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Powder Paint Parts Washer and Metal Prep Application
This past summer our in-house maintenance department along with other employees possessing various skills installed a state-of-the-art parts washer and metal prep unit. The purpose of the system is to chemically prepare production parts prior to the application of powder paint coatings. This is accomplished by hanging parts onto a motorized conveyor which in turn passes those parts through the washer where they are sprayed with a specialized solution. The sprayer section comprises 15 feet of the 68 foot long washer and utilizes over 250 individual spray nozzles. Once past the sprayers the parts continue through the washer dripping off residual solution then finally past an air curtain prior to exiting. All of the solution is recycled back to a holding tank, pumped through a filtration system, and reused again.
Prior to the installation, however, an existing parts washer had to be removed. The older unit was comprised of three chemical baths and two water rinse stations; this compares to the single wash station of the new system. Having eliminated the water wash stations the company was able to decommission a regulated discharge site which reduces our environmental finger print; albeit all process water is treated through an on-site wastewater treatment system prior to discharge. Also as a result, overall water consumption has been reduced and eliminated in the powder paint process specifically.
Aside from the skilled efforts of our installation crew, the washer was designed and entirely fabricated by the Milnor team. Working from provided concept drawings the washer was redesigned to fit our specific needs. No less than 125 individual piece parts were designed using Computer Aided Software (CAD). Each of those parts – multiple quantities for many – were programmed by our production programmers and nested in batch through our two laser cutting machines. From there many were shaped by our sheet metal mechanics and welded together by certified welders.
Having been made entirely of stainless steel the unit shall serve the company’s needs for decades to come. The reduction in complexity of the overall system will also allow maintenance and paint department personnel to focus their attention on process related task as opposed to maintaining the washing equipment. Aside from the benefits noted our team takes great pride in our abilities to design and produce many of the production specific systems that best fit our own needs.
In addition to the above, the company has dedicated a new “clean room” used for the assembly of bearing housings. Starting in early August of this year the assembly of bearing housings takes place in a climate controlled and air filtered clean room designed for this purpose. In doing so the integrity of the assemblies are greatly enhanced within this dust free environment.