Heraeus Assists Metsa to Improve Output, Quality and Reduce Operating Costs

Heraeus Assists Metsa to Improve Output, Quality and Reduce Operating Costs

LPG Cylinder Powder Coating Case Study

“What is really important to METSA is to have the peace of mind that we build stellar products. Great attention to detail is given in selecting the best materials and equipment to ensure the best quality and design for each of our tanks. Heraeus was an instrumental partner in setting up our revolutionary and automated paint line. We look forward to working with them on other projects.”

The CEO of Metsa, Humberto Garza

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

LPG Cylinder Powder Coating Case Study. Propane tank manufacturer Metsa, is a family-owned and operated propane tank manufacturing company. For more than 50 years, they have been involved in the sale and distribution of propane tanks, so Heraeus completely understands the high level of quality and specifications required on every pressure vessel. Increased Sales, Insufficient Space and the need for Quality Improvements Due to US expansion, the company was running out of room in the powder coating department at a time when sales were increasing. The existing process required hand applied powder coatings that were cured using a propane powered, batch convection oven system. Unfortunately, this oven was only partially curing the larger tanks due to uneven air flow which caused large temperature differentials from top to bottom of the tanks. The problem occurred especially around the heavier collars and angular support feet. Potentially, this could lead to quality issues in shipments, poor resistance to sunlight and even color variances. With the increased level of business and competition, shorter lead times were being demanded by distributors along with a marked increase in output and overall quality improvements of the cured coating.

Change from Batch to In-Line Powder Coating

The decision was made to change the batch process into an in-line system. Space was at a premium, and with a required line speed of .75 – 1 m/min, depending on product size, the oven length was a major factor in the decision making process. Testing was initiated at the Heraeus plant in Buford GA. and it was quickly determined from testing of full scale 115 kg tanks, that a dwell time of 15 mins would be required for the catalytic IR oven and small tanks would cure in 10 mins. A 10m IR oven was designed to meet the line speed requirement and an overhead conveyor was installed. The existing powder booth was re-configured to fit the in-line system.

Process Benefits of the new line

The use and control of the 10 zones along the length of the oven permitted precise temperature control from the bottom to the top of the oven as well as from entrance to exit. This exceptional level of zone control allows extra intensity to be applied at the bottom of the tanks where the extra angular metal feet are located. This completely eliminated the under cured and over baked areas Due to the fact that the longwave IR is emitted in a half hemisphere – (see diagram), there are many waves of IR radiating from the panel from the multitude of catalytic reaction sites. The ray trace shows the radiation from a group of heaters (see diagram), ensures an even distribution of radiation that encapsulates the entire tank. Additional benefits that ensured an 18 month return on investment. Besides achieving an evenly, well cured powder coating, there were a number of additional benefits that have been realized since production started:

  • By switching to Natural Gas from Propane, the monthly operating costs dropped from $4,000 to $1,000.
  • Faster cycle times over the batch process reduced not only operating costs but production volume has increased with no increase in labor overheads.
  • Maintenance costs were substantially reduced – there was a constant maintenance factor on the old burner system and cleaning the batch oven to stop powder contamination from one batch to the next.
  • Faster cool down time – because IR heats the coating, the entire tank does not have to reach the cure temperature. This allows for reduced dwell time in the IR oven and ensures that the tanks cool much more quickly than the old process.
  • With the faster cool down, external fittings could be added to the tank while it was still on the production line. Previously the tanks were moved outside as they took so long to cool down.
  • Reject rates have been significantly reduced, which frees up the blasting/cleaning system from processing the quality rejects.

All of these gains permitted a ROI of less than 18 months on the oven and line upgrade costs.

