Choosing the Right Mixing and Metering Equipment
Using electronic proportioning system for accurate mixing and metering can save time and money, but how do you choose the right machine? And how much do good proportioners cost?
Here are three areas to consider when buying plural component equipment.
1. Material Chemistry: Because the chemistry of every material varies, it is important to keep in mind the kind of coating are you managing. This will effect what meter to use, as wells as the type of flushing and dosing that will be required. The more difficult the material, the more important it is to invest in higher performing meters and flushing accessories. If you want to prime and top coat in the same booth, you will need to keep epoxy and urethane materials separate. Some systems like the ProMix PD2K will allow you to manage both epoxy and urethane in one unit. Otherwise, a single color entry level system will manage the epoxy primer while a multi color system manages the top coat urethane. This requires careful balancing of cost, space available and system architecture.
2. Current Color Use and Color Expansion: Managing the number of colors needed now is key, but don’t forget expansion. You may think you need an entry-level system, but in another year or two, this could change. Be sure to select a system that can grow with you to get the most out of your investment. If you choose an entry level system, be aware that many do not have the ability to expand. Systems like the ProMix 2KS and ProMix PD2K may be more expensive initially, but can expand to add colors and catalysts with a much smaller secondary investment than if you were to purchase an entire new system.
3. Metering and Flushing Components: These are also important to making the right proportioning choice. If you don’t get this right, you could end up spending time and money to maintain components that clog or cause measurement problems. Mixing epoxy and urethane materials can lead to frequent maintenance problems. Waterborne materials require water and solvent to flush properly, some materials are sheer sensitive which may not allow a gear meter to be used. All of them should be considered carefully when selecting a proportioning system.
A lot of factors go into choosing a proportioner that fits your unique needs. And depending on your requirements, systems can cost anywhere from $10,000-$50,000. So whether you’re new to electronic proportioning, or looking to expand, there are many choices to fit your needs and budget.