Industrial and small-batch tinting with Harbil dispensers

Published on: 07 February 2022
Written by: Product Management
Industrial and small-batch tinting with Harbil dispensers

Deciding which dispenser is best suited to your tinting applications should not be taken lightly. In this article we’re happy to tell you the four specific requirements you need to consider.

Fast & Fluid is best known for its compact point-of-sale tinting systems in retail environments. The dispensers, mixers and shakers are lauded for their reliability, durability and simplicity – attributes that are particularly relevant to paint shops and DIY stores.

But did you know that the hard-wearing piston pumps and airtight valves give the proven turntable technology overall robustness that makes this technology ideal for industrial applications? There is always a customized solution for high-volume and small-batch tinting systems in production environments.

Deciding which dispenser is best suited to your tinting applications should not be taken lightly. There are some specific requirements to consider:

1. Capacity & Speed for high performance

When Speed and capacity are of the essence, the HA680 has that little bit more to offer than the versatile HA480 dispenser. This mostly has to do with volume and even more customization options.

The heavy-duty components inside make the dispenser particularly suitable for production facilities and industrial applications. Some other benefits are: 

  • Option to install up to 36 components
  • Store over 200 liters of colorant
  • Double-fill components for higher volumes

There are circumstances when even a 20-liter canister capacity can’t get the job done. If this sounds familiar, you can double fill a component, and our driver software sees two canisters as one big canister.

After deciding on the right canister layout, it’s time to determine the pump size for each component. There are four different pump sizes to choose from in the HA680, depending on the specific requirements of each component in terms of accuracy and Speed.

For components that need both the best accuracy and the highest dispense speed, you can connect two pump types to one canister (double exit). Our driver software will automatically select the pump most suitable for the specific job.

Want to increase capacity and flexibility?

Have you ever thought about the option to work with a series of mid-sized dispensers in a production environment rather than one large industrial dispenser? It does offer some benefits:

  • Scalability – Having more machines means you can deploy more operators in peak times
  • Business continuity – You always have a backup machine available in times of need

If you want a multi-machine setup to work for you instead of against you, it is imperative to properly integrate all machines in an ergonomically responsible manner for an efficient workflow. If you like, we can sit down together to discuss how a series of machines could benefit your business operation.

2. Workspace Integration – made for ergonomics

As the paint cans you use get bigger, so does the importance of ergonomics. Take a look at working height, for instance. The low model Harbil stands at 151 cm tall, which is considered the ideal height for refilling paint cans on a dispenser and a favorite of tinting retailers. But if you work in a production environment and your priority is ensuring the best loading height for your operators and maximum can capacity, the 171 cm model is the better ergonomic option.

Speaking of maximum can capacity…

The default can lift cover has a surface area of 44 x 31 cm, which is big enough to hold most cans. If your paint cans have a bigger footprint, the optional XL can lift cover measures 44 x 41 cm to meet those needs. But you can go even bigger still. Fast & Fluid can supply the HA680 with the so-called industrial frame, which has no can lift at all that allows you to place large drums directly under the dispenser. 

Do you use a roller conveyor? There are 3 options:

  1. The industrial frame also enables the use of an uninterrupted roller conveyer for tinting fixed can heights. 
  2. In most conveyor setups, however, the flexibility of the can lift is needed to process different size cans. We have a solution for that, too, as the can lift can be accessed from both sides.
  3. If you want to connect to a roller conveyor on both sides of the lift, we recommend using the optional roller lift adapter.

Based on the conveyer height and maximum can height you need, you can mount the can lift in a low, medium or high default position. The „autorun“ feature then allows you to position the lift to the required conveyer level with a touch of the button.

Is your dispenser height setup compatible with shakers and mixers?

Let’s say you want a fully integrated tinting set up with mixers and shakers. Our SK350 and SK550 1.1 shakers are optionally available with height adjustment frames. You can also order our gyro mixers with sliding doors that can be integrated into your production environment. 

To ensure machine stability, your integration partner is responsible for fixing the custom-height adjustment frames to the facility floor. Of course, we are always happy to assist with supporting documentation and advice.

The ability to customize the machine height, install a dedicated user interface, adapt your setup for roller conveyors, and various other options, enables you to create an industrial tinting system that ticks all the boxes of workspace integration.

But the right setup isn’t all you need. You also have to look at the requirements of industrial applications, specifically regarding the products dispensed.

3. Product Compatibility – made to last

Components for industrial tinting systems often have challenging characteristics like high viscosity, extreme adhesive, and fast drying. To meet those challenges and guarantee compatibility, Harbil dispensers have different canister options made of POM and stainless steel.

What’s more, Fast & Fluid is constantly working on new ways to maximize its machines’ speed, efficiency, and service life. A telling example is the high-performance pump that adjusts the intake speed for a perfect tinting result, dispense after dispense.

High-performance pump and AutoDrive 2 – innovations that work for you 

Industrial colorants with challenging flow characteristics often require a slower intake speed to avoid a vacuum inside the pumps, and a subsequent mis tint. The new high-performance pumps (HPP) make processing these products at the right Speed a fully automated process. Depending on the production volumes you need, the pumps are available in 100ml and 300ml sizes.

Delving into the mechanics, the HPP valve house has a second channel connecting the valve and tube, where the intake opening in the ball valve is larger. This improves the flow-through, allows higher intake speeds, and reduces the strain on the system.

The glass-fiber reinforced piston seal keeps the inside of the piston tube free from colorant residue. That means you can expect both a significant increase in intake speed and improved piston lifetime.

All in all, the high-performance pump improves the colorant intake flow, and ultimately the overall Speed of your system. But how do you define the optimal intake speed? 

The AutoDrive technology was already able to adjust the intake speed to prevent stalling, vacuum, and mistints. Now there’s the AutoDrive 2, which features a special algorithm that automatically calculates and adjusts the intake and overall dispense speed. That means it doesn’t just reduce the intake speed if a colorant is too thick, it also restores the speed when there is room to do so. 

Would you like to know more? Please contact your local sales representative. 

4. Safety Standards – made to comply

Last but not least, let’s talk safety. In today’s industrial climate, governments and trade organizations impose strict safety standards that often also apply to tinting systems. Fast & Fluid helps you stay on top of the latest requirements when it comes to workplace safety.

To ensure all our products meet the current requirements on mechanical and electrical safety, as well as fire and explosion safety standards, Fast & Fluid works with Kiwa Dare Services. Kiwa is a notified body that tests and approves our equipment according to CE Machinery Directive regulations.

Ventilation for low-flashpoint solvents

When working with solvents with a low flashpoint, additional safety measures may be required to minimize the danger in case of a leakage or spillage. Ventilating the interior of the machine avoids the build-up of potentially hazardous fumes. Fast & Fluid offers two solutions.

1. Ventilation Interface
If your facility has its own fixed extraction system, we recommend using our optional ventilation interface to connect the dispenser. The latest Harbil dispensers have all been prepared in the factory to connect the interface in a few simple steps.

2. Ventilation Back Cover
If no such extraction system, we have another integrated solution: a ventilation system built into the back of the dispenser. This system flushes the machine interior with air at a rate of 200m3/h, monitors the airflow with a flow sensor and automatically shuts down in case of interruption. 

From compact retail solution to industrial batch production system:

Thanks to the extensive customization options on virtually all Fast & Fluid machines, you can build the perfect tinting setup that is fully integrated with your workplace.

Want to know more and effective machine setup integration? Speak with your local sales representative. 

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