Powder Coated Timber in the Construction Industry

​Powder Coated Timber in the Construction Industry

Powder Coated Timber in the Construction Industry
Powder Coated Timber Case Study

“Having the world leading industrial IR process heating guys on board from the outset was an inspired choice on our part. Their in-depth knowledge and experience was key in enabling the Climate Coating Ltd concept to become a reality”

Kyle True (MD Climate Coating Ltd [climatesurfaces.com])


“Having the world leading industrial IR process heating guys on board from the outset was an inspired choice on our part. Their in-depth knowledge and experience was key in enabling the Climate Coating Ltd concept to become a reality” Kyle True (MD Climate Coating Ltd [climatesurfaces.com])
https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

How Gas Catalytic IR technology from Heraeus has enabled a unique breakthrough in the construction industry

Powder Coated Timber Case Study. It is often said that brilliant ideas are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Jeff Stewart, co-founder of Climate Coating Ltd, found his 1% whilst watching a large wooden wall being painted single handed by a weary decorator. If it were a steel section wall, Jeff would have powder coated it, so why not try powder coating timber to see if it worked? Then the 99% perspiration kicked in and Jeff joined up with Kyle True from the timber industry, and the rest, together with ground breaking technology from Heraeus (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) is history.

Substrate Heat ​Sensitivity

One of the primary problems with powder coating a timber substrate is its heat sensitivity. The time required to cure powder in a conventional hot air oven (20 – 30 minutes) would cause significant damage to the timber. The creative solution was to use Gas Catalytic IR. The IR waves are easily absorbed by the powder which will now cure (7 – 10 minutes), without overheating the substrate. The result is a patented process that is having a big impact in the construction industry. As the world population continues to increase, the need for sustainable, low waste, energy efficient commercial and residential buildings has become a necessity. The founders of Climate Coating Ltd. in New Zealand have pioneered and patented innovative methods of creating powder coated surfaces on plywood, MDF and plasterboard. The majority of these products can be fitted without any further finishing requirements and are available pre-cut to size and in many colors. They include:

  • Pre-coated plasterboard for walls and ceilings
  • Decorative MDF board for commercial fit-out
  • Moisture resistant exterior grade plywood
  • Pre-primed exterior finishes that do not need to be finished for up to 3 months

​So how do Climate Coating Ltd.’s products contribute to the drive for sustainability? The answer is multi layered and is evidenced not just by the product itself and its place in the market, but also by the innovative, energy efficient method of manufacture.


Product Advantages

The advantages of pre-finished products themselves are self-evident. By creating pre-finished and pre-sized materials that are commonly found in every type of construction, the reduced need for wet trades (brick laying, plastering and painting) has a significant impact on building lead time. Delays due to weather, material supply and waste are all but eliminated. Consider the number of half used tins of paint and wasted bags of plaster that are commonly seen on building sites! The products are also ideal for the pre-fabricated building industry.
Manufacturing Advantages

Dig down deeper, and further very significant advantages can be discovered. As Climate Coating Ltd pre-finish the board materials in a purpose built factory, the efficiencies of having a precisely controlled process means that waste is virtually eliminated and a consistent level of quality control is achieved which far surpasses that which can be accomplished “on site”. One of the vital elements of the production system is the use of Gas Catalytic IR ovens to efficiently cure the applied powder on the chosen substrate. The system, designed in conjunction with world leaders Heraeus (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) has proven to be a wise choice. The systems produced by Heraeus have proven to be the most controllable, energy efficient powder coat curing solutions available today. The powder curing system details are as follows:

  • Two coat system
  • 2 PLC controlled Gas Catalytic ovens (2 section preheat and 5 section main cure)
  • 3000m2 per hour output
  • Space saving design has small footprint
  • Programmable to control the heat output horizontally and vertically through the oven
  • Perfect cure obtained by using only the exact amount of required Infra-Red.

