Reduce Color Change Costs up to 50% in Coil Coating Systems

    Posted by Mike Bonner

    Aug 17, 2015 11:00:00 AM

    industrial coating system professional paint solutions
    Color changes represent a significant cost to every coil coater – a cost that gets added to every job they run – and as such, a cost that gets passed along to the customer. The components of a color change are the same for every coater. Every color change consumes:

    • Paint
    • Solvent
    • Line time
    • Labor

    How well these costs are managed determines how well the coater can compete in the marketplace. In response to these pressures, SCS developed the Profile Correction Module (PCM). So let’s examine how it can reduce each of these color change costs and provide industrial paint solutions.

    Paint Consumption

    One of the largest costs in the color change process is paint. With paint costs ranging from $30 to more than $300 per gallon, every drop that is wasted is expensive. As it turns out, this paint waste is almost totally due to the volume of paint in the pan – especially for custom colors where all of the leftover paint is waste.

    The PCM significantly reduces the paint volume in the pan by changing its function from a paint delivery device to a simple catch basin, whose sole purpose is to route the paint back to the pit/break drum. Because the volume in the pan is no longer a factor in coating process, it can be reduced from a “fill” to a “film."

    This reduces the system fill volume by gallons – often tens of gallons – and this means less paint waste at color change. If a coater has worked hard to reduce their pan volume to reach a system fill volume of just eight gallons, and can reduce that by 50% - to just four gallons with the PCM (which is common). Even at $100 per gallon, this represents a savings of $400 on that color change alone – just in paint savings – a reduction of 50%.

    Solvent Consumption

    Solvent is a necessary evil when changing colors in coating systems. It is required to clean up the coater to eliminate cross-contamination and problems with off-color. It seems evident that solvent use is driven by the paint volume in the delivery system. More paint to clean up means more solvent require to perform that cleaning.

    But the PCM greatly reduces that paint volume. Furthermore, as a catch-basin only, the pan can be redesigned to make it easier to squeegee out, reducing the amount of solvent used to clean it. In fact, many coaters who use the PCM have discovered that, after they clean up the rolls, they can clean the surfaces with a solvent-soaked sponge. This reduces the solvents used from 3–5 gallons to 2–3 gallons, again a reduction approaching 50%.

    Time and Labor Consumption

    These two go hand-in-hand. The labor required to perform a color change is directly related to the time required to do that color change. Less paint and solvent to clean up means less time required to do so.

    The change in function of the pan, from paint delivery to catch-basin makes a difference here, too. There is no need to wait for the pan to fill to begin painting – and because there is almost no paint in the pan, it takes less time to drain at color change.

    This means shorter color changes – often by as much as 30% – and shorter color changes mean more production time available to produce salable product.

    Lots of Color Changes = Lot of Savings

    As the market demands smaller, more frequent runs, the number of color changes a coater does every day continues to increase. With the PCM, the cost of a color change can be reduced by 30-50% or even more. With 20 color changes or more in a day being common, an average savings of just $400 per color change amounts to $8,000/day reduction in operating cost.

    This is a tangible cost reduction that can dramatically reduce your cost-per-job making it easier to get, and keep, your business in very competitive industrial coating and professional paint and coating marketplaces.

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

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    Topics: paint and coating, PCM

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