Posts in category Blog

Paint Adhesion and the Cleaning Process

Paint 6The secret to any successful painting process begins with the cleaning process. The performance of powder coating is significantly influenced by its ability to adhere properly to the substrate material. Surface preparation is the most important factor affecting adhesion in the powder coating process. The presence of even small amounts of surface contaminants, oil, grease, oxides etc. can physically impair and reduce coating adhesion to the substrate.

Many fabricators struggle with the surface preparation of metal fabricated parts due to the lack of adhesion on the edge of parts processed through the laser. During the laser cutting process oxygen is used an assist gas during laser cutting of mild steel. The oxygen causes an exothermic reaction that creates heat, which helps the laser cut through the metal. The oxygen creates an oxidized edge that makes it difficult for powder coatings to adhere to the area exposed to the laser cutting.

To provide adequate cleaning A-1 Fabricators & Finishers provides a 5 stage cleaning process that removes this oxidation and allows for proper adhesion of the powder paint to the material. Listed below are the 5 stages and a brief description of each stages function.

Stage1: Acid – Descale or Laser Etch

1st step of the process is the spray application of a liquid acidic compound used to remove laser edge oxides and heat scale.

  • Removes Laser Edge Oxide
  • Removes Heat scales

Stage2: Rinse

Product is then rinsed with a water spray to stop the acid cleaning process

Stage 3: Iron Phosphate – Cleaner/Coater

Parts are then sprayed with an acid cleaning concentrate that also applies an iron phosphate conversion coating. The coating provides an etching on the material that enhances paint adhesion.

  • Provides etching enhancing adhesion

Stage 4: Rinse

Product is again water spray rinsed to stop the phosphate etching process.

Stage 5: Seal/Rinse

Final stage applies a sealer that is safe for all metals. Sealer application provides a rust inhibitor that prevents flash rust of materials.

  • Safe for all metals
  • Controls flash rust
  • Improves salt spray and humidity test results

To assure proper adhesion is achieved in the cleaning process prepared samples are Cross Hatch Tested at a minimum of twice per shift. A crosshatch pattern is made though the film to the substrate. Detached flakes of coating are removed by brushing with a soft brush. Pressure-sensitive tape is applied over the crosshatch cut. Tape is smoothed into place by using a pencil eraser over the area of the incisions. Tape is removed by pulling it off rapidly back over itself as close to an angle of 180º. Adhesion is assessed on a 0 to 5 scale, reference ASTM D3359-09E2 Test Method B for Cross Cut Tape Test Requirements. Click on link to review testing process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyzzUVjEGnU

Expanding Capacity With Addition of Third Trumpf Laser

3030

A-1 Fabricators and Finishers is expanding capacity with the addition of a third Trumpf Trulaser 3030, 4000 watt laser. Installation is currently underway with anticipation of our newest laser being utilized into production by July 20th. Each of our lasers provide an average cutting rate of 150” per minute; varying with material types and thickness , accommodating sheet sizes to 60” x 120” as well as some structural tubing. Material thickness capabilities can vary dependent upon material type. I.e., ferrous carbon materials of up to ¾” can be accurately processed and non ferrous materials, aluminum, and stainless steels, up to ½” and shim stock material as thin as .001”. Laser cutting process provides many advantages:

  • Clean smooth cut edges
  • Greater accuracy
  • No burrs or dust formation
  • Ability to cut complex shapes
  • Faster than conventional cutting process

(Click on link for laser demonstration) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j94tZ_BC8oA)

Dennis Doane, President and Owner of A-1 Fabricators and Finishers stated “Growth is the investment into our future. The investment of equipment and additional resources is essential in to the support of our commitment to continuous improvement and growth. We have an obligation to our employees, their families, and community to provide stable employment opportunities for future generations.”

Utilizing the additional 50,000 sq ft of manufacturing being realized with the construction of our newest facility provides the required space needed to accommodate the additional laser as well as expand key fabrication processes. The laser cutting of material is the beginning operation of the manufacturing process and will allow for a 33% increased capacity throughout the manufacturing process. The A-1 Fabricators and Finishers team is looking forward to the exciting advancements and opportunities being presented and have embraced the atmosphere of change.