Key Product Points

  • Sustainable, no VOC’s produced in manufacture
  • Extremely high level of quality control that is unachievable “on site”
  • On site wet trades eliminated
  • Ideal for pre-fabricated buildings

Key Gas Catalytic IR powder curing points

  • Measurable and consistent process
  • Highly controllable (PLC) and adaptable
  • High quality finish
  • Energy efficient process
  • Small footprint
How Gas Catalytic IR technology from Heraeus has enabled a unique breakthrough in the construction industry

Powder Coated Timber It is often said that brilliant ideas are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Jeff Stewart, co-founder of Climate Coating Ltd, found his 1% whilst watching a large wooden wall being painted single handed by a weary decorator. If it were a steel section wall, Jeff would have powder coated it, so why not try powder coating timber to see if it worked? Then the 99% perspiration kicked in and Jeff joined up with Kyle True from the timber industry, and the rest, together with ground breaking technology from Heraeus (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) is history. One of the primary problems with powder coating a timber substrate is its heat sensitivity. The time required to cure powder in a conventional hot air oven (20 – 30 minutes) would cause significant damage to the timber. The creative solution was to use Gas Catalytic IR. The IR waves are easily absorbed by the powder which will now cure (7 – 10 minutes), without overheating the substrate. The result is a patented process that is having a big impact in the construction industry. As the world population continues to increase, the need for sustainable, low waste, energy efficient commercial and residential buildings has become a necessity. The founders of Climate Coating Ltd. in New Zealand have pioneered and patented innovative methods of creating powder coated surfaces on plywood, MDF and plasterboard. The majority of these products can be fitted without any further finishing requirements and are available pre-cut to size and in many colours. They include:

Pre coated plasterboard for walls and ceilings
Decorative MDF board for commercial fit-out
Moisture resistant exterior grade plywood
Pre primed exterior finishes that do not need to be finished for up to 3 months

So how do Climate Coating Ltd.’s products contribute to the drive for sustainability? The answer is multi layered and is evidenced not just by the product itself and its place in the market, but also by the innovative, energy efficient method of manufacture.
Product Advantages

The advantages of pre-finished products themselves are self-evident. By creating pre-finished and pre-sized materials that are commonly found in every type of construction, the reduced need for wet trades (brick laying, plastering and painting) has a significant impact on building lead time. Delays due to weather, material supply and waste are all but eliminated. Consider the number of half used tins of paint and wasted bags of plaster that are commonly seen on building sites! The products are also ideal for the pre-fabricated building industry.
Manufacturing Advantages

Dig down deeper, and further very significant advantages can be discovered. As Climate Coating Ltd pre-finish the board materials in a purpose built factory, the efficiencies of having a precisely controlled process means that waste is virtually eliminated and a consistent level of quality control is achieved which far surpasses that which can be accomplished “on site”. One of the vital elements of the production system is the use of Gas Catalytic IR ovens to efficiently cure the applied powder on the chosen substrate. The system, designed in conjunction with world leaders Heraeus (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) has proven to be a wise choice. The systems produced by Heraeus have proven to be the most controllable, energy efficient powder coat curing solutions available today. The powder curing system details are as follows:

Two coat system
2 PLC controlled Gas Catalytic ovens (2 section preheat and 5 section main cure)
3000m2 per hour output
Space saving design has small footprint
Programmable to control the heat output horizontally and vertically through the oven
Perfect cure obtained by using only the exact amount of required Infra-Red.

What Climate Coating Ltd say about Heraeus:

Key Product Points

Sustainable, no VOC’s produced in manufacture
Extremely high level of quality control that is unachievable “on site”
On site wet trades eliminated
Ideal for pre-fabricated buildings

Key Gas Catalytic IR powder curing points

Measurable and consistent process
Highly controllable (PLC) and adaptable
High quality finish
Energy efficient process
Small footprint

Powder Coating Oven Makes Light Work

​Powder Coating Oven Makes Light Work

Light Fitting Manufacturer Powder Coating Oven Case Study

"The flexibility that the new Gas Catalytic Ovens has provided us with means that we can now de-gas our die castings as well as powder coat our main volume product. The move to continuous flow from batch
production has resulted in shorter lead times and reduced operating costs. The ability to react quickly to customer’s needs is transforming our business. Our costs have been significantly reduced whilst producing a high quality product. Everybody is a winner including the most important person, the customer!”

