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Prime Powder Coating Expands Custom Metal Solutions with Tailor-made IntelliFinishing System

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Prime Powder Coating, offering custom metal coating near Memphis, Tennessee, has grown significantly since its humble beginnings as Prime Restoration in 2007. Still operating today, its original facility comprises a 17,600 square-foot facility equipped for manual painting and blasting, as well as a monorail system. Over the years, Prime Restoration’s President, Cory McCabe, began receiving an increasing number of requests for projects that exceeded the capacities of their existing system. When a strategic collaboration arose with Morgan Steel — a former client and now partner — the company expanded its footprint and services into what’s now known as Prime Powder Coating. (Click to view the Prime Powder Coating system video.)

Custom-designed to integrate the latest in automation technology, the new 45,000-square-foot facility is capable of powder coating significantly larger and heavier parts. McCabe, now part owner and president, steers Prime Powder Coating into this new era, building on a shared vision of disrupting the custom metal coating industry.

The Challenge — Mastering Large-Scale Customization in Coating
Creating Prime Powder Coating’s operational success was not without its hurdles. Central to their operation was the need for recipe flexibility. Catering to an array of custom coating requests meant that each project could demand a unique approach, tailored not only to the shape and size of the part but also to the specific characteristics of the powder used. This level of customization was essential to set Prime Powder apart from competitors, as traditional chain-based conveyor systems could only offer limited adjustments.

The challenge was further compounded by the sheer variety of parts that would be processed. The facility needed to handle items ranging from the very small to large components up to 23’ long by 3 feet wide and 7 feet tall, weighing as much as 4,000 pounds. This demanded a system that was not only versatile in handling different sizes but also efficient enough to move carriers quickly through non-process areas… all the while still achieving precise timing and movement in critical process zones.

Looking to the future, Prime Powder Coating also had to consider the potential for expansion. They required a system that could grow with their ambitions, allowing for the integration of additional equipment — like a second booth, a second oven, or an automatic shotblast without disrupting ongoing operations. This foresight into their growth trajectory underscored the need for a system that was as forward-thinking as it was functional.

The Solution — Flexible System with Intelligent Controls
Collaborating with Morgan Steel since spring 2021, IntelliFinishing hit the ground running to design a state-of-the-art pretreatment, powder coating, and curing system.

At the foundation of the solution stood a tailor-made, 800-foot overhead conveyor, meticulously designed to eliminate the previous capacity limits. Complementing the conveyer, the system boasts a five-stage wash followed by a dry oven to ensure each product is properly pre-treated before coating. Rounding out the equipment solution, IntelliFinishing integrated a Gema USA automated powder booth to facilitate color changes quickly and efficiently.

What truly differentiates this system are the intelligent controls integration, allowing unparalleled carrier recipe customization. And because this system was especially fitted for Prime Powder’s new facility, it can also be reconfigured for future growth without experiencing downtime.

IntelliFinishing hit every requirement of the project, even finishing ahead of schedule. Reflecting on the project’s success, McCabe couldn’t be more thrilled with the system’s final results: “In general, I was most impressed with all the activity it took to build this system ... The team did a great job on the install, and it finished ahead of expectations and has run extremely well ever since early this summer.”

The Results — Coating with Operational Excellence at Scale
The Prime Powder Coating’s IntelliFinishing System delivers unprecedented precision and flexibility. By allowing the creation of distinct recipes for each carrier, the system offers an unparalleled level of customization to meet the part and paint requirements. This streamlines the coating process for a variety of parts with differing specifications. This has not only optimized production efficiency but also expanded the company’s service offerings, attracting a wider customer base with large or unconventional part sizes. The seamless integration of quick color changes has further bolstered the facility’s throughput, enhancing quality control and customer satisfaction.

Strategically designed for adaptability, the system’s ability to reconfigure for expansion without incurring downtime positions Prime Powder Coating for a trajectory of growth. This foresight ensures that as demand scales, the company can increase its capacity without sacrificing production time, thereby maintaining a continuous revenue stream. What’s more, the staff benefits from a work environment equipped with state-of-the-art technology that lessens physical demands, empowers them with greater control, and decreases frustrations.

McCabe, fully satisfied with the system’s performance, wouldn’t alter a single aspect if given the opportunity for a do over. “We launched with a fanfare, and we are already running the system daily with all kinds of parts being processed,” he said. “But we have plenty of room to grow, and we’ve been marketing our new capabilities… so we expect a significant amount of parts to flow through this system over the coming years.”

Watch Cory McCabe’s video testimonial below, then contact IntelliFinishing to see if a highly customizable IntelliFinishing powder coating system is right for your business!