Scottsdale, Arizona — November 22, 2016 — Can shortwave infrared drying offer savings compared to traditional methods? Peter Phillipson says so, and he’s got some numbers to back it up. Phillipson is the Technical Sales & Marketing Manager (IR) for B-TEC Systems.
“For over a year, B-TEC Systems has been evaluating the potential cost saving of using our shortwave infrared automotive paint drying equipment. This means looking at both the time saving and energy saving aspects of using the equipment,” says Phillipson.
While conducting the evaluation, B-TEC says it produced paint curing data on the leading automotive brands.
“This way, the body shops could see exactly what the reduced dry times would be for their paint brand,” says Phillipson. “The times were super quick, with one primer being ready to sand in only six minutes.”
Phillipson points to the example of Steve Farris, a body shop owner in Arkansas who was part of the B-TEC test program. Farris had been using propane to fire up his booth. This was costing $20.25 USD per bake cycle. He utilized the B-TEC System two times a day on average, instead of using the booth for smaller jobs. The cost of running the B-TEC Systems infrared unit IR-B03 per bake cycle was only $0.10 USD per bake.
Assuming a five day week and a 50 week working year, that means 500 bake cycles on an annual basis. At $20.25 per bake cycle using propane, that equated to $10,125 in yearly energy costs.
“Those same 500 jobs using the B-TEC Systems infrared unit cost only $50. That’s a saving of $10,075 per year,” says Phillipson.
Phillipson says the time savings were also significant. The booth bake cycle took an average of one hour with propane, which included warm-up time, for a total of 500 hours annually. According to B-TEC, the average B-TEC Systems infrared bake cycle was only 12 minutes, totaling just 100 hours for a savings of 400 hours over the year.
Those numbers may be valid in Arkansas, but what about Canada? Costs for propane vary significantly between markets, but the cost of electricity varies even more. Phillipson digs into the numbers:
“We used a 3000 watt shortwave unit and rounded up the cost per kilowatt/hour. The average bake time was 12 minutes, which gives us the figure of less than $0.10 per bake,” says Phillipson. “For Canada, it’s still around that amount.”