn’t have enough paint to complete the order – and all this time saved could be dedicated to production.

    Less Downtime/More Production Time

    It’s really semantics. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? No matter what you call it, it really boils down to making saleable product, at the highest quality, at the right time. And as these guys found out, the PCM can be a key tool in attaining that objective.

    Download our free Coil World Article to learn more about the module and how it can help your business.

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    Topics: PCM

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