Original Date: 04/26/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Powder Coating
United Defense, L.P. Armament Systems Division Aberdeen has realized cost savings, increased efficiency and safety, and reduced negative environmental impacts by implementing a Powder Coating process in lieu of liquid painting.
Since 1985, United Defense, L.P. Armament Systems Division (UDLP ASD) Aberdeen has been using two-part epoxy liquid paint for finishing. The process time for most large sized products was three days, mostly spent waiting for the paint to dry. UDLP ASD Aberdeen was also exceeding 10 tons of air emissions annually from the use of solvents involved in the process (within the facility’s permitted allowance, but not acceptable to its internal standard).
UDLP ASD Aberdeen now uses a Powder Coating process for finishing some of its products. The products move through a light curtain, which relays the dimensions of the product to the powder guns. Parts as large as 42" and 98" and 8,000 pounds can be handled using this system. Figure 2-2 shows a missile canister being loaded into the powder coating chamber. The powder guns are automated and apply powder coating to the product. Additionally, an automated lance has been installed to enable the inside of the missile canisters to be powder coated. A manually operated hand gun is available for touch-up use as needed.
UDLP ASD Aberdeen has realized many benefits from the use of the Powder Coating process versus liquid paint: The operator is removed from this part of the process, increasing overall worker safety
Air emissions have been reduced from 10 tons of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions to less than 0.5 ton
Total time for actual powder coating is approximately 12 minutes (versus four hours)
Overall time for finishing is four hours (versus three days)
Reclamation system is available
Powder paint material costs $140 per 1,000 sq. ft. with a coverage efficiency of 70% (with reclamation, it has an efficiency of approximately 90%); liquid paint material costs $660 per 1,000 sq. ft. with a coverage efficiency of approximately 10% to 30%
Overall, the Powder Coating process saved UDLP ASD Aberdeen approximately $1,150 per 1,000 square feet and is a more efficient process, reducing manual operator involvement through automation and reducing emissions and costs.
Figure 2-2. Missile Canister Loading Into Powder Coating Chamber
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