Bill Pritchett  - Owner of Lumetta

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

Custom Light Fixture Manufacturer Chooses Gas Catalytic IR

Light Fitting Manufacturer Powder Coating Oven Case Study. Lumetta, based in Warwick RI, manufactures custom designed light fittings for the hotel and restaurant industry. Previously, the powder coating of the steel and aluminum products was out-sourced. Although quality was good, damage in transportation and a weeks processing time meant that a different approach would be required if end user lead time was to be reduced.

Outsourcing of Powder Coating not the answer

Lumetta decided it was time to get their own Powder Coating Oven. The two oven solution suggested by Heraeus required a Gas Catalytic IR dry off (after washing) and a Gas Catalytic IR final cure
oven (after powder application) together with an overhead conveyor to allow continuous flow. The complete system takes up less than 3,000 sq ft and requires only two operators. Lumetta can now fabricate, powder coat and ship on the same day, if required. Faster inventory turns, lower costs and very happy customers are just a few of the advantages of adopting Gas Catalytic IR technology from Heraeus.

Gas Catalytic IR Powder Coating Oven Reduces Costs

​Cutting Edge Company Doubles Business

Saw Blade Manufacturer Powder Coating Oven Case Study

"A 30 ft Gas Catalytic IR Oven from Heraeus proved to be the answer. The system is capable of curing yellow, black, green, white and silver powders within a 4 minute cure cycle. An added requirement is the need to pass die cast products through the same oven to eliminate out gassing. A task which the new Gas Catalytic IR oven handles with ease."

Beth Zastawny (Owner of Die Cast Connections)

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

Powder Coating Oven for Saw Blades

Saw Blade Manufacturer Powder Coating Oven Case Study. Die Cast Connections of Chicopee MA, custom coats hundreds of thousands of hacksaw and reciprocating saw blades every week by using a powder coating oven. With business forecast to double, a move from a hand spray, batch oven type of production to a continuous, conveyor layout was required. Even though the coating on a cutting blade will wear off with use, the need for a good quality powder coated finish is essential to enable:

  • Screen printing of brand logo
  • Product presentation within retail packaging
  • Damage free transportation

​Heraeus yet again were able to provide the perfect space, energy and money saving solution with a Gas Catalytic IR Oven.

Die Cast Connections of Chicopee MA, custom coats hundreds of thousands of hacksaw and reciprocating saw blades every week by using a powder coating oven. With business forecast to double, a move from a hand spray, batch oven type of production to a continuous, conveyor layout was required. Even though the coating on a cutting blade will wear off with use, the need for a good quality powder coated finish is essential to enable:

Screen printing of brand logo
Product presentation within retail packaging
Damage free transportation
"A 30 ft Gas Catalytic IR Oven fro

Doughty Engineering Ltd. - Flexible Powder Coating System - Case Study

New Gas Catalytic Powder Coating Oven Improves Response Time

Powder Coating System Case Study

“Apart from the reduction in operating costs and the improvement in quality; the intangible benefits such as improved customer service and the ability to be more responsive will help us maintain existing and gain new customers. The new powder coating system has surpassed our expectations and made an immediate difference to our business"

Stephen Wright  - Director of Doughty Engineering Ltd

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

New Powder Coating System Improves Response Time

Powder Coating System Case Study. Doughty Engineering is the world leader in the design and manufacture of rigging, suspension and lifting equipment for the film, TV and theatre industry. Prior to installing a new powder coating system, the company outsourced all their powder coating to two subcontractors. Whilst they were generally happy with service that was offered; typical turnaround time was anything from 2 days to a week. However, it became  clear to Doughty Engineering that over the last 5 years,  customers were becoming more demanding. They were holding less stock and so expected suppliers to hold large stocks and offer short lead times. Maintaining large stocks was not the answer, especially when there are 100's of products. However, the converse was not an option either. If a customer called for a part and it was not in stock, they would simply phone up another supplier. This created the risk of losing hard won business to competitors.

