POWDER COATING: VACUUMING INSTEAD OF MASKING

The task is familiar to every powder coater: before the coating process, threads and blind holes have to be masked manually with manual labor.

There's a simpler way: a manufacturer of agricultural machinery has tested an alternative and adopted it into practical use.

How can we prevent powder residue from remaining in screw holes and other drill holes and complicate subsequent assembly procedures? Typically, these holes are closed or masked with plugs before coating. After coating, the masks have to be removed.

INDUSTRIAL VACUUMS AS A SOLUTION

At the Hude-Altmoorhausen plant of the agricultural machinery manufacturer Amazonen-Werke, the people responsible for powder application have developed a time-saving alternative. They now dispense with the plugs and clean the drilled holes that have been coated with powder paint after the painting process and before baking.

A Ruwac vacuum was acquired for this task. After coating, an employee now uses the vacuum to clean the holes while the freshly coated components are slowly transported through the conveyor system of the coating machine. This process can therefore be integrated well into the flow production.

The operator of the vacuum has several special nozzles available for his work, which fit exactly into the respective holes and were manufactured or selected for this application. For a typical component, for example, eight holes have to be cleaned, for which three different nozzles are needed.

This solution has proven itself to be excellent in practical use from Amazone's perspective. It is not yet a technical trend, but initially an individual development. But it has the potential to become a technical trend – if other users take it as an example and implement the principle of “vacuuming instead of masking” in practice as well.