Self-Directed Workforce

Banner1A-1 Fabricators and Finishers recognized success of our Self-Directed Work and the residual benefits being realized.

Operating under a self-directed workforce allows for each employee to be responsible and accountable for their own productivity. This concept is practiced throughout all divisions of the company and basic guidelines have been established. Assuring that the company’s expectations are clearly understood the specifications of the guidelines have been documented in our employee handbook.

In this environment the diversity in personalities plays an important factor in the success. The many inherent traits of individuals to be leaders, followers, detail oriented, enthusiastic, etc., allows for diversity in our workforce. This diversity allows for the

strength and weakness of all individuals to be utilized and fosters an environment of individuality and importance. To learn more on understanding personality types this page has been found to be useful. http://www.hiresuccess.com/help/Understandingthe4PersonalityTypes.htm/ .

The concept of a self-directed workforce is achievable by empowering and trusting our employees in their decision making process. An often seen advantage is that employees openly communicate and resolve their concerns amongst each other. Continuous improvement efforts are consistently being implemented as individuals share their expertise and needs. Problem solving skills are realized with the promotion of expertise of the employee’s skills and knowledge. Individuals are respected for their contribution and have developed a sense of pride in the roles they perform.

Each employee is responsible for the quality of work produced. Guidelines in the form of Control Plans have been established with the input of employees performing the operations. Employees perform and document established inprocess inspections prior to moving product from their area. Inspection department performs sampling inspection and provides feedback to applicable employees in cases where standards have not been met. Providing real time feedback allows employees the opportunity for immediate corrective

and preventative actions to systems and processes.

Employee performance and productivity is monitored through our Enterprise Resource Planning System. ERP is business management software—typically a suite of integrated applications—that a company can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many business activities. Work is scheduled and released to manufacturing were employees are responsible for assuring that product is processed in the order of operation by due dates. Once an operation is completed employee then moves the job to the following operation as listed on the job work order and records the information into the ERP System. Through utilization of the ERP system full traceability of a part history, past or present, is captured recording employee identification, time, and materials.

Through implementation of self-direct work force the need of supervision throughout the manufacturing process has been eliminated. Employees have proven to perform at higher standards and the reduction in payroll is beneficial in reducing the Cost of Goods. Cost of Goods is the direct costs attributable to the production of the goods sold by a company. Through the reduction of cost allows labor rates to be reduced and savings are reflected in the pricing reductions experienced by our customers.

Your feedback is crucial in evaluating the relevance and value of the content being

provided. Please take a minute to share your comments and any feedback. We are open to suggestions on the content of future blogs pertaining to any specific process or service that may be of specific interest to you. Please submit your request and we will do what we can to address that topic in the near future. All feedback is welcome and encouraged we only ask that your comments comply with our Comment Policy. Be nice, be considerate, be friendly. Any comment that we feel doesn’t meet these simple rules can and probably will be deleted.

Feedback can be submitted by clicking the Comment button located on the top right corner of the blog page or by contacting Deborah Throenle, see contact information below.

We do not pretend to be experts in every field and would like to extend an invitation to encourage anyone with value added information to participate in our blogging post. Please contact Deborah Throenle with your request to be added to our Editorial Calendar, see contact information below.

Debbie Throenle
dthroenle@a1fab..biz

Ph (513) 724-0383 Ext 101
(513) 724-0387

From Concept to Reality Metal Fabrication Blog

A-1 Fabricators and Finishers is a one-stop sheet and structural metal fabrication company located just East of Cincinnati, Ohio. We are a veteran owned, small business that has recognized continuous growth in each passing year of business. We are currently staffed with 75 employees and plan to increase staffing in the near future to accommodate our current expansion of an additional facility.

Accumulated expertise in all aspects of metal fabrications provides the resource of knowledge needed in understanding fabrication process. Utilizing the many cumlative years of experience of our employees provides the necessary expertise needed to create a forum of sharing past, present, and future fabrication processes and experience. Our fabrication expertise includes but is not limited to Engineering and Design, Laser Cutting Services, Press Brakes, AWS Certified Mig & Tig Welding, Finish Powder Coating Services.

