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Water-Way Inc., a manufacturer of flat FRP panels for the motor-home and RV industry, acquired a MVP panel reciprocator in late 2012. Since then, Water-Way has realized great quality improvement combined with huge material and labor savings in its panel production.
The below photos show the previous method of manual application of the gelcoat layer for these panels. The manual spray method required the manual application as the operator walked on the mold. This method also required large amounts of panel edge tape to protect the mold edges due to the unpredictability of the over spray with manual application. The accurate control of gelcoat lamination thickness was not possible with the unsteady application method of this slowly walking application of the manual spray. Due to the inconsistency in thickness with the manual method additional, unnecessary gelcoat thicknesses were applied to ensure the panels met the minimum gelcoat standard.
The MVP gelcoat reciprocator provides the automation for a gelcoat spray gun to reciprocate back and forth over a mold moving underneath the machine. Since both the spray application and the mold speed are controlled, the equipment offers reliable, consistent quality. The spray area and thickness can be easily controlled and modified as required. These features have provided a material savings estimated at over $300K/year since the installation at Water-Way. The material savings include not only the gelcoat raw materials, but also the additional panel tape edging and additional labor needed for the previous manual method of applying the gelcoat. To learn more about MVP’s reciprocator equipment, please view our reciprocator products and contact us today!