With so many spray paint booth options to choose from, some companies may elect to pick “something close” to what they want. This can be a costly mistake. Each type of spray paint booth is designed to suit a certain need. The variety of sizes available is necessary to accommodate unique part sizes, tooling interfaces, and part orientations. The choice of airflow design (downdraft or crossdraft) impacts the finish quality of the part. The location of the spray equipment determines how many operators can paint at any given time. These important options make the spray booth “perfect” for a specific application if the design considerations are taken into account before the booth is designed and manufactured.
Taking the time to determine the “perfect” spray paint booth design allows the equipment to perform its essential functions, flawlessly:
- Protect employees and facilities
- Produce a high-quality paint finish
- Reduce operational costs
In this series of blog posts, we analyze the design decisions for spray paint booths in terms of these key functions. Sizing is an early design choice and one that we will discuss here.
Sizing spray paint booths
The spray paint booth size is directly related to its operational cost. Keep in mind that the fans and motors used for supply and exhaust are the greatest operational costs of a spray booth, which have a number of design options to consider. This air, mixed with atomized paint, is forced through one dimension of the paint booth. The larger the dimensions of the booth, the more intake/exhaust air needs to be forced through. As an example, a booth that is 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and 10 feet high can have two different dimensions for the air to be forced through. A crossdraft airflow design would use the 10-by-10 cross-section for airflow. A downdraft airflow design would use a 20-by-10 cross-section. It would need twice as much intake/exhaust air for the same part, increasing operational costs accordingly.
Operational costs are not the only design element, however. While smaller spray paint booths are better from an efficiency standpoint, a certain size is required for safety. An undersized spray paint booth may not have enough filters to effectively filter the exhaust overspray. Therefore, the facility outside the spray booth may become contaminated, and clean-up costs would likely negate the operational savings of a smaller booth.
The spray paint booth is also intended to provide a high-quality finish. Some manufacturers may absorb the higher operational cost of the downdraft version for the higher quality provided. It depends on the part that needs to be finished.
Part Size and Configuration
As an example, starting with a product that is 5 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 5 feet high, the booth designer and manufacturer must add room on each side for workers to move and adjust to the part. Some tooling to hold parts can also be large and should be taken into account. A properly designed paint booth must accommodate this equipment and part being finished, but it should only be as large as necessary to keep operational costs low.
The orientation of the part also affects the size of the booth. The 5-by-10-by-5-foot product may actually be 5-by-5-by-10 feet when oriented properly for paint application. The “right” orientation depends on the portion of the part to be painted, as well as sizing considerations. The side to be painted should be directly across from where the intake air is pushed through the spray paint booth. If the part cannot be re-oriented easily, booth manufacturers may have to consider different airflow designs and additional spray equipment. On our original part (5-by-10-by-5), a downdraft system would paint the 5-by-10-foot face (length and width). A crossdraft system, however, would be aimed at painting a 5-by-5-foot face. Spray equipment also can be altered to spray one side or two sides. However, additional spray equipment requires additional room, especially for powder applications. Determining what faces need to be painted and the orientation of the part in the spray booth impacts the size, and therefore the operational cost.
An operationally effective spray booth is one that needs to be designed and manufactured to last for years. Therefore, it should consider any upcoming design changes for the part. A new design only 2 feet longer in one dimension may not be utilized in the same paint booth, depending on the required tooling and orientation. A ramp-up in production rates could also render a booth ineffective if the increased rates were not taken into account during the design process. With information about future parts, paint booth designers can select a paint booth that will work far into the future.
The “perfect” spray paint booth is optimized for the job at hand. It is large enough to accommodate the part in the proper orientation and accounts for future design changes. The paint booth is also as small as feasible to optimize operational costs, though not so small that the effectiveness of the filters is reduced. Spray Systems can help you in selecting the proper size spray paint booth needed for your operations – the first step toward designing the “perfect” booth.
Our team of experienced experts is ready to answer any questions and assist you in considering all of the design options for the right spray paint booth for your project. Taking into account other design considerations including integration into production processes, spray quality and finish, safety code compliance, and operational costs, you will find a partner in the Spray Systems team as we work together to develop the “perfect” spray paint booth for your application.