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Reduce Cleaning Costs By 20% in Coil Coating Systems

Posted by Mike Bonner

Aug 21, 2015 11:00:00 AM

industrial coil coating system

In our recent blog, “3 Ways PCM Reduces Costs in Aluminum and Steel Coil Coating," we outlined the case of one of our clients who utilized the PCM to address cleaning issues in their coating systems. They reduced their paint delivery system volume by more than 70% which:

  • Reduced system drain time
  • Reduced system fill time
  • Reduced roll cleaning time
  • Reduced surface cleaning time

The Key: Reducing Fill Volume

The 70% reduction in coating system fill volume drives all of these improvements. This is accomplished by the nip feed configuration of the PCM. This allows the pan to be dropped away from the pickup roll, changing it from being a paint delivery device to being a catch basin. Because there does not have to be sufficient paint in the pan to touch the pickup roll, the volume of the paint in the pan can technically be reduced to zero. In reality, it just becomes a film, running back to the drum.

Reduced Drain and Fill Times

That 70% reduction in system fill volume carries over directly to the drain and fill times. With 70% less paint in the system, drain times are reduced by 70% and likewise, fill times are reduced by 70%.

In our article in the September/October issue of Coil World magazine titled, “Minimizing Cleaning Costs in Modern Coil Coating Operations," we broke down the time required for each of the steps in various cleaning procedures.

This shows that drain and fill time combine to account for approximately 30% of total color change time – regardless of the procedure used. A 70% reduction in 30% of the cleaning time, represents a 21% reduction in cleaning time. From a strictly cost perspective, this represents a 21% reduction in labor cost to complete a color change.

Reduced Roll and Surface Cleaning Times

By changing the pan to a catch basin, it can be reshaped to both speed the return rate, and to be easier to clean. In fact, this group changed the pan so that it could be squeegeed out and then cleaned with a sponge using the same solvent used to clean the rolls.

This improved their paint reclaim rate and reduced partial drum contamination which they estimated reduced their paint waste by more than 20% while simultaneously reducing their roll and surface cleaning time by as much as 30%. In addition, the change to smoother surfaces, squeegees, and sponges helped them to reduce their cleaning solvent usage by more than 10%.

In that Coil World article, we showed that roll and surface cleaning time combined for another 30% of the total color change time. A 30% reduction in 30% of the cleaning time, represents an additional 9% reduction in cleaning time.

Time Savings Add Up

Combined, these time savings represent a reduction in labor cost of: 21% + 9% = 30%!

This is supported by our client, who took their cleaning times from an average of seven minutes to less than five minutes – a reduction of nearly 30%.

I love it when the math supports the experience!

Across-the-Board Savings

When we combine a 30% reduction in labor costs with a 20% reduction in paint waste, and a 10% reduction in solvent waste, it is easy to see an overall reduction in color change cost in excess of 20% on the average.

But it gets even better than that.

The reduction in cleaning time means more time available to coat salable product, which increases total throughput, and improves all of your operational numbers and ability to meet industrial coating demands.

And this means a big improvement in your bottom line.

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

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Topics: coil coating, Coating Technology, PCM

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