Conveyorized processes are common in spray applications; therefore, Spraying Systems Co. utilizes custom conveyor systems to test and optimize spray setup parameters. These conveyors have the ability to vary the line speed, nozzle height, number of nozzles, nozzle spacing, and substrate placement/spacing. Additionally, conveyorized tests may be utilized to optimize more complex, automated spray solutions such as the Spraying Systems Co. PulsaJet product line.
Spray Analysis and Research Services provides a conveyorized cart system featuring a variable line speed of up to 300 ft/min. The 30” square cart makes iterative testing quick and efficient, which often requires that the substrate be changed for each iteration. However, for even greater line speeds, continuous conveyors are also available. Conveyor spray setups involve many parameters, but by utilizing the laboratory resources, the operating parameters can be assessed and optimized.
Conveyor testing is suitable for clients who are uncertain about one or more of their process parameters. Whether it is the line speed, nozzle type, spray distance, operating pressure, material formulation, material deposition quality, or a combination of these or other parameters, the conveyor setups allow for hands-on iterative experimentation to assist in choosing a spray setup that meets the needs of a given process or product.
The conveyors are also well suited to tests where a specified application rate of material is of prime importance. Whether spraying onto the substrate used in production, or a surrogate, Spraying Systems Co. engineers are able to quantify the amount of material deposited to the target by weight. This evaluation of application rate can be global (i.e. over the entire substrate)., or, if a more detailed understanding of the distribution of material across the substrate is desired, local (i.e. parts of the substrate) measurements are possible. A laboratory oven is also available to accelerate the drying time of wet samples in the event that comparison to an existing dry product is required. Sprayed samples may be evaluated on-site, and/or shipped back to a customer’s location for further review.
A food manufacturer contacted Spraying Systems Co. and was interested in improving their process for coating rounds substrates with an extremely viscous material. A uniform coating was required at a prescribed application rate; however, adjusting the line speed of the conveyors in the factory was not an option due to already-in-place production processes. Using the conveyorized cart and air-atomizing nozzles, Spraying Systems Co. engineers worked with the customer to identify a spray setup which achieved the desired application rate at the line speed of their existing conveyors.
To coat their product with a protective layer, a manufacturer of industrial flooring products was using a process in which a liquid sealant was poured over flooring tiles. As the tile moved along the conveyor, the excess sealant was scraped off. They sought to spray the sealant to reduce waste and improve coating quality, but were unsure if overspray and misting would be problematic. A study using a Spraying Systems Co. conveyor showed that spraying the sealant in a sufficiently thick and uniform coating was possible, without creating any potentially hazardous overspray. A safe and clean production environment was maintained, and the flooring manufacturer was able save considerably on material costs due to the improved process efficiency.