Albers Finishing & Solutions Finds Niche Success in the Finishing Business with IntelliFinishing’s Flexible System

Albers Finishing & Solutions is a family-owned and operated company in Cheney, Kansas. The company specializes in processing parts by liquid painting, plating or anodizing to solve their customers finishing needs. The company’s origins began with an opportunity to deliver finished pieces to a business partner, which meant they’d need a finishing system that was flexible and high-quality. 

Here’s their story with commentary from owner Bret Albers. 

The Challenge: An Opportunity to Launch a Finishing Business Creates Need for a New System

Bret Albers and his two brothers saw an opportunity to start a finishing business while they were operating a local trucking/courier business. A customer that manufactures pulleys for John Deere was being asked by Deere to paint the pulleys. This local manufacturing didn’t really want to get into the finishing business so they were looking for a finishing partner. The Albers’ Brothers saw this as an opportunity to create another successful company. “We were certain we could create a business around liquid coating for other manufacturers, too,” according to Bret Albers.  

However, the company needed a sophisticated and reliable liquid paint finishing system to start this new venture.

The Solution: IntelliFinishing System Was Versatile and Unique

In their search for the ideal liquid paint system, it was IntelliFinishing’s versatility that was a game-changer. “We knew we’d be handling a wide variety of parts, and with the unique conveyor system and the conveyor controls with IntelliFinishing, we are able to process many types of parts,” Albers noted.

Flexibility was the key to success for Albers. Every day, they process different parts that vary in color, substrates, thickness, and geometries. The type of paint can change, too. In all, they have over 100 different recipes in their IntelliFinishing controls software. The software allows them to  make per carrier recipe changes quickly and easily based on the products and colors their customers need.

The Alber’s Finishing Solutions IntelliFinishing Liquid Coating System is fully automated and extremely flexible. It includes a friction-tube driven conveyor and a sophisticated but easy to use operating system integrated with each process piece of equipment. It’s also very energy-efficient, has a relatively small footprint due to the use of deadhead turns which allow process equipment to fit tighter together than traditional system. And, the booths (one prime coat booth and one topcoat booth) include the option to paint items automatically with a FANUC painting robot per booth or manually by operators.

These features were critical to Albers and allowed them to produce even, consistent finishing with variables for wash pressure, wash steps, dry times, color choices, priming or topcoat options, robotic or manual application of paint, and cure temperature and time variability. “We can do all this due to the conveyor and the controls,” Albers explained.

The Results: Seven Years Later, Business Is Great and No Downtime Reported

The IntelliFinishing solution helped Albers start his business. The installation of the finishing system included integrating the conveyor with robotic painting. It was challenging, but the IntelliFinishing team was able to do so successfully. 

Since the initial installation, they’ve added additional dip systems to expand their business. Albers has high praise for the liquid finishing system, however. “I can’t imagine how we could do what we do with any other system. It’s so easy to use yet so flexible.”

Albers also shared that they’ve had no downtime in seven years and little maintenance required. A few parts needed replacement, but Albers reported that this only took minutes to do so. 

The reliability and versatility of his system remain a key to the company’s growth, and Albers noted, “You couldn’t give me a free monorail or power and free system. IntelliFinishing is well worth the value to us and our business.”

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All of the videos below feature the liquid coating system at Albers Finishing & Solutions

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