Roy Metal Finishing (RMF) coats millions of parts each year at its three facilities in South Carolina, and it’s attention to detail has made it one of the top finishing operations in North America, and certainly one of the largest.
Specializing in rack and barrel zinc plating, zinc-alloy coatings, electrocoat and powder coating, for one particular application — powder coating brake calipers and brake fluid systems— it required an extensive amount of masking downholes and other areas that were not only labor intensive, but also used a significant amount of caps and plugs in the masking process. The goal was to reduce costs where they could.
There were a few unconventional tactics to remove the powder coating off the masks such as golf balls and chemicals, but none met RMF’s standard. Exhausting all options and facing long lead times to order more masking products, they called on Hubbard-Hall.
RMF set up an in-house stripping system to remove the caps and plugs from the powder coating. They used Aquastrip ACB, a mildly acidic liquid concentrate that is used to remove polymeric coatings, including CARC and TGIC epoxy-hybrid powder coat from ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
RMF has a three-shift operation in use now that focuses entirely on stripping and cleaning the masking components to have them ready for the next batch of brake calipers or brackets that will need powder coating.
Having its own in-house stripping and cleaning process for masking products shows what a commitment RMF has to refining its operations and having better control, says Larry Ensley, Technical Service Manager at Hubbard-Hall, who worked with RMF to get their system operating efficiently. “Re-using those masking components can sometimes increase productivity by as much as 50%,” he says.
“After stripping with Aquastrip ACB, plugs and masking materials can be re-used as many as 6-7 times, which can save a company up to 85% on the annual expense on these materials.” Larry Ensley