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What’s important to your customers customers?

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Apr 2, 2020 1:53:08 PM

So much of our online content, (blogs, articles, videos, etc.), is geared around productivity improvements, quality defects and other “cost” related elements of manufacturing. All good stuff, but maybe a little blind to the essential goal of growing your business. Whether it’s expanding business with your current customers or acquiring new customers, much of what we talk about can help.

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Topics: paint and coating, Industrial finishing, automotive painting, paint surface finish, automotive paint finishing, automotive finishing

Your Product Finishing Process – An Asset or a Liability?

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Mar 16, 2020 6:15:00 AM

Asset or Liability?
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Topics: Industrial finishing, industrial painting, automotive paint finishing, automotive finishing

The Importance of Appearance and Rising Standards

Posted by Mark Portelli

Feb 27, 2020 3:59:06 PM

We had an interesting thing happen a couple of years ago. A major Tier 1 Automotive Supplier, (we’ll refer to as T1), contacted us to see if we could help. Their customer, a top selling luxury car manufacturer, was raising the specifications on their paint finish and T1 was being asked to match. T1 told us that they could meet the new specifications but not consistently. They were hoping we could help. Fortunately, we had a champion at the T1 plant that was familiar with us and with work we had done in other finishing operations.

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Topics: automotive painting, robotic painting, paint temperature control, paint surface finish, automotive paint finishing

How Much Does Your Material Change During Your Dispense Process?

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Jan 29, 2020 9:37:00 AM

Before I get into how much your material may change during your dispense process, let me provide a quick summary of why it matters. As your plant temperature changes, your material temperature often changes. When material temperature changes, the viscosity changes. When viscosity changes, the end result of your dispense changes – and nothing good happens when your finished product varies. It causes rework, scrap, customer rejects and in some cases, early product failure. In this blog, we’re going to address the effects of material temperature only. There may be other factors affecting your material but they’re not going to be addressed here.

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Topics: Point of Application, automotive, coating, automotive painting, temperature control systems, robotic painting, paint temperature control, automotive paint finishing, automotive finishing

Where Do You Control Material Temperature?

Posted by Mark Portelli

Jan 15, 2020 12:45:00 PM

We are fortunate to get the opportunity to tour many manufacturing plants and review a large variety of dispensing processes. One thing that really stands out is that most companies do a good job dispensing. Whether it’s a manual dispensing operation with skilled and experienced operators or an automated dispense with highly repeatable motions, in general, the companies we see are already doing a good job.
When we’re out there, we often hear that either the booth or the plant are already temperature controlled. Often, this is said as if it eliminates the requirement for material temperature control. While definitely an improvement over no control, simply controlling the temperature of your booth and your plant, may not be enough to accomplish your quality and cost objectives.

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Topics: Fluid dispensing systems, automotive painting, industrial painting, paint temperature control, automotive paint finishing, automotive finishing

Are Batch-to-Batch Paint Variations Self-Inflicted?

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Dec 11, 2019 11:04:00 AM

At an event recently, we struck up a conversation with an Account Manager at one of the major paint suppliers. During our conversation we discussed the batch-to-batch variation of the paints they supply. He said what we often hear from paint suppliers, “Our paints don’t vary much from batch to batch.” When we asked why their customers often have a different perception he said, “Most of the variations that they see are self-inflicted.” That prompted us to request a more in-depth conversation so we could better understand how end users may be unknowingly creating their own batch variations. We thought his insights were helpful, so we decided to share a summary of them here.

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Topics: painting, automotive painting, industrial painting, temperature control systems, Paint Temperature Control Series, robotic painting, paint temperature control, paint surface finish, automotive paint finishing

How Big is Big? (or, “I Need How Much Space for That?!?”)

Posted by Mike Bonner

Jul 23, 2019 9:37:00 AM

I recently received an e-mail from BV Thermal Systems, a supplier of chillers, that caught my eye.  It opened with a statement that is all too familiar in our world of temperature control:

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Topics: paint and coating, Industrial finishing, coating aluminum, Coating Technology, fluid process control, coating, temperature control systems, automotive paint finishing, future technologies

Why Does My Temperature Change Between My Circ System and the Point of Application?

