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Man Versus Machine: How Automated Finishing Will Save Your Business Money

When manually finishing products for the marketplace there are many factors that could reduce the profitability of your business. The quality of the finishing could be inconsistent, staffing shortages could create a gap in production, or the cost of labor could lower your profit margins. These are important considerations for deciding whether an automated finishing solution is right for your business.

What is Automated Finishing?

When manufacturing cabinets, doors, windows, building products, glass, moulding, or architectural millwork each piece requires finishing touches before being sent to the showroom floor. Typically finishes include sanding, spraying, drying, and coating. You could hire someone to do each of those steps in your manufacturing plant, or you could have a machine that automatically does it all for you.

Why Buy Automated Finishing Equipment?

There are a number of factors that should go into your decision. Here are some of the most important points to consider.

Quality Counts

The first impression is everything. If a customer sees that your product has a poor finish, or the quality is inconsistent, then they are going to keep searching for another product. Automated finishing removes the risk of poor quality by consistently providing the same finishing touches to each component of your product line.

Today’s Labor Market is Tough

With low unemployment rates it can prove challenging to find skilled candidates to join your team. Once you find someone, proper training typically requires 6 months - 2 years. And because manually finishing products can be such hard work, the turnover rate for these positions tend to be high. In addition wages continue to push higher for these positions, which can eat away your profit margins year over year.

As a comparison, an automated finishing system will never call in sick, expect a raise, limit production capabilities due to fatigue after a long day of painting, or cause the quality of your product to suffer due to a hangover.

Increased Production

How many units are you manufacturing each day? Compare that to how many you are finishing each day. Odds are it’s taking you a lot longer to finish your products due to the time consuming nature of spraying, drying, and sanding. An automated finishing solution typically reduces the amount of labor required by 50%!

Spray machine finished kitchen cabinets 75% faster than manual spraying.

Efficiency Matters

Automated finishing is more efficient than manual and reduces overall costs. A Superfici America spray machine offers high application efficiency (transfer efficiency), uses less paint resulting in lower coating costs, and it emits lower VOCs, which equals lower permitting costs and a reduced carbon footprint. Automated systems can also use coatings that typically cannot be applied manually, like UV coatings.

How Much Do Automated Finishing Systems Cost?

The answer depends on your specific business needs, but here’s an example to give you an idea of what you might expect. An entry-level spray machine costs approximately $150,000. At face value that may seem like a big investment, but let’s put it into context.

If you finance the spray machine for 5 years, then you’re paying roughly $136/day. Hiring a painter at $20/hour would cost you $160/day. That’s a painter who may or may not show up, who is going to get tired and produce lower quality work, and whose production is limited. And if that painter quits you have the difficult task to find and replace them.

Learn More About Superfici America

We understand the decision to invest in automatic finishing equipment is significant, and that’s why our team is ready and able to answer any questions you may have about our line of equipment and what solutions would work best for your company. Contact us to learn more, or to schedule a lab test where you can put our equipment to the test.

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