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Flat Line vs. Conventional11/21
I'm helping a friend here who apparently thinks highly enough of my traditional/conventional finishing knowledge that he wants me to look at flat line systems with him even though I know squat about flat line systems. I don't have four days though to sacrifice to the travel involved so I'm turning to my ace in the hole- you guys, woodwebs finish experts.
Here's my questions:
What were your biggest pitfalls when you made the switch that he should look out for?
Realistically, to do 600 doors a day how many men to run and how much would should he expect to pay for all the equipment involved to do so?
Do you have a particular system you'd recommend? Any he should stay away from? How quickly can recommended system change over to different finish?
And as I've already admitted, I know zip about flatline, what questions did I not ask that I should have asked?
I'm old school, I always worry without being able to touch and see the product as it progresses how are you going to catch the water spot, the glue spot, the areas that didn't take quite right- just dealing with the inconsistencies of wood and all the other craftsmen behind you (that never happens!)...what's your take?
Sincerely appreciate the feedback
purchased falcioni used flat line sprayer about 6 yrs ago. pros are fantistic finish can't compare quality and finish speed to anything I've done in 40 years. need to be using finishes that dry very quickly. we spray precatalyzed lacquers. spray capacity we encounter is 50 cabinet doors 1 coat thru machine approximately 12 minutes. can go faster just requires more employees on exit side of machine to keep up with outflow of doors. definitely a good move to increase profitability if you work the system correctly. took about 6 months to a year to work the system to 90% good results. drying system would be a plus just requires large space for entire system. we can clear seal 50 doors first of the morning turn doors over just before morning break spray front side. sand sealer both side right after lunch spray clear coat on backs of doors by 2 and flip doors , put clear coat on front of doors just 15 minutes before shop shut down, doors ready to install first thing next morning. these times are good for 3/4 of the year based on atmospheric temp. and finish cure times. contact me for more info if needed.
50 doors thru the machine takes 10 to 12 minutes per pass. give the doors time to cure out turn doors over run front side. give doors time to cure out sand both sides of doors run final clear finish on back of doors. turn doors over at the end of the day run front side. total spray time on a set of doors thru the machine 2 passes on each side comes out to total of about 40 minutes per set of doors.doors cure all night ready to assemble on cabinets next day. this is our procedure with only atmospheric drying in our shop no added drying fans or accessory fans. travel time thru the machine is approx. 8 feet per minute. can spray a 4 x 8 sheet of material with clear finish thru the machine in 1 minute. only thing that limits capacity would be drying rack capacity for all the doors you want to spray. machine capable of spraying 200 or more doors per hour on 1 side
it takes 12 minutes to run the doors thru one time. one pass on one side.
I appreciate the extra feedback. So tell me what I am missing here...I'm a simple minded fellow. Unless you have enough men to keep up with the staining, sanding, feeding and taking off the machine it is not speeding you up. Which to me to staining and the sanding are more time consuming when done right than the laying down of the finish.
Trying to wrap my mind around what you guys are saying. To me this things could INCREASE the amount of men needed because you have to keep up with it but only when it's running.
I will admit my complete ignorance now but I thought these had gotten to the point they applied the stain, sealer, hit a drying point, sanded and topcoated hit a drying point and somebody is catching it at the end. Like I said, I know nothing about these things as I never entertained in a million years it would be the way my shop would go. But my door guy is looking at possibly going this route and while he knows I know nada about them trusts my eye for what the end of each step and final result is.
As you guys explain it to me the only way it would work is if he batched up a complete days worth of clears, all same sheen and ran them (ran the next job while previous one dried). What I struggle with is the pigmented. I just can't see enough batch quantity size to make the pigmented worth the time. Enlighten me.
Thanks again and any input on the financial side about costs, and percentage of cost savings once you hit a certain door # per day would be helpful.