In order to get started with powder coating, you will need a few pieces of machinery. This is in addition to the regular painting equipment which you would also need in order to paint parts. The minimum amount of equipment that you should have is: A Paint/powder booth Fan Dust collector Air compressor (with electric or air-powered blast pot) Air dryer (this is optional, see the application guide for further explanation).
The following equipment is optional but can be very useful: Powder coating oven (let’s you cure powder in minutes instead of hours, and speeds up production) Preheater Stand Dryer (lets you dry parts before curing them, important if you are doing painting and powder coating at the same time because excess moisture in the part will prevent the powder from adhering) Powder Coating Guns (if you are doing large jobs for automotive companies etc.)
There are other pieces of equipment which can come in very handy, but which you can do without: Hand dryers (they come in very handy if you do a lot of one-off or prototype work and don’t have any preheaters. Simply put the part into the oven and dry it with hot air, instead of blasting it with hot air from your spray gun) Blasting cabinet (ideal if you’re doing a lot of sanding, but not strictly necessary)
As you can see, the minimum equipment that you need starts off fairly inexpensive, but it will get more expensive if you start adding on options. You probably want to find a way to borrow or rent some of this equipment in order to get started. If you are doing high-end automotive refinishing, I would definitely recommend getting a blasting cabinet and hand dryers or preheaters.
Powder coating oven
There are 2 main types of powder coating ovens: Conveyor belt Oven Constant temperature oven The conveyor belt oven is the most commonly used in small to medium shops because it’s usually cheaper, more energy-efficient, and easier to operate.
Conveyor belt ovens are also very simple to build yourself, although not recommended unless you really know what you’re doing. It is possible in certain situations to use a conventional painted in oven as a powder coating oven, but this will drastically increase your cure times and requires that the oven be cleaned thoroughly after painting before it can be used for powder coating.
Constant temperature ovens are generally the best option because they can be set to any temperature, which allows you to control your cure times precisely. This is very important when doing automotive refinishing where you need a lot of consistency.
Blasting Cabinet or Preheater
If you are not doing high end work, a blasting cabinet is probably overkill. For most jobs, you can just use a fan to blow dust out of the booth and into the air filter.
Hooking up a small shop vacuum to your paint booth dust collection system would also work for really dirty parts.
A preheater will speed up cure times a lot and allow you to do a lot of production work without much down time, but they are expensive and you can easily get by without one for small jobs.