So the ability to become much more flexible and responsive became important. The answer was to bring 95% of their powder coating "in-house". Working with systems house Junair (Spraybooths) Ltd,  Gema UK and Caldan conveyors, the optimum system was designed and implemented. For the oven, Heraeus Vulcan Gas Catalytic IR technology was chosen due to its superior energy efficiency, small footprint, and improved finish quality over conventional convection technology.

What Happened Next?

The system has now been running faultlessly since February 2014.

Key improvements  are:

  • 10% operating cost saving
  • Increased throughput
  • Considerably reduced  lead times
  • Three hours not unusual
  • Rush jobs in custom colours carried out "While You Wait"
  • Improved quality
  • Increased capacity
  • Customer retention maintained
  • Production easier to manage


Energy Efficient Powder Coating System - Case Study

Energy Efficient Powder Coating Oven

Energy Efficient Powder Coating System - Case Study

Energy Efficient Powder Coating System - Case Study

“It used to take 70 minutes to cure our parts with the old convection oven. With the new Heraeus Vulcan oven, it now takes only 12 minutes! We are very satisfied with its performance!"

Mr Weikert - Company Owner

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

Large Parts Curing in Record Time in Energy Efficient Powder Coating System

Working with our distributor in the Czech Republic, Surfin s.r.o, Heraeus Vulcan designed a new energy efficient powder coating system for Dikrt spol. s r.o. . The system is designed to cure powder on large agricultural parts, and the performance of the oven has exceeded expectation. Mr Weikert, the company's owner stated: "It used to take 70 minutes to cure our parts with the old convection oven. With the new Vulcan oven, it now takes only 12 minutes! We are very satisfied with its performance!"

How Did We Do It?

Working with our distributor in the Czech Republic, Jaroslav Blazek of Surfin s.r.o., the customer was able to see an existing Heraeus Vulcan system at another location and carry out part testing. Heraeus Vulcan then designed the powder coating oven to meet the customer's requirements using SolidWorks. Heraeus Vulcan then provided Surfin s.r.o with a package that included the sheet metal design, the Heraeus Vulcan infrared heaters and the controls. To see a video on how Heraeus Vulcan designs and builds ovens, please follow the link. The system was then easily constructed at the Surfin factory, with the sheet metal parts being produced locally from the SolidWorks files. The new energy efficient powder coating system was then installed and commissioned at the customer's site within a few days.

Advantages of a Energy Efficient Powder Coating System from Heraeus Vulcan

All Heraeus Vulcan energy efficient powder coating systems operate using the principles of gas catalytic infrared heating. This type of system has an energy to effective heat conversion ratio of 85%, compared to traditional convection oven which is only 5% - 7% efficient. In practical operation this results in curing  taking a third less time in a gas catalytic infrared oven than a gas fired convection oven. This translates into significantly reduced energy bills. The flameless nature of our systems means that there is no noxious emissions such as Nitric Oxide or Nitrogen Dioxide, so Heraeus Vulcan ovens are environmentally friendly. 

Wheel Refurbishment Case Study

New Wheel Refurbishment Powder Coating Oven Delivers!

wheel refurbishment powder coating oven case study

“The successful conversion has allowed Snider Fleet Solutions to stay ahead of growing demand. The line is currently operating around the clock and we have the capacity to exceed 10,000 wheels per month. The biggest advantage of the new system is our ability to continually move parts through our process. It works very well now.The benefits of using efficient Gas Catalytic IR ovens has saved us a ton of gas already! Our old convection oven was very inefficient.The gas savings alone since the conversion have completely paid for the new ovens within 18 months of installation.”

Dave Double - Plant Manager Snider Fleet Solutions

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

Wheel Refurbishment Powder Coating Oven

Snider Fleet Solutions in Greensboro, N.C. supplies tires, retreads and vehicle services to the transportation industry. The company operates a growing auto and truck wheel refurbishment service in Bluffton, Ind.

