A manufacturer of wooden shelving units turns to a UV coatings manufacturer to reduce its reject level.
In theory, Ready Fixtures Co. (Shell Lake, WI) should have loved its UV curing system. There were no heat-generating ovens and no VOCs.
In reality, it was more like "tough" love. Any environmental benefits were offset by application hassles and reject piles.
As the company put the finishing touches on maple-paneled fixtures headed for Barnes and Noble bookstores across the country, most pieces had to be sent through the line twice. The stain and topcoat, supplied by one vendor, and the sealer, provided by another supplier, were not as compatible as the two parties promised. Often, multiple layers of the stain and topcoat were repeatedly added before a satisfactory finish was attained. The multilayered finish proved thick and difficult to manipulate. "You could have a big problem with those coatings on a cold, wet morning," says Gary Frank, Ready Fixtures' production manager.
Ready Fixtures turned to coatings supplier Sherwin-Williams (Cleveland) for help in late 1997. …