ASSA ABLOY New Zealand relies on its ability to deliver highly customized product offerings to the OEM market within tight deadlines. Powder coating is a crucial part of the production process, requiring high flexibility in quantity and color variations, while ensuring that the highest quality standards are maintained.
To date, the plant has run three separate powder-coating lines, with each one requiring individual pretreatment processes, which results in high waste-water charges,as well as the use of separate curing ovens, which collectively incur high energy costs. The challenge was to reduce powder coating costs through labor and sustainability savings, without compromising throughput time or quality.
Following a complete review of workflows across the factory, the floor layout has been redesigned to operate using a single powder-coating line. Advanced technology has delivered lower energy consumption due to more efficient gasburners, along with production monitoring systems, which drop the supply of gas to the line when not in use during shift change over or employee breaks. The line is capable of running two colors simultaneously, while sharing pretreatment and drying processes in order to reduce chemical waste and minimize safety hazards.
The new pre-treatment system has an in-line water replenishment system, with all discharge now filtered through the tradewaste system, where it is cleaned, filtered and neutralized. Only used chemical containers and drums now need to be sent to the chemical waste supplier for disposal. The system has been running since August 2015, and a further solution will be to harness the heat from factory systems for use in on-site hotwater systems from Q2, 2016.
Energy consumption has been reduced by 35 percent and chemical waste spend from pretreatment has dropped by 70 percent since implementation of the system. There is now one instead of three separate pretreatment processes, resulting in savings in terms of waste-water disposal and thereforecharges as well as significantly reduced safety hazards.