Monthly Archives: May 2012

Powder Coating Tip Of The Week: Three Simple Rules for Parts Cleaning & Pretreatment

Rule #1: Conducting a review of your cleaning and prepping process with a knowledgeable chemistry professional is the key to assuring your pretreatment success and avoiding frustration long-term.

When it comes to chemistry, consult a professional who SPECIALIZES in pretreatment chemistry. With that being said, do enough homework to understand the major issues of parts pretreatment before you call in a pro.

Rule #2: If you want to have consistently good results, you must set up a cleaning and pretreatment routine that will be sufficient for your WORST parts—not your best parts.

The most important step is to carefully examine the parts you want to clean. You have to be honest about just how clean or dirty your parts really are. Countless coating jobs have been sabotaged because the coater didn’t do an adequate job of prepping the part(s). This often happens because the coater only looks over a couple sample parts and then goes to work. Soil is anything that is on the surface of a part. Dirt, grease, oil, shavings, wood, waxes, metal oxides, release agents, you name it. If it’s on your part but not supposed to be, it’s a soil. For you to achieve a quality finish, all of the soil should be removed. It is important that you examine a large sample so you can feel confident that you know how much soil is actually on the parts you are going to be coating.

When it’s time to coat, slow down for a moment and look over the part(s) to see if they are still as clean as they were when you completed the pretreatment process. If they aren’t, work on them some more. This is an absolutely critical step on your road to getting top-notch finishes. It can be very tempting to say, “that’s close enough” and coat a part after some rust has popped back up or a grease stain isn’t totally removed. If you don’t give in to temptation, the chances of getting stuck with a re-do are much smaller.

Rule #3: If it’s organic soil it will probably need an alkaline based cleaner. If it’s non organic, it will probably need an acid.

This is only part of the consideration, though. Oils and greases need not only a highly alkaline-based cleaning solution but, since many industrial oils include types of wax, it is likely that the cleaning solution will need to be heated. Polymers, like silicone, will need an aggressive acid and may also need heat. Many soaps and dry lubricants typically need not only heat and a highly alkaline solution, but mechanical action, as well. Particulates, solid pieces of things like metal shavings, may need an acid/alkaline mix and vigorous mechanical action for full removal. Finally, oxides (rust, tarnish, etc.) will require a finely balanced acid to completely remove the oxide without damaging the surface of the part being cleaned.

Good luck, and remember there is no such thing as a part that is too clean.

For more information on powder coating, please click here. For more information on powder coating equipment, please visit us at Reliant Finishing Systems.

Reliant Finishing Systems Promotes Mr. John Thomason to Executive Vice President

Reliant Finishing System

Reliant Finishing Systems ( announced today that they have promoted Mr. John Thomason to the position of Executive Vice President. In 2005, Mr. Thomason was first employed as the Operations Manager for Reliant Finishing Systems’ parent organization, Reliant Specialty Equipment Corporation. In 2007, he was promoted to Vice President of Manufacturing Operations for Reliant Finishing Systems and personally oversaw expansion into their current Somerville, Alabama manufacturing facility. His latest promotion will establish Mr. Thomason as the executive level coordinator for all of Reliant Finishing Systems’ product development, manufacturing and technical service activities, as well as various other corporate initiatives.

Mr. Michael Schuerer, President of Reliant Finishing Systems, stated that the promotion was the result of Mr. Thomason’s unceasing efforts to accelerate the company’s growth. “When we brought manufacturing in-house, Reliant Specialty Equipment Corporation was very lucky to attract Mr. Thomason and integrate him into our organization. He had a mix of hands-on skills and management savvy that was almost impossible to find. Early on, Mr. Thomason’s direct involvement led to a rapid increase in manufacturing efficiency and overall output. He insisted that we refine the packaging methods we were using and rethink our approach to order fulfillment. His approach also compelled Reliant to invest in state-of-the-art CNC equipment, as opposed to using less expensive manual systems like some of our competitors. When we launched Reliant Finishing Systems, I felt Mr. Thomason’s ability and experience made him the natural choice to develop the manufacturing side of our operation. In addition to overseeing manufacturing-related functions, he demonstrated other leadership skills that generated measurable results. His efforts are directly linked to our recent increases in profitability. I am confident that he will be even more effective now that he is taking on a larger role at Reliant,” he said.

Mr. Thomason is similarly pleased by the way his relationship with Reliant has evolved. He said, “My experience with Reliant Finishing Systems has been very rewarding. The company is evolving quickly. We’ve reached a level of agility that our competitors cannot seem to meet. Our price points and lead times also compare very favorably with our major competitors’, and I feel that our level of customer care is unmatched in the finishing industry. I have invested heavily in the idea that it takes more than just good products at fair prices to make Reliant Finishing Systems thrive. Although I have exerted a great deal of influence on Reliant’s manufacturing processes, I have also pushed for continual improvement to our customers’ overall buying experience. I believe that the changes we’ve made have not only increased profitability related to the manufacture of our products, but also boosted sales. I look forward to driving this type of growth for years to come.”

Reliant Finishing Systems is a privately-held U.S. company specializing in the manufacture of capital equipment used in the powder coating industry. The company provides media blasting enclosures, multi-stage washers, chemical pretreatment enclosures, powder-specific spray booths, and high-performance drying and curing ovens. Reliant Finishing Systems sells under its own brand and provides private label products to OEM clients.