Tough Tillage Update

Keep equipment looking new twice as long with powder coating

powder-coating-farm-equipment-1-webIt’s no secret that farm equipment is exposed to some rugged conditions: repeated heavy-duty use, impacts, moisture, chemicals, ultraviolet light, and extreme weather conditions can all take their toll on equipment. Because of this, it’s crucial for farmers to invest in equipment that will last.

Powder coating is a finishing method that will ensure just that. The benefits of the powder-coat finish method used by AMCO include:

  • More than twice as durable as a wet-paint finish and better coverage
  • More scratch resistant—if the tool gets dented or dinged, the coating will flex a little rather than beginning to flake off
  • Resistant to fading
  • Reduced environmental footprint—many liquid paints and finishes release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, but powder coating contains few to no VOCs, allowing AMCO to more easily comply with increasingly stringent EPA air pollution regulations
  • Lowers waste, because unused or oversprayed powder that doesn’t adhere to the equipment can be retrieved and reused

How it works

The finish is a mix of curatives, pigments, leveling agents, flow modifiers, and other additives that have been ground down to powder. During the application process, an electric charge is applied to the powder particles, which are then shot out of a spray gun onto the metal equipment part—the electric charge ensures the particles stick to the metal. The parts are then put in an oven to cure. Once the equipment leaves the oven and cools, it is completely cured. As a result, AMCO expects to reduce its lead times—which are already industry leading—by 10 percent.

Commitment to modern manufacturing

For the implementation of the new process in November, AMCO’s 85,000 square-foot manufacturing space was revamped to include a 14x12x36-foot batch powder-coating booth. Paint technicians are armed with the latest application guns from GEMA, the Optiselect GMO3.

The upgrade to the painting system is just the latest step in AMCO’s plan to revitalize its manufacturing setup. Earlier in 2014, 800 new feet of rail was installed in the assembly area to improve flow throughout the plant and make it easier for assemblers to move parts through the lines.

AMCO is focused on modernizing its processes and equipment to continually build on the value it can offer customers. In addition to powder coating, AMCO has introduced improvements to the pour product line to make it stronger and more modern. More improvements to many of AMCO’s leading models will be introduced in the coming months.

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