Architectural Application on Aluminum

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013

By Sharon Spielman

By installing a turnkey powder coating system, this window and door manufacturer was able to achieve AAMA-2605 specs, eliminate the use of chrome and see improved efficiency across the board. Read on to find out how they did it.

For more than 60 years, Quaker Windows & Doors in Freeburg, Mo., has been dedicated to making quality products for the architectural industry. The company was founded in 1949 by Marge and Harold “Bud” Knoll, who dedicated themselves to building a leading business. “A Tradition of Quality” is the company’s motto and pledge. “We constantly strive to build on our reputation for quality along with our history and passion for continual improvement and product development,” says Kevin Blansett, general manager at Quaker.

The manufacturer’s secondgeneration owners are committed to making windows and doors using the finest products available, including aluminum, wood and vinyl. To achieve the best finish on its aluminum products, Quaker switched from liquid to powder coating in 2009. When Quaker decided to construct a new paint facility in July 2012, the company decided to install a turnkey powder coating system, complete with pretreatment through final cure.

“We contacted several companies that had experience in the design, layout and ability to provide the equipment needed for a paint facility, Blansett tells Powder Coated Tough. After reviewing layouts and equipment that each supplier would be able to provide, it was decided to use Sherwin-Williams as the equipment supplier for this project.”

According to Kevin Cross, senior sales executive, at Sherwin- Williams, “We designed and integrated all pieces of the equipment.” The parts are loaded on a 3" I-beam conveyor with traction turns, from Rapid Industries.

Then the parts enter the fivestage washer, which was designed in conjunction with Bulk Chemicals Inc.

Stage 1: Heated 316 ELC S.S. Cleaner/Phosphate

Stage 2: 304 S.S. Fresh Water Rinse

Stage 3: 304 S.S. Conditioner

Stage 4: 304 S.S. RO Rinse

Stage 5: 304 S.S. Non-Chrome Seal

All of the chemicals that Quaker uses for pretreatment are from Bulk Chemical Inc., Blansett says. Parts then head into a Colmet convection style dry-off oven, then through a Quick Color Change Wagner Prima Sprint Powder Booth with a SuperCenter. Once the parts leave the powder booth and environmental room, they travel through a Pro-Therm electric IR gel oven. “This is used if the parts require AAMA-2605 clear coat,” Cross reveals. The parts then travel back into the environmental room and through an existing Gema Powder Booth. “This booth is also only used for AAMA-2605 clear coat,” Cross says. The parts then travel through a Pro-Therm electric IR ramp-up oven and then into the Colmet convection- style cure oven. Finally, the parts are cooled off and unloaded. Blansett says that Quaker uses powder coatings from TCI and Sherwin-Williams to finish all their aluminum products.

“This was a total solution partnership,” Cross says. “The Sherwin-Williams team: Bulk Chemicals Inc., Colmet, Pro- Therm, Rapid Industries and Wagner, were able to provide our customer Quaker Windows with a turnkey system and solve their coatings issues.”

Since the installation, “efficiency, product quality and powder yield have increased significantly,” Blansett says. “We are getting in excess of 50 pounds of metal to a pound of powder.” And production almost doubled, according to Cross. Quaker was able to shut down one shift and sometimes reduce production by one day on the first shift.

Additionally with the installation, Quaker was able to eliminate the use of chrome. And although the company was certified and passed all AAMA testing prior to building the new facility, sometimes reaching AAMA-2605 was a real challenge. Since the installation of the new turnkey system, Cross says that meeting AAMA-2605 specifications has been easily achieved.

“Quaker began as a family- owned company that manufactured venetian blinds, storm windows, and storm doors,” Blansett says. “Today, Quaker is now a one stop shop for all of your window and door products.”

Sharon Spielman is editor of Powder Coated Tough magazine. She can be reached via email at: sspielman@powdercoating.org