“The coil coating marketplace has changed significantly. Extreme economic pressures have resulted in a great deal of consolidation within the industry, and some coaters have failed entirely. Those that remain live in a significantly different competitive environment...”
Though the applications for pre-painted metal are growing, there remains an excess capacity in the marketplace. This means that margins are compressed and coaters must drive to improve their competitiveness by improving operations and reducing costs wherever possible. This can be a challening objective when trying to comply with all the necessary regulations, those designed to keep a complex applicaiton like a coil coater, safe.
In many areas, however, these conflicting objectives can be managed through intelligent, modern process measurement and control. And one of the highest impact opportunities lies in measuring and controlling the interaction between solvent and energy usage throughout the coating line.
Measuring LFL’s provides both the feedback and the control necessary to minimize make-up air requirements. We have already seen that, on its own, this technology can reduce makeup air requirements by upwards of 75%. But even with this control, the volume of makeup air required is totally dependent on the volume of solvent released into the oven.
Using temperature control to minimize the volume of solvent in the paint when it is applied, in turn, reduces the volume of solvents released in the oven and therefore allows the LFL control system to further reduce the makeup air required. This synergy of technologies results in the most stable oven operation possible, combining the lowest possible curing cost, the highest possible safety margin and the highest possible throughput rate. The cost savings accrue from a minimization of reducing solvents and heating requirements, the substitution of natural gas for solvent as a heating fuel, and the increase in line capacity. This is further enhanced by a minimization of regulatory efforts while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact of the coating operation.
Combined, these technologies can easily shift your bottom line performance upward by hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars annually.
To find our more about how you can reduce costs and improve production in your coil coating application read our Best in Class Monitoring article.