Until 3 years ago the company utilized a single convection oven that limited production to 3,000 wheels per month. They were also experiencing very high utility bills. Dave Double, Plant Manager at Snider Fleet Solutions needed a more flexible and cost effective solution. Dave carried out his research and concluded that Vulcan Catalytic Systems (now Heraeus Vulcan) was the best choice for revamping their systems.

So, the company installed a Vulcan (now Heraeus Vulcan) Gas Catalytic Infrared Powder Coating Oven to keep up with the growing demand for wheel refurbishment. They also adopted a new overhead track from Nikotrack, which incorporated staging areas to provide flexibility in the routing of parts through the system. This layout adopts a Lean Manufacturing approach, which ensures flexibility in batch sizes, to ensure that product is completed according the "pull" of the customer.

Overall, the new system has helped production to triple with the line currently running around the clock, powder coating 9,500 wheels per month, with the capacity to exceed 10,000 wheels per month. The full case study was published in Powder Coating Magazine.

Powder Coating Ovens - How To Choose

Powder Coating Ovens - How To Choose

https://catalyticovens.com/heraeus-assists-metsa-improve-output-quality-reduce-operating-costs

Powder Coating Choices

If your company is involved in powder coating products and parts, then you will either be subcontracting the work out, or will have your own in house powder coating oven. Alternatively, you may be thinking of moving from a liquid finish to a powder finish. Whatever your situation, the drive for cutting the cost of manufacturing is ever present, so this article will outline the various powder coating oven technologies available, to help you choose either a new system, or upgrade your existing facility.

Liquid or Powder Finish?


The move from liquid to powder is well established. The advantages of powder over liquid can be summarized as follows:

  • A powder coated finish is significantly tougher than a liquid finish.
  • Over spray losses for liquid finishes can be as much as 75%.
  • Around 80% of liquid finishes used in the USA are solvent based and present environmental issues.
  • Even aqueous based finishes still contain some solvents contained within the resin structure
  • The storage and transportation of liquid finishes requires the use of IBC’s (Intermediate Bulk Containers). These require special handling and storage techniques.
  • Overall, powder finishes represent a more cost effective way to getting a better finish.

Powder Coating Ovens - Available Technologies

Gas Fired Convection (batch or conveyor line)

Advantages

  • Least expensive capital cost
  • Suitable for complex geometry parts

Disadvantages

  • Inefficient
  • Expensive to run
  • Large floor space required
  • Due to long start up time, cannot be shut down during breaks in production
  • Produces noxious gases
  • High carbon footprint
  • Very large batch sizes required
  • Not particularly suited to heat sensitive substrates

Gas Radiant

Advantages

  • High heat intensity

Disadvantages

  • Expensive to run
  • Inefficient
  • Produces noxious gases
  • High carbon footprint
  • Not particularly suited to heat sensitive substrates

Gas Catalytic Infrared

Advantages

  • 50% less expensive to run
  • Short ROI (Return On Investment)
  • Improved quality and consistency of finish
  • No noxious gases produced
  • 50% smaller floor footprint
  • Highly controllable
  • Allows small batch sizes
  • Ideal for Lean Manufacturing
  • Proven on heat sensitive substrates

Disadvantages

  • Initial cost 50% higher than convection

Electric Infrared

Advantages

  • High heat intensity
  • Highly controllable


Disadvantages

  • Very high capital cost
  • Very high cost of running (4 x cost of gas per kW)

How To Choose?


Perhaps the most important factor to consider when purchasing a new powder coating oven, is the initial Return On Investment (ROI). Then, the long term cost of operation. Do your calculations carefully, talk to as many different operators of the different technologies as you can. It is vitally important to run trials of your products. Do not forget to factor in the ongoing "Total Cost of Quality". Lastly do not forget to consider the overall reduction in your Carbon Footprint.