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Early Signs of Powder Equipment Fatigue and Breakdown

February 28, 2018

Troubleshooting guides are tough to master. The operator follows repair procedures, or maybe the entire team adopts a trial-and-error approach. Either way, the process is usually gruelling. For that reason, we're going to make it a little easier to follow. Let's test out that straightforward approach path on this powder coating problem. The equipment is breaking down, the repairs are costing the company a fortune, and we need solutions.

Early Signs of Powder Equipment Fatigue

It's curious how fast time passes. That brand new powder coating booth has aged well over the years, but some odd problems have been cropping up at the worst possible moments. The powder is drifting out of the booth. It's harder to reclaim and harder yet to ensure adequate workpiece coverage. Outside the enclosure, the filtration system is suffering. The cartridge filters have reached the end of their lifespan. What about the application guns? The circuitry is the first likely culprit here, with the gun's kV output dropping until the correct charge can no be supplied. Alternatively, the equipment ground is breaking down. A poor ground means the powder won't adhere to the workpiece properly. If the issue isn't electrical, maybe the air is surging? Check the air compressor for a clog.

Breakdown Rumblings are Imminent

Preventative maintenance strategies exist to find niggling equipment problems before they become major issues, the kind that could kill a healthy profit margin. That poor grounding connection, if left unaddressed, is going to put stress on the equipment circuitry. In the case of a small electronic device, that stress is forgivable. In a high-voltage application, a place that outputs thousands of volts, the stress will likely destroy the equipment. All we have on our side is time, plus our own good senses. If that ground connection is worsening, have it properly repaired, not just patched. As for the clogs in the air compressor, a cursory flush will eject the condensed atmospheric moisture, but the underlying cause remains ignored. Even if the filters and aftercoolers, desiccants and water traps are more expensive to maintain, their care is cheaper than the replacement of a broken down air compressor.

Finally, unevenly cured parts indicate an ailing oven element or a blocked air distribution fan. These parts aren't hard to replace. However, left in place, the issue will spread. That broken element may draw more power until the whole oven goes down. Replace the damaged parts as soon as they break, not when more capital becomes available. Otherwise, the fatigue and partial breakdown will worsen until the entire equipment line is forced out of service.

GP Industries Pty Ltd

Head Office

1 Regal Court,
Vermont South VIC 3133

Phone: (03) 9802 1355

Fax: (03) 9802 6027

Email: gp_ind@bigpond.com

Factory

Factory G,
20 Burgess Road,
Bayswater North VIC 3153

Phone: (03) 9761 7676

Fax: (03) 9761 7671

Email: gpfactory@bigpond.com

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