Aerovent Switches to New Paint System



Aerovent is in the process of changing its paint application system. For years, the standard offering on Aerovent equipment had been a direct-to-metal, water based, air-dry acrylic enamel. This paint was a flat minimal gloss product purchased from two different paint suppliers.

In an effort to upgrade the performance and cosmetic characteristics of the standard paint, Aerovent began an evaluation process in January to test and select a new coating for application at all Aerovent manufacturing plants.

Aerovent's initial study involved comparative analysis between 4-6 industrial pain suppliers. The field was eventually narrowed down to 2 suppliers that could meet the objectives. During the months of May and June of this year, Aerovent completed a 30-day production test with each of these final two suppliers. In the end, Sherwin Williams was chosen as the preferred supplier of paint. Contributing to our decision were the following:
Product performance
Compatibility with our manufacturing process
Economics (cost per square foot of applied product)
Field and manufacturing technical support
Marketing influence and acceptance
Supplier capability to take us to future levels in coating performance and cost to apply

Aerovent's conversion to the new standard coating is currently underway. Brookings and Mitchell, South Dakota are already in the process of making the switch. The Aberdeen and Elkton, South Dakota plants will soon start the changeover, followed by the Covington, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama facilities. The South Dakota plant changes should be completed within the next 2 to 3 months.
Aerovent's plan is to convert as much of our paint offering to Sherwin Williams as is possible. Aerovent presently uses many different suppliers for the wide array of paints that are offered, which includes various colors of air dry enamel, epoxies, high temp aluminum, plasites, etc.

The new standard coating has the following characteristics:

A two-coat, solvent-based, air dry liquid spray system
A corrosion resistant light colored primer of 1 mil, followed by a wet-on-wet top coat of 1.5 mils.
Both coatings are applied non-electrostatically to penetrate recesses and hidden areas.
Paint is applied with high-volume low-pressure guns, which offer a higher transfer efficiency of paint, leading to a well-managed cost per square foot
The two color, two-coat system yields thorough and complete paint coverage when applied to varying and difficult product shapes. This two -coat system also allows Aerovent painters to control the mil thickness more closely than can be done with a single coat application
The solvent-based paint has greater solvent resistance than the previous water-based coating that was offered
The new paint is formulated to a higher gloss level, offering greater color retention, abrasion resistance and eye appeal
Being a solvent-based paint, the new coating can be subject to freezing temperatures without the harmful affects that are experienced with a water-based paint

As in the past, Aerovent applies paint to all subassemblies, including the inside of guards, housings and supports prior to final assembly.

Compared to powder coating systems, Aerovent's new coating system offers the following benefits:
Greater film thickness: 2.5 - 3 mils versus 1 - 2 mils for powder
The new two-coat system primer is designed with corrosion resistant pigments. Powder is a one-coat direct to metal coating
Heat resistance: The new system will equal standard TGIC Polyester powder
Flexibility: The new system will equal standard TGIC Polyester powder

The new system offers a more friendly coating for re-coat in the field.