Posted by Mike Bonner

Jul 16, 2019 11:21:00 AM

The modern paint shop is a maze of pipes and tubes carrying paint all over the place!  Some of these circulation systems even have temperature control systems designed to make sure that the paint temperature is controlled as it is circulated.  So why is paint temperature still such an issue?

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Topics: Point of Application, Industrial finishing, automotive painting, robotic painting, paint temperature control, paint surface finish, automotive paint finishing, automotive finishing

The State of Industrial Robotic Painting in 2018

Posted by Mike Bonner

Oct 29, 2018 4:12:25 PM

The robotic industry is growing by leaps and bounds. According to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), 2017 was another record-breaking year. Last year, shipments were up 9 percent over the previous year. It was the seventh straight year North American robot shipments increased.

This year forecasts to be similar, continuing that upward trend.

The industrial robotic painting sector is no different. The same factors that are driving growth in the overall robotics market are driving growth in the industrial robotic painting segment.

For good reason.

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Topics: Viscosity, automotive painting, Paint Temperature Control Series, paint temperature control, automotive paint finishing

Automotive Paint Technologies on the Horizon

Posted by Mike Bonner

Jan 7, 2018 1:03:00 PM

Exciting things are coming in the near future in the field of automotive paint.  Over the next few years, automotive paint finishers will be able to offer truly stunning new paint technologies that will greatly improve both the appearance and the function of their vehicles.


What do consumers have to look forward to?

Super-reflective paint

At the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2015, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab made painting history.  They presented a new glass-based paint (made of silica and potassium silicate) which, rather than absorbing the sun’s rays like most paints do, reflects them.  This environmentally-friendly paint will keep cars cool, even in blistering summer heat.  And, it’s available now on select models.

Self-cleaning paint

How would you like to never have to wash your car again?  In 2016, Nissan announced that it had developed a super-hydrophobic self-cleaning car paint, the result of prototype experiments conducted in 2014.  Similar to Rustoleum’s “Never Wet” product, nanoscopic peaks in the surface of this paint make it difficult for water, dirt, oil, and other materials to adhere, so they simply slide off instead. As a result, the car gets less dirty than a vehicle without the paint, as demonstrated in this video.

Self-healing paint

Never having to wash your car again is one thing, but what if you didn’t have to worry about scratches?  Nissan has also experimented with a self-healing paint that repairs scratches in its surface – much as your skin does – only faster!  It’s formulated using a material called chitosan, derived from the chitin in the shells of crabs and lobsters.  When the surface gets scratched, the chitosan in the paint, activated by the sun, stitches together the damage via synthetic chains created in conjunction with other compounds in the paint, healing itself in less than an hour!  This technology is still being perfected, so you’ll have to stay on the lookout for run-away shopping carts in the parking lot for a while longer.

Heat-sensitive color-changing paint

Heat-sensitive color-changing paint, or thermochromic paint, changes color as a function of temperature. Below the threshold temperature, the paint appears as one solid color, but when it surpasses that temperature, it turns transparent, showing whatever colors or images have been painted underneath. This can result in some very interesting effects, as demonstrated in this video.  Like self-healing and self-cleaning technologies, thermochromic paints are not yet available on the mass market.

How will these new paints affect automotive finishers?

While exciting, these new technologies will further complicate the automotive finishing process.  This will make process control even more critical than it is today to ensure the desired results.

Saint Clair Systems has tested the relationship between paint temperature and finish quality in the field, and in the lab, and the resulting data shows that paint temperature is a significant factor when it comes to consistent and repeatable surface finish quality.  So if you’re a finisher contemplating one of these new technologies, or just looking to improve your results with your current technology, contact us to discuss how adding paint temperature to your list of controlled variables can create better outcomes.

If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to paint temperature control, or you’d like advice regarding your particular application, contact Saint Clair Systems directly.

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Topics: Viscosity, automotive painting, Paint Temperature Control Series, paint temperature control, automotive paint finishing, future technologies

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