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The annual Midwest Coating Seminar is an educational seminar for manufacturers, custom coaters and fabricators.


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 Past Midwest Coating Seminar Topics & Speakers


Midwest Coating Seminar 2017 was held at the main campus of WSU Tech (formerly Wichita Area Technical College - NCAT: National Center for Aviation Training) and included the following four sessions:

  1. Education, Research & Testing Services Provided by Wichita State University, Wichita Area Technical College and National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) 
    Manufacturers have an opportunity to utilize the university, technical college and NIAR for a variety of services that include testing, failure analysis, simulation, materials/process evaluation and optimization, customized formulation of interior and exterior high performance coatings, coating application process improvement, product testing to military, OEM, and industry specifications. Learn about one of the nation’s top resources for manufacturers and the aviation industry.
    Speakers: Brandon Hunt, of NIAR and Manish A. Shinde

  2. The Latest Advancements and Future Trends in Powder Coatings
    This presentation will highlight new Powder Coating technologies, innovations, products and processes that enable the customer to be more efficient and ultimately more successful.
    Speaker: TBA

  3. Case Study:  Improve Part Density while Speeding up Loading and Unloading
    Learn ways to increase profit by designing and improving hanging and custom racking strategies JR Custom Metal Products, Inc. has developed with customers in the delivery of product to a production line or to the end user. With the addition of a new powder coating line, JR Custom developed innovative racking and hanging strategies to ensure profitability, as well as the time to load and unload parts.
    Speaker: Jorge Martinez, Vice President JR Custom Metal Products, Inc. 

  4. Why did it fail? Review Studies of Corrosion and Failure of Powder Coated Parts
    Speakers: Panel of Experts from WSU, JR Custom Metal, Lincoln Chemical and Akzo Nobel


IntelliTrak in Fairfield, OH was the location for the 2016 Midwest Coating Seminar. This year's topic covered the different types of conveyors for finishing systems. Expert speakers covered the features and benefits of monorail, power and free, and friction-driven conveyors.


The 2015 Midwest Coating Seminar was held at Century II Performing Arts Center in Wichita, KS on August 28, 2015. This seminar was helpful for companies with liquid or powder coating lines.  

2015 Topics 

Chemical Pre-Treatment - presented by Ed Dole, Lincoln Chemical
How adjustments to chemical pre-treatment can increase profitability. Review case studies to learn what to look for in your pre-treatment process.

Choosing a Conveyor for Processing Parts from Assembly to Finishing to Shipping - presented by Josh Gilmore, IntelliFinishing
Learn about the overhead conveyors used in manufacturing:  friction, monorail and power and free. Compare the features of each conveyor to determine which one fits your needs.

Tracking Parts and Processespresented by Josh Peterson, Konnection
Use immediate and historical data to investigate bottlenecks, improve efficiencies, improve quality and provide traceability in finishing systems and throughout your plant floor.


IntelliFinishing hosted the 2014 Midwest Coating Seminar in August at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma. We had a great time (didn't lose much money) and learned a great deal from Kevin Biller of The Powder Coating Research Group and Mike Dilday of Fanuc America Corporation. Many companies from a variety of industries including:   aerospace, oil and gas, custom coaters, custom fabricators, construction equipment and ag equipment manufacturers, were present.

The day started with an introduction by IntelliFinishing's vice president, Doug Oliphant. Doug explained that the purpose of the annual Midwest Coating Seminar is to bring in subject matter experts to the Midwest, Doug said, "We travel to trade shows and conferences every year and recognize that our own manufacturing region of the country does not have many of these opportunities to learn about the latest in the powder coating and liquid coating industry. So we bring them in to share their knowledge with our staff and others."

With all of the recent innovations with powder coating and robots used in the finishing industry, we provided a 10-minute introduction to the flexibility that an IntelliFinishing system has to offer. Process changes and product changes are easily adapted with our unique friction conveyor (power and free alternative) and smart controls with recipes for your variety of parts. 

A video from an IntelliFinishing active powder coating system job site was also provided. Kevin Howe, IntelliFinishing's project manager gave a brief tour of the progress and discussed how the customer was implementing the project in phases. The first phase features some manual pull sections, with most of the system automated. A second phase will later be implemented with more automation and the addition of an automated wash system as their production increases. Since our conveyor has no chain, additions and modifications can be accomplished without affecting production.

2014 Topics:  

An Introduction into Powder Coatings Materials and Performance – presented by Kevin Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group
Powder coating technology will be introduced from a historical, market and technical perspective. Chemical types will be explained and positioned as to how their performance ranks per the general requirements of UV durability, chemical resistance and film mechanical properties.

Changing the Way You Finish: Recent Innovations in Powder Coating Technology – presented by Kevin Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group
The second half of the presentation will take you on a journey of where powder coating technology is emerging. Particular focus will be on how the evolution of non-traditional substrates are spawning new chemistries and processes to deliver powder coatings as a high performance finish. An overview of low temperature cure, UV cure and corresponding processes will be analyzed including how they fit into novel manufacturing techniques.

Ask Joe Powder – presented by Kevin Biller, a.k.a. Joe Powder
Not everything we endeavor works to plan so Joe Powder will be available to field your questions, comments and perplexities regarding powder coating technology. Joe writes a column that has appeared in Finishing Today, Metal Finishing, IndiaPowderCoatings, Asia Paint and Coatings Journal and Powder Coated Tough publications. Joe will do his best to point you in the right direction to solve your coating issues. This is an informal session so feel free to bring all your queries and challenges for Joe.

About Kevin Biller
Kevin began his career in powder coatings in 1978 at the Glidden Paint Company.  He held various technical positions during his 15 years there including Group Leader – Automotive Coatings, and Section Leader – European Laboratory while he worked in Birmingham, England for Glidden’s parent ICI Paints. 

