We talk a lot about the new reality for coil coaters. Their customers are demanding smaller lot sizes and more frequent shipments. Often they are asking for delivery of just a portion of a coil!
This has driven coil coating runtimes down proportionately. The average coating system run is now less than one hour. In turn, this translates into 1–2 color changes per hour. And if you do the math on that, it extends out to more than 30 color changes per day!
What’s in a Color Change?
In our article in the September/October issue of Coil World magazine titled, “Minimizing Cleaning Costs in Modern Coil Coating Operations," we offered the results of an industrial engineering study on three of the typical color change procedures without our Profile Correction Module (PCM).
When we broke down the steps and totaled up the time required for each of them, we determined that the three different methods required between 6.5–7.25 minutes of actual work time.
But this is color change time only and does not include any QC checks that might be required. And at 20–30 minutes each, these can add up in a hurry – and severely limit how many jobs you can run in a day.
The PCM to the Rescue!
In our recent blog, "Reduce Color Change Costs up to 50% in Coil Coating Systems," we demonstrated how implementing the PCM can reduce color change time by as much as 30% by:
- Reducing pan drain time
- Reducing pan clean-up time
- Reducing system fill time
This amounts to two minutes per color change! Over the course of a day – and 30 color changes – this picks up an extra hour of production time! These time savings are realized from the reduction in pan volume resulting from moving the pan into a catch-basin configuration.
Setups are Key
We can all agree that gaining an hour a day is a significant improvement. But we need to look at trials from the same perspective. Even if we only have to do trials on 20% of our runs on average – and only one trial per run – this still amounts to six trials/day. At 20–30 minutes per trial, we are looking at 2–3 hours per day, or more, dedicated to running QC trials.
One of the keys to the success of the PCM is that it meters the paint to the pickup roll. In summary, its unique shape and position forms a gap across the face of the pickup roll that meters paint to the applicator roll as needed. This is explained in greater detail in our webinar, “The Profile Correction Module – A New Approach to Coil Coating," if you would like to gain a better understanding.
The bottom line is that this metering reduces edge-to-edge variations, which provides a more even film build across the width of the strip. This improves the accuracy and reliability of wet-film measurements when predicting dry film results and enables us to create greater consistency from coater set-up to set-up, especially for repeat jobs. This can easily cut our trails in half and save us anywhere from 1-1.5 hours per day.
Saving Hours Every Day
When we combine a 30% reduction in color change time with a 50% reduction in QC trials, it can easily translate into a gain of 2 hours of production time, or more, every day!
What could you do with an extra 2 hours of production time every day?
Download our free Coil World Article to learn more about the module and how it can help your business.