Welcome to another installment in our “Building Barreto Tough” journey where we give our customers a behind the scenes look at our manufacturing process. If you are just joining us, we recommend starting here: Building Barreto Tough: CNC Mills and Lathes.
Following CNC and welding, many of our parts make their way to our powder coat department. While Barreto Manufacturing has always painted its own parts, the upgrade to powder coating came in 2005. In order to keep up with demand, a second, highly advanced, powder coating facility was recently installed at our Horseshoe Bend, ID location, and began operating in August of 2020.
The transition into powder coating provided a number of benefits for the manufacturing process. With 24 hour dry times and a more time consuming application process, the traditional painting procedures of years past had a tendency to become the “bottleneck” of the production line. Powder coating has cut that time down notably. With a bake time of about 30 minutes, and a cool down time of less than 2 hours, our powder coated parts are able to make their way to our assembly departments much more efficiently.
Here at Barreto Manufacturing we use two types of powder coating systems. In our primary headquarters in La Grande, OR we use a 7 stage immersion system where parts are submerged in chemical baths to prepare for the powder coating and baking process. In our Horseshoe Bend facility, we use an automated conveyor system where parts are hung and move constantly through the entire cleaning and powder coating process at a pace of 3 ft per minute.
For an in depth look at how powder coating works, check out this article: What is Powder Coating from Despatch Technologies.
Powder coating also allows us to achieve our quality standards in less time and with less need for “touch ups”. The process of applying a powder coat allows us to create thick and durable coatings in a single pass. Powder coating creates a stronger bond with the part than traditional paint methods, offering durability and longevity when tackling those Barreto Tough jobs our machines are designed for.