The purpose of our quality control is to catch the surface quality issues before parts leave our facility. Say a part didn’t get pretreated properly and oil bubbles through the coating surface, or there was a pinhole in the weld that causes some outgassing, or the coating thickness is noticeably inconsistent because we didn’t spray it correctly – our goal is to notice and fix these issues before shipping parts to the customer.
Sometimes, things slip through.
Other times, the part gets damaged during shipping, or the customer brings it home and scuffs it right away.
Whether the surface issue was Kaser’s fault or not, I want our customers to tell us about it. Even if you aren’t sure what happened, please talk to us.
I say this for two reasons: first, odds are high that we can rework the part and fix the issue; second, we can help brainstorm ways to prevent this in the future.
This scenario happens more often than you’d think: a customer picks up a freshly powder coated part at Kaser, and is very happy with the finished product. They bring it home, only to drop it or scratch it immediately upon arrival. If they call us asking whether we can touch up the scuff, the answer is probably no, but we can almost certainly rework it so that the scuff doesn’t show.
Powder coating is tough to touch up because it’s applied through electrostatics. The charged powder clings to any available surface on a grounded part. This means a touch-up requires tremendous amounts of masking with high-temp tape that is time consuming and difficult to remove before curing.
That’s a lot of headache for a simple touch up.
Instead, we prefer to rework the entire part. This means buffing the scratch, and abrading the surface of the existing powder coating to provide a latch point for the next coat. We then run the part through pretreatment to clean it up, powder coat the whole thing, and cure it. In general, this is usually the best way to fix scuffs and scrapes in powder coating.
If disaster struck and the part was heavily damaged (i.e. a pallet fell off the shipping truck), we’ll likely blast the part down to metal and start the process over from the beginning.
Liquid coating is much easier to touch up. Since there’s no oven involved, we can easily mask the undamaged portions, retouch the scuff, let it dry overnight, and peel the masking the next morning.
Obviously, if the poor surface quality was due to an error in our process, we want to know about it.
If the part was damaged after leaving our facility, we still want to know about it. Not only are we likely able to fix the part, but we might also be able to help prevent future issues. Perhaps we’ll package parts differently going forward. We might consider a different shipping company. Maybe we’ll let customers know that certain parts should be picked up instead of being shipped. Regardless, we want to be involved in the resolution of the issue.
So if you see something, say something. We’ll be glad you did.