Window Beauty Bolt

The Advantages of Being “Coating Agnostic”

In a previous blog post, we talked about solving essentially the same performance issue with two different coating types. This happens frequently and sometimes it involves using not only different coatings, but coatings from completely different suppliers.

As a privately held coating applicator not owned by a coating manufacturer, DECC can approach solving customer’s problems from a dynamic position of not being tied to any single coating or coating manufacturer.

Sometimes this involves something as relatively simple as applying a coating that is called out on a specification for a customer.

For instance, a relatively common specification on prints for General Motors is GMW3359.

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Food Die Roller

Reducing Downtime with Functional Coatings

We often receive inquiries from manufacturers that aren’t looking for us to help them with the parts they produce, but with the equipment they use to produce them. Most of the time, it is related to a cleaning issue – parts or materials used in the manufacturing process build up and prevent the machine from operating effectively, ultimately necessitating downtime for cleaning.

Downtime is a killer in any industry and many of the coatings DECC applies can be utilized to alleviate this issue. Below are some specific examples of problems faced by manufacturers and how we solved them:

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Dip-spin Snap Ring

Case Study: Rack-Spray When You Can’t Dip-Spin

As DECC is an exclusively rack spray coating applicator, we refer a good amount of work to dip-spin applicators. If we receive an RFQ for a part geometry that lends itself to a bulk application, we will not provide a quote without first sending them to a dip-spin applicator. We want current and potential customers to get the best price possible and a rack spray process is almost always more expensive than a dip-spin process…up front.

However, we also receive a good amount of new work from customers that have sourced with a dip-spin applicator on a part that should not be coated in a bulk method and, as a result, were experiencing significant quality issues.

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Measuring Coating Thickness

How to Center Your Process in a Coating Application (Here’s a Hint: You Can’t)

In every quality position, in every market, the goal is always the same: ensure the parts you are producing fall within their applicable measurements per the specification to guarantee a good part.

Almost all of these same quality professionals would argue that in an effort to limit your quality defects, you need to center your process variation, holding an agreed upon CPK.

However, some of the professionals that wouldn’t make that argument most likely work in the coating industry and have come to accept the fact that you cannot center your process with a liquid coating application. Explaining this to quality professionals that do not have experience dealing with coatings on a regular basis can be a tedious task, but it is a necessary one.

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Automotive Washer

Some Problems Caused by Automotive Lightweighting (and How to Fix Them)

In today’s automotive manufacturing age, lightweighting is a popular, albeit almost necessary, approach for automobile manufacturers in an effort to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles. With lightweighting, vehicle designers look to replace the heaviest vehicle components, such as steel panels, frames and assemblies, with lighter counterparts, such as aluminum or carbon fiber pieces.

Not only will this provide improved fuel efficiency, which all OEM’s are struggling with in light of the Obama administration’s minimum MPG requirements, lightweighting also helps improve the handling and performance of the car, something consumers have come to expect.

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A palnut coated with a dry-film lubricant

Noise Reduction with Dry Film Lubricants

In the past few months, we have solved two different noise issues for the same customer on a part already in production. They both involved a squeak in the side view mirrors when the automatic fold in option was engaged. In both cases, the solution involved the application of a dry-film lubricant.

The first problem was presented to us, we suggested a coating, it was tested and passed, and we were off and running production.

The second problem was presented to us about three months later. Same issue, but in a different area of the mirror. This time, we suggested a different coating.

Why would we suggest two different coatings to solve the same issue of noise reduction? The answer is multifaceted, but it is an illustration of how there is never a cookie cutter solution to solving part performance issues…even if the issues are identical.

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Bracket with zinc flake coating

Zinc-Flake Coating

Over 80% of the requests we receive from current or potential customers deal with the application of coatings to combat corrosion, be it environmental, chemical or temperature related. However, of these requests, the majority are environmental and can be solved with a zinc-flake coating solution. We will delve into ways to combat the other types of corrosion in another post.

An Explanation of Zinc-Flake Coating Systems

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Bracket coated with Magni

What is Cyclic Corrosion Testing?

Cyclic Corrosion Testing 101

In the past several years, Cyclic Corrosion Testing, or CCT, has become a common practice in the automotive industry.

Designed to accelerate corrosion in a laboratory environment, CCT tests how materials used in the auto sector will react to the weather, stimuli, and conditions encountered on the road.This, in turn, allows manufacturers to prepare their materials accordingly, contributing to the longevity and durability of modern automobiles.

What is Cyclic Corrosion Testing?

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Electrostatic Spray

HVLP Spray vs Electrostatic Spray

As an exclusively rack-spray applicator, DECC utilizes two types of spray guns to apply coating to our customer’s parts. Due to EPA regulations, we are not allowed to use conventional spray guns so we use HVLP and electrostatic spray guns. Both have their pros and cons but are extremely effective in providing complete coating coverage, with limited waste, when used on the proper part geometries.

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Fischerscope used for measuring coating thickness

The Three C’s: Coverage, Cure & Cross Hatch

Customers often ask us technical performance questions about the coatings DECC applies. Will the coating pass this test or that? Will it reach this many hours in salt spray? Can it withstand this temperature? Depending on the coating, our answer is usually some variation of “it should…”

This may seem like a cop out. Why won’t we stand behind or guarantee a coating’s performance? As DECC is only a coating applicator, we do not manufacture the coating. Magni, Doerken, Dow, Henkel, etc, design and produce their coatings to meet certain performance characteristics. They tell us what their coatings will do. As long as DECC applies the coatings per the manufacturer’s process recipe, they should exhibit all the performance attributes of which they were designed.

So how do we ensure that the coatings are applied correctly? With the three C’s: coverage, cure and cross hatch.

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