Is custom masking right for your process

The goal in every production process is to keep it simple. To do this there is a need to break the process down to simple steps. Steps that are easily documented can be consistently repeated and are easy to teach.

When it comes to masking, however, the reality is far from that. “We aren’t sure how to mask them as Joe normally does those,” “I’m not sure how we did that batch last time,” “Didn’t we…?”

In order to cut your finishing costs, you need to make the masking process easily repeatable. You need to remove the complexity. Of course, custom masking can involve an investment, but it can bring the time it takes to mask a product down from several minutes to seconds. That time savings alone might justify the investment. Consider the typical masking environment: the part is placed on the bench, tape is applied to the part, and the tape is then trimmed with a knife. Compare that to the rapid peel-and-stick of a custom die-cut mask or the rapid push-on of a custom molded cap or plug, and custom masking can reduce errors, ensure consistency, speed up the process and deliver a quality product.

For example, think about a product that takes 4 minutes to mask by hand. Investing in custom masking may reduce that time to 30 seconds per item. If you run 500 parts each month, that custom mask will save you in excess of 29 hours per month. Multiply those savings by the number of times you run the product over its lifetime and it’s not difficult to calculate the time savings and the impact of custom masking on a job like this.

And it’s not only jobs that have a lot of parts or that repeat month after month where custom masking can help. Over and above the obvious savings at the masking stage are the savings that can be seen by bringing consistency to the process. Those savings can be seen in many areas throughout the business. Inspection times can be reduced, as there is confidence in the process. Reworks, which often include costly stripping processes and risk damaging the component, can be eliminated. Production planning can be easier and more precise: knowing that the process has consistency means production times become known and are repeatable. Customer service is improved, as customer service agents are no longer dealing with issues regarding badly masked products. Accounting people are no longer spending their time researching and issuing credit notes. Quality control personnel are no longer completing non-conformance reports for customers. Good masking can positively impact all the areas of a business......

Written by John the article was published in Powder Coated Tough Magazine.

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Is custom masking right for your process