Modean Industries’ Infrared Coating Expertise
The improved application equipment and ensuing innovative coatings such as Powder, High Solids Liquid Paint, Water Borne Paint and High Solids Ultraviolet Coatings imposed new requirements on process equipment. The new coatings required better controls and demanded more efficiency and accuracy for cleaning, drying and curing the coatings.
Many system integrators began using a combination of different available processes. The first integration took place with the use of an Infrared (IR) oven in conjunction with a convection oven. This combination IR/Convection oven was used initially to speed up the curing process but later was used as a pre-gel oven, especially for frequent powder color change applications. The reasoning behind such an adoption was concern of un-adhered powder particles flying loosely in the convection oven that could possibly contaminate other parts in the process. This contamination is especially noticeable in a color change system; however the convection oven can complete the curing process without cross contamination by gelling the powder and allowing a certain amount of air flow.
This concept was also used in ultraviolet coatings. Here the infrared (IR) oven was used before the UV cure oven and after the UV oven; the main purpose being to aid with the flow of material that presents a better looking finish. Coating material has advanced/improved considerably since then so IR is now rarely used in such a system. The newest technology, however, utilizes all three concepts in the coating of MDF components. Often an IR is used to preheat, followed by an IR for post-heat and pre-convection cure followed by a UV cure. Coatings have become more sophisticated and so has the drying and curing process.
Infrared (IR) can be electrically powered with different wave lengths as well as gas fired. This all depends on the product requirements and costs of utilities in the area. Electric infrared (IR) ovens have been used for many applications but of special significance is their use in very high temperature applications (refer to the Primary Metal Products Section, “Revolutionizing How a Client Achieves Quality and Manages ROI”). Gas fired is more prominently used to cut energy costs but that seems to be changing rapidly.
Here again Modean Industries was the leader in combining the technologies of several processes in the curing of specialty coatings and initiated the use of IR/UV in the cosmetics casings market in the very early 1980’s. Modean Industries’ management continues to incorporate new technology as well as existing technology to advance the progress of the coatings industry. Through innovation, product development and commitment to installing reliable systems, Modean Industries constantly aspires to satisfy their customers’ requirements.