The rise of bespoke surface coatings
Customer demand, time pressures and factory automation are just some of the drivers shaping today’s manufacturing landscape. Machines are running faster, and for longer, than ever before, and for OEMs this means making adaptations to their machine designs in order to maintain optimal performance in increasingly hostile conditions – keeping quality of output high and waste levels low.
One such adaptation is the use of bespoke surface coatings, capable of enhancing the performance of a machine for its intended application. Whether that’s applying a carefully considered surface roughness to improve the traction of a product to the machine, colour coding a production line for factory efficiency or improving the longevity of equipment with improved abrasion resistance, bespoke surface coatings can withstand the increasingly harsh environments of modern manufacturing.
As a trusted name in the application of specialist surface coatings, Marcote has long invested in the research and development of bespoke coatings for a range of industries including the automotive, food and pharmaceutical sectors.
[Sam Woodcock], our [Managing Director] explains why bespoke coatings are becoming an important part of the Marcote product and service portfolio:
“It’s no secret that how we manufacture goods is changing. We are doing it faster, in more compact spaces and we are using different, more eco-friendly materials such as water-based adhesives and recyclable materials.
“These factors, and others like them, have an impact on the effectiveness of machines and how they process raw materials into end products.
“It is inevitable therefore that the surface coatings we use to protect these machines and improve production must also evolve in some instances, and that’s where bespoke coatings really come into their own.
“In other words, when a standard product no longer works, specialist knowledge of coating characteristics and application processes must be applied to create an alternative product that is more fit for purpose.”
Sometimes it’s as easy as flicking a switch
There is a common misconception that bespoke coatings are always a highly complex mix of chemicals combined to deliver a certain set of performance properties. Whilst this is true in some cases, it can often be far simpler than that.
Often, a small change in how we apply a coating can change the way it performs – just a simple flick of a switch on our application tools and we have a bespoke solution for little or no additional cost.
This sounds easy, but in truth, only extremely experienced applicators will have the product and system knowledge to make these simple adjustments. In doing so, we are working outside the parameters of the standard application advice given by coating manufacturers. That’s not to say it’s against best practice though – we spend time talking to the creators of the coatings we specify to understand what is possible should we decide to apply it differently.
There have even been some instances where we have surprised coatings manufacturers by showing them what their own product is capable of, given some simple application adjustments!
The most common bespoke coating applications
The most common requests for bespoke coatings are for increased abrasion resistance, longer lasting coating life or changing the colour of the finished result.
As a team of passionate experts, we are experienced in producing bespoke coatings for a range of different applications. As our bespoke R&D offering grows, we are able to apply the knowledge we have garnered from previous bespoke projects to make the process faster and leaner for future unique application requests.
Choosing the right bespoke surface coating specialist
We cannot stress enough, that when it comes to choosing a specialist coatings applicator for your bespoke requirement, it will pay dividends to do your research and choose a company that has a proven track record in producing coatings that go above and beyond what an “off the shelf” solution can provide.
Any previous successes could propel your project forwards and save time and money, getting you to your end goal, much faster.
At Marcote, we believe that research and development into new and unique ways of mixing and applying specialist coatings is as beneficial to us as it is to our customers, which is why we work closely with OEMs to identify bespoke solutions that meet the needs of today’s manufacturing challenges.
Depending on the application and how complex the requirements are, developing a bespoke solution can take between 3-12 months, and surprisingly, often doesn’t cost much more than a standard coating. That is because we are committed to expanding our own knowledge and expertise in the bespoke coatings arena.
Find out more
If you believe a more bespoke solution could solve your machine performance challenges, speak to the Marcote team today, to understand how our existing R&D, plus our thirst for developing new technologies, can help you meet the performance demands of your sector.