Decora Power Coatings Limited serves a global market, providing high-definition decorative powder coating finishes for builders, architects, artists and manufacturers. Within the manufacturing process, Decora identified a quality and waste control problem, since there was no means of determining or monitoring uniformity in powder coat thickness before the parts were cured. This resulted in inconsistent and non-uniform powder colouring.
Due to the delicate nature of powder paints, gauging the thickness must be approached with care, as contacting the part at all will remove powder from it, thereby ruining the coat and resulting in recoating scrapped parts. Therefore, the research team performed multiple tests on various materials with different paints, line speeds, and oven temperatures, and obtained technical data on the paints used. From these tests the team determined the appropriate use of a new gauging tool, which resulted in an accurate settings chart and standard operating procedure that could be used by the staff in the future.