First of all, what does “reclaim” and “non-reclaim” mean when it comes to powder coating booth designs? And which is a better option for my application?
All powder coating systems contain methods and equipment to collect overspray. But there are differences between collecting it for disposal and ‘reclaiming’ it for reuse. In a non-reclaim system, otherwise known as a non-recovery or spray-to-waste system, the colors and powders are mixed; therefore, they cannot be used again. In a reclaim system, also known as recovery booth, the powder is separated from the color and can be used at a later time.
This can present an important and confusing option when buying a booth. Choosing the right system depends on multiple factors. Operators should evaluate the cost and convenience of each option when deciding. Careful examination of the process to identify key data such as material costs, time and effort of workers, and variety and volume of coating applications, are critical in the evaluation.
Non-Reclaim Powder Booth System
A non-reclaim powder booth is obviously the more basic of the two designs. The initial cost of a non-reclaim booth is considerably less than one that is built to recover finishing compounds. Although they still capture overspray, it is caught in a standard filter that is discarded and replaced.
Additionally, the non-reclaim booth is easier to operate when your company’s applications require frequent color or material changes. That’s why when these types of changes are frequent, this booth design is most often chosen.
Reclaim Powder Booths
Although reclaim and non-reclaim powder booths are basically the same, the difference is in the filtration system. In the reclaim version, there is an addition of booth system that collects the powder for reuse. Depending on the process, this can result in cost savings, as well as being more environmentally friendly.
The initial cost of a reclaim system can be as much as twice the cost of the non-reclaim. The cost savings however, from reuse of materials plus the cost savings from not having to dispose harmful chemicals may make the additional cost worth it. This is what needs to be evaluated.
Also important to factor in is operating efficiency. Preserving the purity of the reclaimed powder for later use may require additional frequent filter changes and booth cleaning. The changing of filters and cleaning of the booth disrupts the flow of work and is time-consuming. It also adds a higher risk of contamination if not done thoroughly.
These are the reasons why purchasing a reclaim system is not always the best option. Most plants find that there is significant cost savings when there are high volumes and high overspray. In these cases, the reclaim system is a good choice.
Production Systems offers both custom and standard size reclaim and non-reclaim powder coating booths. We also manufacture manual or automatic, and open or closed faced booths. If you aren’t certain about which options are best for your applications, contact us to schedule a consultation. Our engineers can provide recommendations that will work best in your environment and provide the best investment option.