Mark has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Calvin College and over 30 years of experience in the automotive supplier industry, ranging from stamping and fabrication to welding and coating. Mark also has over 10 years experience at DECC.
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The DECC Company is an almost exclusively rack-spray facility. During the coating process, components never touch…they are all sprayed and cured on their own hook. The only time they touch is during the packing process, and that is only if the customer requires a bulk pack.
Dip-Spin vs Rack-Spray
What this means is that compared to a dip-spin, bulk application process, parts coated in a rack-spray process will have a much more uniform and quality finish. The necessity of 100% sorting is eliminated. However, the most important distinguishing factor is that fallout from the coating process is almost nothing where dip-spin can yield upwards of 20% defective parts each run.
Although pricing for a bulk, dip-spin process may be enticing on paper, the total processing cost for certain part geometries that don’t lend themselves to a bulk application tends to be higher than a rack-spray price.
Below is a video highlighting the technology we employ at DECC. If you are having quality issues with a dip-spin application, be sure to contact us to see if we can help.
Ideally, today’s digital welding equipment can be fine-tuned to the point of producing almost zero spatter and weld engineers and technicians can lay a beautiful weld at the start of production with brand new equipment.
However, in a real world production setting, weld variables rarely stay tuned to a laboratory type setting. Weld fixtures become misaligned. Component tolerances vary over time. Weld equipment becomes worn. Weld variables change with every new trouble shooting attempt. Ultimately, these all contribute to the buildup of weld spatter.
There are multiple solutions to preventing mig weld spatter from building up and causing quality or productivity issues in your high volume welding environment.
When a manufacturing design engineer is developing a component, they are designing it to perform as intended in the field. Failure is not planned for because if there was a perceived threat of such during the design stage, it would be compensated for.
However, “failure” can constitute more than just a component malfunctioning or not performing in the field as intended…especially when a functional coating process is required.
For instance, would a part that requires 100% sorting after a coating operation – when that cost was not factored into the process – due to inadequate structural design be deemed a “failure” as well? We think it would (read our white paper regarding this specific topic).
Manufacturing design engineers should be sure to consider some of the following when in development of a component that will require a post coating application process:
Corrosion is one of the leading causes of component failure across all industries. In terms of functional coatings that offer corrosion protection, there are essentially two categories: sacrificial coatings and barrier coatings.
The type of corrosion being combated, as well as if there are additional performance criteria that the coating must achieve, will help determine which type of coating system you should use.
Simply put: there are part geometries that lend themselves to a dip-spin coating process and those that do not.
In fact, even though DECC is a rack-spray facility, we will be the first to direct a customer to a dip-spin competitor when asked to quote a part that is suited for such an application. A rack-spray process can be two to three times more costly than a bulk process and, when it makes sense, we want our customers to take advantage of such pricing.
However, for part geometries that are not suited for dip-spin, quality and delivery issues quickly negate any “savings” when the true cost of processing is evaluated.
One of the fears associated with a rack-spray coating process is that, due to the part being “fixtured” and resting on a hook, the part will not have complete coverage. And without complete coverage, the functionality of the coating is in jeopardy.
It is technically true that there will be a “witness mark” where the part is held on the fixture.
However, in regards to the “functionality” aspect of the coating; it depends on what the customer’s perception of “in jeopardy” is.
For example, below is how a typical witness mark on all rack-sprayed parts would look like. For reference, the hole this was racked thru is 8.5mm in diameter.
A relatively recent survey conducted by Thomasnet.com asked buyers, engineers and procurement professionals what factors they deem most important when selecting new suppliers.
“Delivery Performance” and “Experience in Your Applicable Industry” were the number one and two most critical factors for evaluating a supplier.
For the past five years, DECC has maintained an over 99% on-time delivery rate. But more so, what sets us apart from our competition is our passion to be a resource for our customers and help them solve their respective challenges with a team that has decades upon decades of experience in the coating industry.
Meet the culture at DECC in our newest company video here.
And if you have a coating related challenge that you need help solving, contact us today.
Minus components exposed to the elements that will always need some sort of corrosion protection, applying a functional coating to an automotive component is something most OEMs would prefer to avoid as it adds cost and extra processing steps.
However, as with the case with component performance/warranty issues, these parts were designed with the intention of not needing a functional coating as a solution or it would have been specified to begin with.
This is where the Preventative Care/Urgent care analogy comes into place.
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.
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.