Extending the scope of vacuum coating technologies to flat panels. After Cefla Finishing’s Smartedge, here comes Smartvacuum.
IMOLA, 31 July 2021. To date, vacuum application technologies have been used to apply UV lacquers to edges. Smartedge, with its patented EDGE&GO device which has given another meaning to the word flexibility, is now joined by Smartvacuum, an alternative to roller, spray and curtain coating for flat panels. And the benefits appear to be more than a few.
Simple, clean, eco-friendly and cost-efficient
Manufacturers of cabinet doors, panels and bathroom furniture will be the first to discover the opportunities created by Smartvacuum. Any wood or wood-based flat panel can be coated using vacuum application technology, especially those with rounded edges. Smartvacuum applies between 100 and 140 g/sqm of eco-friendly 100% UV acrylic paint in a single pass. Product build-up is avoided at any point on the panel as coating takes place without the application head coming into physical contact with the substrate. Using a 100% solid UV product, the process can be considered sustainable and the coating is more stable over time compared to polyurethane or polyester-based products, and requires a shorter drying time with lower costs.
Matching the panel surface coating with the edge coating
The latest in furniture trends have seen a dominant demand for flat surfaces with rounded edges. Finding a way to match the finishing quality of the flat surface with the edge ideally requires using the same application technique and the same paint, which is where Smartvacuum and Smartedge represent the only solution available using vacuum coating technology. The result is a perfect junction seam between the flat surface and the edge of the panel.
The key benefits of vacuum application technology
Vacuum coating tends to reduce consumables, costs, lead times, handling requirements and the need for space. In detail:
- no need to round off corners after drying and before sanding
- fewer machines required, so less cleaning and lower consumption
- lower sanding costs and less waste
- shorter lead times, production flexibility
- smaller footprint, more space in the factory
- fewer process stages resulting in fewer panel handling requirements
- clean edge at machine inlet vs. curtain coating
The process envisaged consists of a first panel sanding operation followed by basecoat application and gelling. Single pass vacuum application of UV acrylic paint is completed with a 5/6-minute flash off. Drying is completed in a UV oven and the process ends up after sanding or can be completed with a matt/glossy finish using another coating technique.
Cefla Finishing, a global leader in the coating, decoration and digital printing of wood and its derivatives, designs and builds tailor-made "turnkey" production lines, mainly for the wooden product manufacturing industry. The expertise gained from years of experience on the market and advanced know-how have also made Cefla Finishing a pivotal, cutting-edge provider of technology to the glass, plastic, fibre cement, composite materials and metal finishing industries.