Faster drying, less fibre raising, less denibbing, less paint removed, better quality finish and reduced paint costs – these are just some of the benefits Carlick Contracts has found its new Schubox flash-off and drying system is delivering.
The contract furniture industry is renowned for short lead times,” says Josh O’Donnell, Procurement Manager for Manchester-based Carlick Contract Furniture Ltd. “Whatever they want, they want it within days.” In our climate, that can be a problem for any company that’s finishing furniture with a lacquer. Carlick was no exception: sprayed product from half a dozen manual spray booths was being left to dry until it could be handled, then it was transferred to a conventional oven. “We were using a conventional oven that was warm air circulating,” admits Josh. “It’s a very, very slow process and it doesn’t cure the product fully. We were giving it two to three days before sending the product out.”
That was until Carlick bought a cat. And now everybody is purring about it, whatever the weather. Carlick’s cat is a custom-built flash-off and Schubox drying system which uses infra-red catalytic conversion to cure paint and lacquer. “It has helped us massively with regard to production,” says Josh. “We can get more through, quicker and with the peace of mind that there will be no come-backs because it’s fully cured when it comes out of the Schubox. Tops, it takes an hour to dry AC coatings. It’s a superb product.”
The new installation doesn’t just address the issue of curing time for Carlicks, it also reduces the likelihood of contamination and variations in paint quality. A dedicated flash-off room was designed and built in the spray shop area where wet sprayed product is loaded onto drying racks or low level trolleys. The flash-off is fitted with a pressurised air balance system which matches input air to extracted air volume. All incoming air is filtered to remove particulate and the solventladen extract air is fed into the modified Schubox catalytic infra-red drying system where it is neutralised. The permanent extraction system is set at low level to remove the VOC’s. Flash-off takes about 15 minutes, after which the racks are transferred into the edicated custom Schubox drying zone.
The Schubox is fitted with three gas catalytic heater panels that provide heat, long wave infra-red and air movement at a gentle 35-40oC. A dedicated control panel with an easy-to-use touch screen HMI serves the whole of the new installation from a central point.
The gas catalytic process is a chemical reaction that produces heat and long wave infra-red. The long wave infra-red technology inside the Schubox removes the water or solvent carrier quickly and efficiently at the fraction of the cost of traditional air drying methods. There is no spark, no flame, nor any form of combustion, therefore it is completely safe to use with solvent-based coatings. Single pack, two-pack, water-based and solvent-based products can all be used in the Schubox system in conjunction with either hand spray and automatic spraying machines.
Once removed from the Schubox, the cured product can either be denibbed in preparation for the next application, or sent for packing and dispatch. As the Schubox cures the product quickly, using low temperature, there is less fibre raise on the surface. Less fibre raise means less denibbing and of course, less denibbing means less paint is removed from the surface by sanding. This in turn gives a higher overall film build, a better quality finish and a very worthwhile reduction in paint costs.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the whole system,” adds Josh. “It’s a real blessing and Schuberts are fantastic to work with. The whole system was delivered and installed within six to eight weeks – very quick – and the service has been great. To be honest, I wish all our suppliers were like Schuberts.”
In addition to internationally acclaimed Schubox systems, Schuberts supply manual spray booths, spray enclosures, overhead joinery coating systems and the full range of Makor automatic coating machinery. For more information on how Schuberts can streamline your finishing bottlenecks, call 01226 360900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org