Keeping Secondary Ops In-house to Control Quality

Posted on Monday, June 1, 2015

To offer its customers the most complete range of integrated metal working processes, this New York-based custom sheet metal fabricator either brought or kept its secondary operations— like powder coating—in-house.
Founded in 1993 near Buffalo, New York, Dimar Manufacturing Corp. began as a custom sheet metal fabricator. Since its inception, the company has focused on meeting or exceeding customer requirements for quality and delivery. To do so, it was important to control as many secondary operations in house as possible. 
“We have accomplished this through expanding our processes to include a full range of value-added operations as well as continuous reinvestment in state-ofthe-art manufacturing technology and skilled personnel,” says Charles Russell, sales manager at Dimar. This is why they installed their first in-house powder coating line in June 1995. The original system was replaced in January 2011 with a state of the art energy efficient system, Russell says, which they utilize as an OEM as well as to provide powder coating that is outsourced to them.
The company has two plants located in the Western New York State area, which serves a growing North American as well as global customer base. Plant No. 1 in Clarence, N.Y., features the latest in advanced technology manufacturing equipment and specializes in thinner gauge cabinets, enclosures, assemblies and completed products.
Plant No. 2 in Cheektowaga, N.Y., features thick gauge, heavy fabricating capability with high bays and overhead cranes. It also features skilled metal fabricating craftsmen who produce large custom fabrications weighing as much as 20,000 lbs. each.
Fabrications from both facilities may be finished with either wet spray painting or powder coat finishing performed in house.
Markets, Capabilities 
Dinar is able to serve a range of markets, including industrial cabinets, enclosures and platforms; industrial fans, housings and blowers; medical equipment; agricultural components and assemblies; assembly, green technology, transportation; and aerospace and  military.
The fabricator employs an expe - rienced design engineering team and project managers who will champion products from design, prototyping and development through to production and finishing.
According to Russell, “We can sup - port and work with most popular CAD formats including files for SolidWorks, AutoCad, DWG, IGS, and other popular formats. You can supply CAD drawings or we can supply the drawings for your approval based upon your input and specifications.”
The company’s Quality Management System is based upon ISO 9000:2008. “We view our quality operations as an extension of our customer’s own quality programs,” says Russell. “We fully sup - port new program submission requir e - ments with First Article Inspection Sub - missions and PPAPs. Certifications and Certificates of Compliance are provided and copies are retained as required.”
An active program of continuous improvement utilizes Six Sigma Meth - odology directed by in-house Black Belt personnel. They also incorporate 5-S organization of the shop and warehous - ing facilities.
“Dimar keeps our employees engaged with a quality consciousness through orientation and on-going doc - umented training; as well as a Quality/ Safety incentive program,” Russell adds.
If a project requires specialty testing, Dimar can perform much of it in-house and also has certified outside profession - als who will perform these procedures at the facility. The fabricator offers laser, punching and stamping; forming capabilities; machining; tube forming; welding; assembly operations; and, final - ly, finishing.
The Powder Line 
Dimar’s twin Mitsubishi laser systems with automatic loading and unloading systems are capable of cut - ting heavy gauge components and first operation blanks from various grades of steel, including HRPO; A-36, HSLA, and Hardox up to 1” thick. These systems are especially effective for running large and heavy components as typically used in assemblies suppor t - ing the manufacture of large automated agricultural harvesting systems.
“Our state-of-the-art powder coat - ing system gives the raw fabrications a highly effective iron phosphate prewash that allows a high quality applica - tion of durable exterior grade powder coat. The resulting finish is superior both to the eye and outstandingly du - rable in field use,” Russell says.
Dimar’s automated powder coat line is capable of handling individual parts that fit within a profile of about 2.5' x 5' x 10'. Parts are pretreated with an automatic three stage pre-wash system with solutions supplied by DuBois Chemicals. The wash system features stainless steel tanks and glass rein -forced polypropylene, omni-directional spray nozzles. After the parts are prepared to accept powder, they move to the Eurotech AG300 automatic application booth where 12 guns apply the powder. For smaller batches there are two other manual application booths using Eurotech MG400 guns operating on 400 series boxfeed units. Finally, parts are conveyed to the gas-fired curing oven for a predetermined time and temperature, depending on the parts before advancing to the cooling tunnel.
Russell says that General Automatic Transfer Co. (GAT) designed and supplied the wash system, oven, and cooling tunnel. “Installation was performed within a two week window by Dimar personnel with onsite assistance from a GAT representative” he says.
“This line offers the most cost-effective finishing approach for many types of products,” Russell says. “But for low volume, larger fabrications, our system features an off-line spray booth with a batch oven that has a cubic profile of 70" x 80" x 168" loading capacity.”
Russell also says that Dimar can supply a range of colors and finish characteristics such as smooth, textured, glossy, and matte. “Powder is supplied by most of the major producers including Tiger Drylac, Protech, Sherwin Williams, and AkzoNobel. If your project requires a high performance exterior application, we can provide a zinc rich primer and an exterior grade polyester topcoat, which together yield excellent protection from both corrosion and UV fading,” he adds.
Sharon Spielman is editor of Powder Coated Tough magazine. She can be reached via email at sspielman@powdercoating.org