Kevin left ICI to become the Development Manager for Herberts Powder Coatings in which he was responsible for advancing new technology. 

Since 1998 Kevin has been:

  • President of Wabash Powder Coatings
  • President/Owner of IRIS Powder Coatings, Inc. 
  • Vice President/General Manager for Jamestown Powder Coatings
  • Technical Editor of Finishing Today magazine
  • Technical Director for Hentzen Coatings

In 2007 Biller established the Powder Coating Research Group.  This R&D laboratory is a center of excellence for powder coating technology including coating evaluation, testing and product development.

Kevin has four US Patents in powder coating technology. He has delivered numerous papers and has written over 100 articles on industrial coatings.  He has published a handbook “Powder Coatings: Foundation for the Novice Formulator” in 2004 by BNP Media, Troy, MI.  He is the Technical Editor of Powder Coated Tough magazine and regularly writes a monthly column “Ask Joe Powder” for a number of publications.

Benefits of Robotic Paint for Liquid and Powder Coating - presented by Mike Dilday, FANUC America Corporation
This session will focus on the various types of robots typically used for paint and powder coating, and the benefits associated with using flexible robotic automation.  We will discuss why certain robots are used for different types of applications and how material savings, higher transfer efficiencies, labor savings and warranty reductions can all lead to a healthy return on investment.  Case studies and application videos will also be presented.

About Mike Dilday
Mike Dilday is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and has 18 years of robotic paint experience at FANUC America as a sales account manager.  



Lean for Manufacturing 

Session 1:  Lean as a Growth Strategy - presented by Brad Muir and Gary Conner, Technical Change Associates
(Yes, even paint lines can be included in a lean implementation) 
Brad and Gary covered the tools and techniques of successful lean implementations for manufacturers.  

More about Brad Muir and Gary Conner
Brad Muir and Gary Conner together have more than 40 years of experience working with companies as they adopt the Toyota Production System as a waste reduction and quality improvement strategy. Review lean terms, techniques, and hear case histories...and discover how others have used LEAN to strategically grow and improve their business. (Gary is the author of a number of books including Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop and Catapult the Cow. He also has a number of articles in The Fabricator.)   

Session 2

Option 1:  Improve Communication by Removing Waste - presented by Dan Stutterheim, CEO of Kasa Companies
Lean.  In manufacturing, it means reducing waste, specifying value from your customer’s perspective, and allowing it to flow.  Can you apply these Lean Principles to the way your organization communicates? Absolutely. Long emails will be reduced to sentences.  You can communicate your vision, your plan, and your instructions in a way that everyone understands the message and acts upon it appropriately.  Reducing waste in communication is based upon learning the six personality types and a new concept of communicating called the Process Communication Model (PCM)®.  Applying these concepts will lead toward a trusting and efficient workplace where everybody understands the intent of your message and acts upon it appropriately.

Option 2:  Improve Production Line Gaps with Controls & Conveyor Technologies - presented by David Underhill, IntelliFinishing
Understand the causes and ramifications of line gaps and how new technologies are addressing the problem. Line gaps result in:

  • overall reduced line speed and associated production throughput
  • quality issues as a result of rushed or incomplete individual process activities
  • increased labor costs incurred by operators unproductively waiting on the delivery of parts
  • inventory problems related to excessively large numbers of parts loaded at any one time

New advancements in conveyor technology address these issues by enabling each, higher density, racked load-bar to move at variable speeds throughout the system.  In this way individual and varying processes can be allocated sufficient time for successful completion without decreasing productivity.  These new methods open a host of options and capabilities in system design and productivity. 



The Optimization of the Powder Coating Process Can Lead to Cost Savings and Higher Productivity - presented by Rodger Talbert, former Technical Director and Executive Director of The Powder Coating Institute
This presentation reviewed some of the key operational variables that affect pretreatment, application curing and overall control of a powder coating operation.

About Rodger Talbert
Rodger Talbert began his career in coatings in 1976 with a company that does metal fabrication and custom coating where he was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He left there in 1986 to work for a company that designs and builds coating systems. In 1993, Mr. Talbert started his own business as an Industrial Finishing Consultant. He ran his own Corporation for 16 years before joining The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) in 2009 where he held the position of Technical Director and Executive Director. He left PCI in 2012 to resume his career as an independent consultant.

During his career in coatings technology Mr. Talbert has taught "Powder Coating" and "Finishing System Design & Operation" at the Community College level, written and published numerous books and papers on various coating subjects, and served on many committees, boards and working groups for different coatings associations.

Mr. Talbert received his education in Business Administration at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a Member of the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) and the Electrocoat Association. He is the former Chairman of the Application & Recovery Committee for the Powder Coating Institute (PCI) and former President of the National Board of Directors for CCAI.



Functional Specifications of Paint and Paint Quality - presented by John Spangler, Caterpillar
Finishing systems have never been thought of as lean...or green. In fact, some lean experts believe that paint is the one production area in today's factories that cannot conform to the lean methodology.

Learn some of Caterpillar's trade secrets that make your finishing system lean with point of use access to your factory floor. Also, decrease the amount of valuable floor space, while cutting energy and chemical costs compared to the traditional monument systems. 

New & Emerging Testing Techniques for Coatings - presented by Vicki Gelling, Assoc. Prof. North Dakota State University, Dept. of Coatings & Polymeric Materials
Testing is an important aspect of the finishing industry. Vicki Gelling will share her recent research findings into new and emerging testing techniques for coatings. Be among the first to hear about these new techniques. 


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The Midwest Coating Semianr is Underwritten by IntelliFinishing

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