ECOAT14 Conference: Sharing Lessons Learned in Electrocoating

April has been a month of amazing automotive events rich with learning opportunities for both presenters and attendees alike. We started at SAE World Congress, then headed to the American Coatings Show, and ended the month at the ECOAT14 Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The event hosts the leading innovators in the electrocoating (ecoat) industry. It served as a great platform for our experts to present and share technical information based on our 30 years of experience and know-how producing high-performance cathodic electrocoats.

Here's a summation of the four key topics we discussed at ECOAT14:

Maximize Efficiency to Improve Profitability - Thaddeus Lepowski, market segment manager for BASF Coatings North America, led a discussion on how optimizing the operational efficiency of an ecoat system can play a major role in improving the profitability of a facility. He outlined key factors to achieving efficient ecoat operations, including process bottlenecks, racking and rack density, film build distribution and system design.

Lightweighting Chassis Components Without Sacrificing Corrosion Performance - Lightweighting is going to be a reigning automotive topic for the foreseeable future and ecoat technology can play a significant role. Tyler Dennision, electrocoat process engineer from BASF Coatings North America, presented together with Lisette Maloney, assistant research director for Magni Industries, Inc.

PPAP Testing - Robert Schiller, group leader for BASF Corporation, explained how the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) does not have to be a complicated process. For bulk materials such as electrodesposition paint, the customer, ecoater and paint supplier need to work together under the guidelines of PPAP to accomplish what is needed for approval.

Modeling Success: The True Coat of Electrocoat - Charles Orr, field service engineer for BASF Corporation, talked about the many cost drivers associated with the electrocoat process that need to be qualified. With the interaction of these factors and today's competitive business environment, he emphasized the need for a "complete" cost model.