Our objective in writing this blog is to offer valuable fabrication information to supplier management teams, purchasing managers, buyers, or anyone who desires insight to sheet and structural fabrications. We believe that sharing our knowledge and strengths in the fabrication processes will provide a valuable tool in their decision making efforts of developing strategic partners in their metal fabrication purchasing requirements.

Realizing the importance of staying on topic we realized that we had to develop a Topic List that would be beneficial and provide insight to our targeted audience. We asked ourselves what we found to be important when looking for new vendors and developing partnering relationships. The Team was in agreement that Cost, Quality, Delivery, and Customer Service were the driving factors of all decision made and believe that the same principal is consistent throughout the manufacturing industry. All written blogs will be supportive of the agreed upon topics as they relate to the metal fabrication industry.

Your feedback is crucial in evaluating the relevance and value of the content being provided. Please take a minute to share your comments and any feedback. We are open to suggestions on the content of future blogs pertaining to any specific process or service that may be of specific interest to you. Please submit your request and we will do what we can to address that topic in the near future. All feedback is welcome and encouraged we only ask that your comments comply with our Comment Policy. Be nice, be considerate, be friendly. Any comment that we feel doesn’t meet these simple rules can and probably will be deleted.

Feedback can be submitted by clicking the Comment button located on the top right corner of the blog page or by contacting Deborah Throenle, see contact information below.

We do not pretend to be experts in every field and would like to extend an invitation to encourage anyone with value added information to participate in our blogging post. Please contact Deborah Throenle with your request to be added to our Editorial Calendar, see contact information below.

Don’t see what you are looking for, no worries, our dedicated team is available to assist you. Our knowledgeable staff of experienced professionals will be more than happy to discuss any questions or concerns in regards to your metal fabrication process and service needs.

Expansion Update

DSC_0200-Recovered

Progress in the expansion is well under way. Structural support beams have all been constructed and the building is beginning to take shape. Contractors have been busy laying in the plumbing lines this week. Anticipation of the added capacity to our assembly and painting process is becoming reality. The excitement of prospective opportunities and advancements to our capabilities is being realized.

Expansion Moving Forward For Local Batavia Business

bataviaA-1 Fabricators & Finishers is moving forward in the expansion of local Batavia business. Foundation is near completion for this 50,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and construction appears to be back on schedule. Slated for completion in early summer the expansion of this turnkey fabrication facility will provide the resources for continued growth and additional services opportunities. Conveniently located next to the already established A-1 Fabricators & Finishers manufacturing facility on Curliss Lane allows for continued growth in the existing fabrication turnkey operation. Expansion will provide additional employment opportunities of skilled and general labor positions within the community. Company President, Dennis Doane, stated “Having embraced innovative thinking and commitment to continuous improvement has afforded our company continued success and growth … Through this growth we are investing into the future of our business, community, and employees.”

Expansion Underway

expansion-underwayA-1 Fabricators & Finishers’ is scheduled to resume construction efforts of an additional facility with completion anticipated for early summer.  Conveniently located next to the already established A-1 Fabricators manufacturing facility on Curliss Lane in Batavia, Ohio the expansion will allow for continued growth of the existing fabrication turnkey operation.

Established in 2004, growth and expansion is no stranger to this operation. The company was relocated from a 40,000 square foot facility in Williamsburg to their current facility on Curliss Lane in the spring of 2009. The 100,000 square foot facility was built to allow for growth and designed for continuous flow manufacturing. Only a few short years later they are found to once again be investing into the future of the company. Currently employing more than 70 employees, the expansion will provide additional employment opportunities for both skilled and general labor position within the community.

Company President, Dennis Doane commented, “A-1 Fabricators and Finishers’ expansion supports the commitment to our employees, customers, and community of continued improvement and growth for future generations”. “Our growth is attributed to the investment in resources and services that allow us to provide fabricated products from Concept to Reality”.  “Utilizing leading edge equipment and experienced employees has provided the foundation to grow and diversify our one-stop fabrication facility“.

Contact Us

4220 Curliss Lane
Batavia, OH 45103

P: 513.724.0383
F: 513.724.0387

Quotes or Questions:
Dennis Doane – President
Joseph Strack – Senior Engineer