KPI-JCI Embraces Innovative
As part of its mission to be eco-friendly whenever possible, Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI) is taking a step in the right direction by implementing a sustainable state-of-the-art pretreatment and coating process on certain equipment parts that maximizes performance while minimizing the impact on the environment.
Before the parts utilizing the new process are ever painted, the metal is first cleaned (pretreated), thereby helping the coating stick to the metal and slowing corrosion if the paint gets damaged during use. The new pretreatment process uses Zirconization™, a patented water-based, low-temperature pretreatment technology based on highly corrosion-resistant materials that are free of solvents, phosphates and heavy metals.
KPI-JCI didn’t stop with simply improving the pretreatment process, according to Bruce Dunham, marketing/technical manager for DuBois Chemicals Surface Finishing Sector. The company also installed a state-of-the-art coating system capable of applying and curing a powder coating versus a liquid paint. This coating system not only enhances the appearance of the equipment, but also protects it from the elements that cause corrosion, thus maximizing the product’s useful life.
“If you have ever used a can of spray paint, you are familiar with the strong solvent odor,” Mr. Dunham said. “When used on an industrial level, solvent-based liquid paints can add cost associated with environmental and health and safety monitoring and reporting. KPI-JCI has mitigated these issues by specifying a powder coating that provides a durable, corrosion-resistant coating to protect its customer’s investment.”
The pretreatment and coating process takes approximately 2.5 hours, which is a significantly shorter turn-around period than when using liquid paint, according to Mark Folkers, production manager at KPI-JCI. To begin the process, parts are hung on a line and passed through a five-station wash before a part can enter the powder paint booth. Once a part is painted, it is passed in front of an 850°F infrared heater for one minute then enters a 350°F oven for 50 minutes before entering the cool-off tunnel. Once the part is cooled and fully-cured, it is ready to be sent to assembly.
Lisa Carson, marketing manager for KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, said the company will continue to explore other green technologies that are good not only for the environment, but the customer’s bottom line.
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