Conversion from wet paint to powder coating

Link 51, a British supplier of storage, pallet racking and shelving solutions, has recently switched from wet paint to powder coating.

The soft spray pattern of Encore HD powder guns provides complete coverage of corners and recesses. Photo: Nordson

Link 51, a British supplier of storage, pallet racking and shelving solutions, has recently switched from liquid paint to powder coating. Prior to the change, an electrostatic liquid paint system with rotary atomizers already delivered high paint application efficiency and finish quality at the Brierley Hill plant. Nevertheless, the company opted for the changeover. “The elimination of liquid paint, the associated VOC emissions and the need for overspray and sludge disposal was simply the right move for us,” says Christopher Walker, Operations Director, Whittan Group. That’s why the company invested in a specially designed Nordson powder coating booth with advanced dense phase technology.
The company formulated its goals as follows:

  • 4 m high products with a line speed of up to 3.5 m/min.
  • Highly efficient powder application
  • Consistent and uniform 25 µ of coating thickness
  • Full automatic coverage of the shelving corners
  • Fast color change for flexible production
  • Clean and environmentally friendly workplace

The Link 51 team opted on getting first-hand information from the Erkrath Nordson test laboratory before the investment. “It’s nice to test the equipment with our products and powder.” Says Tom Clayton. “Since I had to operate the new system in future, it was important to be able to work with it without the pressure of ongoing production.”
After the positive results of these tests, planning began. The goal was to install the system at the end of December 2018 and start production on January 6, 2019 – just 3 weeks later. Four days ahead of schedule, the first batch of powder-coated shelving came off the line. The new system has a specially developed 6.5 m high “ColorMax” powder coating booth with a “Spectrum HD” powder feed center and advanced control system.
The booth is designed to provide reliable powder containment while also ensuring soft airflow in the spray area. Special high-level openings with platforms enable operators to clean the booth walls from the top down. This way, no powder is blown in the direction of the conveyor opening against the booth airflow. The automatic floor cleaning system keeps the powder in the booth to an absolute minimum. The high line density combines with the efficient powder application resulting in minimum overspray. Any airborne powder is efficiently recycled through a twin-cyclone system and screened through an ultrasonic sieve prior to being returned to the fully enclosed feed center. The new system also delivers on the fast, contamination-free color change. The new system has resulted in significant increases in finish quality and reworking. “With the liquid paint system,” recalls Lyndon Woodfield, “runners, solvent boils and resprays were part of our daily lives. All these problems have been solved by switching to powder.”

Further information: Nordson Deutschland GmbH, Erkrath, Simon Temminghoff, Tel. +49 211 9205-141,,

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