Nick's Niche: Back to the future—A story about quick color change
I thought now would be an opportune time to revisit a topic I and George Trigg first wrote about in this magazine in 1990 and again in 1995. Back then, we discussed color-change economics and methods based on the available technology at the time. Back then, it was all about having duplicate equipment to shorten color-change time. We even described systems that used multiple, sometimes color-dedicated, booths and application equipment in which color change was simply accomplished by push button when you turned one system on and the other off.
Funny thing was the very first powder spray applications systems didn’t use reclaim systems at all. They simply sprayed in a single collection system designed to separate the powder from the containment airstream and return the air back to the plant. Of course, all colors and powder types were mixed together in this simple device that occasionally had to be cleaned and the collected powder tossed out. The simplicity of this system and short color change time was tough to match, but once someone decided to use the overspray powder as reclaim and re-spray it to reduce costs things got complicated.