Powder Coating is a complex process. These 10 skills are essential for every powder coater. Not having them could mean waste, decreased efficiency, and more time and costs for employers.
1. Basic techniques for Powder Coat spraying
It goes without saying that every powder coater should have a solid grasp of the basics. So before moving on to more difficult techniques, make sure you understand how distance, angle and speed need to be adjusted for painting each part.
2. Identify & Prevent Coating Defects
Powder coaters should understand proper thickness (mil build) and will be able to avoid common coating defects like Orange Peel, Fisheye and Scaling. It takes training to understand how to prepare, paint, and cure each part based on a range of variables that could result in defects. Knowing how to identify and prevent potential defects will save your company time and money.
3. Maximize Transfer Efficiency
Skilled powder coaters will have a high rate of first-pass transfer efficiency, applying paint with little to no waste. Certainly, collection and reconditioning of overspray can be used for subsequent passes, but additional steps come with a price. Maximize efficiency in the process by avoiding wasted material, labor and time.
4. Match Existing Finishes
When painting next to a finished product, you should be able to use blending techniques to match the color and mil build of the existing part.
5. Maximize Conveyor Throughput
Racking maximizes profitability by increasing line speed and density and decreasing paint waste. Avoid daisy-chaining! Experienced powder coaters will choose the most efficient rack design, eliminate manual handling of racks when possible, and maximize throughput on their conveyor.
6. Understand the Faraday Effect
The Faraday Effect creates an invisible electrical cage that prevents charged powder particles from reaching tight corners on parts with complex designs. Knowing how to fully coat these sections will prevent premature corrosion and save your company time on multiple passes and manual touch-ups.
7. Master Abrasive Blasting
Every powder coater should know how to choose the right media for abrasive blasting depending on the job to be done. He should be able to successfully remove paint and debris for powder coating.
8. Choose the Right Spray Gun
Airless, Air Assisted Airless or HVLP? It depends on many variables, like fluid viscosity, production requirements, finished quality requirements, and length and diversity of use. Make sure you’re confident in which to use.
9. Proper Curing Techniques
A powder coater should know how to create the right cure schedule based on parts and paint. If the polymer chains don’t link correctly in baking, your part will be compromised. This results in cracking, discoloration, brittleness, and premature corrosion.
10. Set-up and Operate Equipment
No matter the environment or line set-up, an experienced powder coater will understand how to set up his equipment, use it properly, clean and take care of it for long-term use.
SimSpray is a Virtual Reality Powder Coating training system, complete with equipment, software and curriculum to help product finishers master all 10 essential skills. Click here to learn more about SimSpray, or contact us for more information.