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Tinting During Filling, An innovative source of competitive advantage for paint & ink manufacturers

CPS Color : 30 August, 2006  (New Product)
Intense competition and increasing globalisation in the paint industry mean that manufacturers need to be more creative, innovative, flexible and cost efficient than ever before. By enabling them to produce paint in the desired colour directly into the final packaging instead of in batches, Tinting During Filling systems offer paint manufacturers an innovative way to decrease the cost and increase the efficiency of their production operations.
Tinting systems have become commonplace in the form of point-of-sale colorant dispensers. Paint and hardware stores, home improvement centres and do-it-yourself outlets have experienced the benefits of reduced inventory and waste, instant and flexible colour production and improved customer service they provide for some time. Back down the supply chain, however, many manufacturers are still colouring their paint in their production facilities using conventional pigment grinding methods.

Significant returns
But times are changing. European paint, coating and ink producers are following in the footsteps of early adopters in Japan and North America who have been enjoying the competitive advantage of Tinting During Filling production lines for some years. Deutsche Amphibolin Werke are the latest in a growing number of manufacturers in Europe to have recognised the significant returns to be achieved from investing in an in-plant TDF system. The market leader in building paints in Germany, Deutsche Amphibolin Werke also has the fourth largest share of the European decorative paint market. This April their Ober-Ramstadt plant took delivery of a large and very sophisticated TDF installation.

“With the TDF-installation we can tint more than four times as many paint as before.”

The turnkey system installed at the plant was custom-built for Deutsche Amphibolin Werke by CPS Color, the leading supplier of advanced tinting systems, who introduced the TDF concept back in 1995 in the European market. At that time the company was known as Corob, the name they continue to use for their TDF systems and their dispensing and mixing equipment. One of TDF’s key benefits is that systems are tailored to each manufacturer’s production approach and other requirements. Choices can be made from many functions and components that can be incorporated in the installation.

“We started considering a TDF installation when we realised that the tinting systems we’d been using were no longer able to meet the demands and quantities of today's market appropriately,” explains Manfred Hefner, Production Manager of Deutsche Amphibolin Werke’s Ober-Ramstadt site. “CPS Color's TDF specialists provided us with a very well thought out solution that was a precise and meaningful translation of our needs and specifications. Combined with the good price/performance ratio, this was a key factor in our deciding on a Corob TDF installation.

With today’s quantity of colours available, the market demands a growing number of orders for smaller quantities of different colours to be supplied in extremely shortened delivery times. With the new automatic system, we are able to produce four times as many colours as before and achieve our objectives.”

Greater flexibility
Deutsche Amphibolin Werke’s new TDF system begins with reading barcodes specifying each product, colour and can size. The appropriate empty cans are then loaded into the system in the packaging feeding area and labeled. In the tinting area, colorants are volumetrically added to colour the product. Next, the can is filled with the required amount and quality of base paint components and finished off with additives. In the closing area, all cans are automatically closed. The paint then goes to an automatic mixing station and finally the packaging and palletizing unit, from where the finished product is dispatched to its destination.

Deutsche Amphibolin Werke’s TDF installation was first completely pre‑built in the CPS Color Equipment facilities in San Felice, Italy. Growing demand has meant the amount of floor space for the assembly of TDF production lines was doubled there last year. The system was extensively tested before being dismantled and shipped to Ober-Ramstadt. It was then re‑built on site, tested again, and Deutsche Amphibolin Werke's staff were thoroughly trained before the production line was taken into use.

“We’re able to tailor product specifications to our customers’ wishes in minutes.”

“In partnering with CPS Color’s engineers we ascertained that the system design would take all our product specifications into account and made the best possible use of the available space,” notes Michelino Cuozzo, from Deutsche Amphibolin Werke’s technical department. Mr Hefner adds: “We’re able to tailor product specifications to our customer’s wishes in minutes. There has been an optimization in the interval of time between order and production on daily availability.”

As all CPS Color TDF systems are custom-designed, flexibility is inherent in the concept. For example, a solids dispenser can be incorporated in the TDF dispensing area to dose solid material into the packaging, allowing greater flexibility and a reduction in the number of bases required to produce textured paints. Installations are equally at home in a factory, warehouse or depot, and can be used by paint, coating and printing ink manufacturers. TDF enables manufacturers to make better use of their production capacity and to optimise the production process.

User and service friendly
“Another major benefit for Deutsche Amphibolin Werke is that the system is user and service friendly,” adds Hefner. “This helps Deutsche Amphibolin Werke to improve the processes in production, tinting and formulamanagement and at the same time it guarantees a flawless tinting process. Fewer operators are needed to run the easily operated automated TDF production line, and it is no longer necessary to keep stock of either intermediate or finished product. Environmental cost savings are also achieved, since TDF ensures only exactly the required quantities are produced. Wastage is also minimised by the reduction of cleaning and washing cycles. The automated components of a TDF installation ensure that operator errors and misstints no longer occur, and the greater accuracy and repeatability of TDF compared to conventional colouring ensures consistently high product quality. All types of paints and plasters can be tinted in any colour, and compared to the earlier smallest batch size, the minimum profitable order size is now reduced to a single can of any size.”

Mr Heil, segment manager special products at Deutsche Amphibolin Werke says: “The investment in a Corob TDF-installation helps us achieve many objectives: it is improving the overall customer service; the production process is structured in a more flexible way; we are able to further improve our delivery possibilities; the production volume of paints and plasters can be increased and thanks to the integration of specific additives and paint components, we can further increase the range of coloured products. All this responds to the growing expectations of the market regarding coloured products. With this system we are able to produce 90 cans per hour with an unlimited variety of colours.”
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