Using technology to monitor powder coating thickness
The importance of process control in the powder coating industry is critical. Life expectancies for parts constantly increase, and the selection criteria large manufacturers use when selecting a job shop is likely based on the uniformity of applied powder coating thickness and adherence to the tolerances set forth in the specifications. In today’s economic climate, it has never been more important for a company to differentiate based on quality. The economy to a great extent necessitates process improvement initiatives that include an understanding of where and how material costs can be reduced.
In his article “Optimizing Powder Coating Usage by Monitoring Film Thickness Consistency,” William E. Thompson provides specific examples of how verifying film thickness can help companies achieve significant cost savings by using a coating thickness gauge. “By employing such a program, a typical custom coater with an average film thickness of 3.0 mils can reduce film thickness to 2.5 mils, decreasing powder usage by 16.7%. If this company currently purchases 25,000 pounds of powder per year at $3.25 per pound, the savings would equal $13,568.75 based on their annual powder purchases of $81,250.00. In this scenario each tenth of a mil of reduction of film thickness will save more than $2,700.00 annually.”