HOW IT WORKS:
For Jim Kvatek, supervising instructor at PPG Business Development Center in Allison Park, Pa., training painters means that he often sprays with multiple painters at the same time in the booth, as well as uses air-supplied respirators from the compressed air. Needless to say, having clean air, getting the proper amount of air, and having constant air volume to the spray guns is crucial. Plus, Kvatek says that many shops today need to replace existing rigid airlines made of copper or black iron due to corrosion, which causes contamination and poor air flow.
That’s why, three years ago, Kvatek invested in Dan-Am Air aluminum airline piping and fittings.
“It gives us enough air volume, without restriction, and without creating too high velocity in the airlines,” he says. “This allows all the spray guns and hood to work with enough volume the same every time.”
The system’s airlines are made of powder-coated, aircraft-grade aluminum, which Kvatek says means less corrosion, lighter weight and less leaks. The other advantage of aluminum, Kvatek says, is the ease of installation. The system uses a “push-to-connect” design that allows users to simply cut the pipe to the right length, clean the edges and press it into the fittings for immediate pressurization.
“We used a general contractor to install and they’re used to doing copper and black iron,” Kvatek says. “I was just talking to the lead guys and with the amount of feet of pipe that we ran, he was thinking it would take upwards of 10 business days with copper or steel, and they did it under four days.”
Kvatek says it was easy to have drops installed wherever needed and should changes be necessary in the future, new drops can be easily added.
“As sometimes our curriculum or class size can change, it is important that we know that we can simply make changes to accommodate that in our facility,” he says.
Kvatek notes that the heavy-duty air fittings, which are made out of reinforced nylon composite, also flow higher amounts of air than before, and because the set of grip teeth seal against the wall of the aluminum piping, the fittings are less likely to leak.
First, Kvatek says that the reduction in install time was huge and meant significantly less down time for the paint booth.
“The lack of downtime during the install and the short install time gives us a lot of increased savings,” he says.
Once in use, he says that part of the return is the contaminant-free air that provides better air flow leading to more precise paint jobs and a better work environment for the painters.
Finally, he says that the aluminum will ensure the longevity of the equipment and avoid frequent changes of filtration elements due to less corrosion. The aluminum pipe also eliminates the issues of manufacturing and cutting oils that can traditionally cause contamination issues.