Changing Line Speeds Challenge Curing System
Although Midwest Metal Coatings is a startup business, one of its parent companies has experience in metal painting, so the staff knew what kind of equipment it wanted. Midwest Metal Coatings' products are used in the metal buildings and culvert pipe industries. Products for the building industry involve coating hot-rolled steel with polyester paint. Work performed for the culvert industry involves laminating a polymer layer to galvanized strip. Although the coating and laminating processes are different, Midwest Metal Coatings wanted one line that could handle both.
Variations in metal strip production line speed while curing the painted metal presented an additional challenge. For proper paint curing, the strip must be held at peak metal temperature for a specific dwell time. The challenge lies in maintaining the proper curing conditions inside the oven as speed changes occur. Lamination required the same type of balance between time and temperature.
The company turned to Megtec Systems, DePere, WI, for the oven and VOC control system. Megtec constructed a 90', three-zone catenary-type drying oven and accompanying thermal oxidizer to meet the specifications.
According to Joe Darling, general manager at Midwest Metal Coatings, "Our plant is designed to coat and laminate coiled metals. We have a unique situation and felt that Megtec had the experience and expertise to fulfill our expectations."
Midwest Metal Coatings began production testing in March 1999. Soon thereafter, the plant went into full-scale operation. Darling summarized the experience by saying, "From our point of view, the whole process went very well. Megtec built sturdy equipment that is performing to our specifications."