Manufacturers have long benefitted from the speed, precision, and non-polluting aspects of using coil lines to make prepainted metal panels. However, some manufacturers are unaware that coil lines can perform a variety of functions on metal coils, from reclamation to pretreatment to simply giving them a better-looking finish. Here are four ways manufacturers benefit from using coil lines as an effective first-step operation beyond prepainting.
Coil coating offers easier and more effective stamping
When it comes to stamping metal parts, there are a number of issues with the use of lubes and oil. Perhaps the biggest issue is safety. During application, oil often drips onto the floor, which can be dangerous for employees walking or operating a forklift. In some cases in the past, using oil actually hampered the manufacturer’s productivity. For example, companies fabricating parts would often apply so much oil that they finally had to stop using millions of dollars’ worth of robotic equipment because the steel had become too slick to grasp. By switching to a dry film lubricant, or DFL, these companies were able to increase productivity and keep plants clean.
Coil lines provide a range of prepriming options
Coil coaters offer a variety of options for manufacturers that post-paint products, too. When the manufacturer purchases a preprimed material that has been cleaned, treated, and primed on a coil line, even parts that require post painting can use the coil-coating process to eliminate the first step of the painting process. Outsourcing the cleaning, treating, and corresponding waste treatment associated with those operations makes for sound financial and environmental decisions. A good primer applied on a coil line can also provide temporary protection from corrosion and debris when steel products are stored in warehouses before they are ready for post painting.
In addition, coil lines can also apply primers suitable for welding. These primers are conductive and can be used whenever resistance welding is needed to join metals. Weldable primers also protect products from rust. Trying to weld mill-finished products with their corresponding mill oils can cause a smoke hazard. Therefore, using a coil line to apply a weldable primer without oil not only delivers a quality product, it also leads to a much safer work environment.
Coil coating offers environmental and regulatory benefits
Pretreated metal from a coil line helps keep a shop floor clean and safe. Another benefit of using coil lines is that they help customers keep up with the growing number of environmental regulations. The coil-coating process itself is considered the most environmentally responsible way to apply a pretreatment to steel and aluminum substrates. Supplying coil-applied pretreatment also ensures that workers won’t be exposed to chemicals or solvents and allows for any environmental issues to be outsourced, controlled, and even eliminated.
Coil lines use a highly efficient closed-loop process, which means the coating line includes a thermal oxidizer that burns the harmful volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and returns the heat energy created during the thermal oxidation process back into the manufacturing facility. This saves energy and eliminates pollutants. Coil-coating lines achieve at least a 98 percent rate for capture and destruction efficiency, which eliminates toxic air pollutants that would otherwise be released into the air. Coil lines reduce the volume of VOCs released to the atmosphere through material substitution, using water-based or high-solids coatings, and minimize flue gas emissions by maximizing thermal efficiencies and minimizing the volume of air sent to the control device. Coil lines also reduce energy consumption by having a workable system in place to minimize the quantity of fresh air being used in the curing ovens and thermal oxidizer.
Coil line companies are subject to the highest EPA standards and meet or exceed these standards, which become more stringent every year.
Coil coating provides precision and efficiency
The best electrostatic paint-spraying system fails to deliver a coating as consistent and efficient as a coil line. Coil lines are designed for speed and efficiency, with a transfer efficiency of nearly 100% and no overspray, waste, or release of chemicals into the atmosphere. Coil lines run metal coils in a continuous process, which provides consistency from head to tail and edge to edge.
Whether a manufacturer is looking for a cleaner and safer plant floor, a more precise pretreatment, or an easier way to abide by the latest environmental regulations, using a coil line can greatly improve a company’s productivity, lower costs in the long run, and reduce the amount of inventory in warehouses.