Automotive finishing is set for incredible growth. According to a report from Research and Markets, from $8.82 billion in 2015, the global industry is projected to hit $12.54 billion by 2022!
This growth is being driven by expanding markets overseas — especially in China — as well as strict environmental regulations at home and in Europe that are expected to increase the demand for waterborne, UV cure, and powder coatings.
What does this mean for automotive finishers?
What does this mean for you as an automotive finisher? In a word: “opportunity.” But only if you can keep up with the higher quality standards that will invariably accompany the increase in demand.
As a market grows, customers expect more from their suppliers, so automotive painters will have to find ways to ensure that their finishes are free of blemishes, defects, and imperfections.
That’s certainly a tall order, especially considering that, even today, some of the top automotive manufacturers struggle to control issues such as orange peel (as shown in this video).
But, fortunately, it’s not impossible.
How can automotive finishers keep up with rising quality demands?
One solution can be found in paint temperature control. Saint Clair Systems has demonstrated that there is a direct and measurable correlation between paint temperature and surface finish quality. In fact, paint temperature can be used as a tool to avoid surface imperfections on a finished part.
These conclusions were confirmed in a series of lab experiments performed in partnership with Carlisle Fluid Technologies, a global leader in surface finishing equipment with hundreds of years of experience in the industry across its brands (which include Binks and DeVilbiss, two companies started by the acknowledged inventors of paint spraying technology), and BYK-Gardner, a global leader in finish quality measurement, whose “Wavescan” is the “Gold Standard” for measurement of orange peel. In this Design-of-experiments, panels were sprayed at different temperatures across a range of finishing variables.
So what’s the point?
Put simply, one way to keep up with the rising demand the finishing industry will see over the next roughly four years is maintaining rigorous process control. And this study shows the importance of paint temperature as one of those critical variables. Automotive finishers need to identify the ideal application temperature for each of their paints, and then they need to maintain that temperature as part of their process.
This is where a comprehensive paint temperature control system is important. You can do everything possible to control your process variables, including robotic applicators and controlled booths, but unless you’re controlling your paint temperature, you’re still going to see intermittent finish quality issues. It’s a science all its own. Well-designed paint temperature control systems use a variety of technologies to manage temperature at the most critical point in your process – the point of application.
This is a key way to ensure you get your slice of that $12.54-billion-dollar pie!
If you’d like more information on custom paint temperature control systems designed specifically for your application, contact Saint Clair Systems.