The PCI Powder vs. Liquid Operational Cost Analysis spreadsheet is designed to help identify potential sources of cost savings that can occur with an upgrade to powder coatings. The spreadsheet is based on PCI Technical Brief #21.

There are two versions of this spreadsheet that can be downloaded below. One is an example showing the spreadsheet completed, and the other is to be used for your analysis.

The spreadsheet allows values to be entered in the non-shaded fields. Calculated or constant values are displayed in the shaded fields. Navigating between the fields can be accomplished by using the TAB key or with standard point and click control.

Powder coating systems have key economic advantages over the traditional liquid spray application. The three major categories are material savings, lower operating expenses, and reduced cost of environmental compliance.

Material Cost:
Generally, powder is applied electrostatically to a metal substrate. In most powder systems, overspray which misses the parts to be coated is captured, sieved, and returned to the feed hopper for reuse. This reclaim or recycle feature can provide overall material utilization in excess of 95% versus much lower percentages for liquid spray systems. In addition to material savings, the reclaim feature also minimizes waste generation, and therefore, greatly reduces waste disposal costs as well as potential harm to the environment.

The "Applied Material Cost" section of the spreadsheet provides the basis for calculating the material cost differences between a given liquid paint system and that of powder. A key element to a meaningful cost comparison is obtaining an accurate assessment of the current liquid system's transfer efficiency, average film thickness, percent volume solids, and price per gallon of the reduced paint. When performing this analysis, it is no uncommon for liquid paint users to underestimate their actual costs be selecting too high a number for transfer efficiency and/r too low a number for film thickness. Furthermore, the percent of solids of the liquid paint at time of spray is often incorrectly stated.

The value "Paint Cost (reduced)" is the actual cost of liquid paint plus the cost of the solvent used to thin this material prior to spraying. The reduced paint cost is the volume of the paint multiplied by the paint cost, plus the volume of the solvent, multiplied by the solvent cost.

The "% Solids by Volume" for the liquid system needs to be calculated prior to entering the value. The formula for calculating this value is: % solids by volume = mix ratio x % solids of the paint; where the mix ratio is determined by dividing the volume of the uncut paint by the total volume of the reduced paint.

It is recommended that the user double-check the accuracy of these assumptions and the resulting coverage number in the "Actual Coverage field (sq. ft./gal)" before moving on to other areas of this spreadsheet. Information from the "Applied Material Cost" section is used in several other sections of this spreadsheet. Cost savings for your operation may not compare to the ones shown in these examples.

Disclaimer:
The cost analysis is based upon information available from industry sources and is supplied for comparison purposes only. Accuracy should be verified by detailed cost analysis before implementing or acting upon the information resulting in the analysis provided by these spreadsheets. This cost analysis should not be used for design. No representation or warranty regarding this analysis is assumed and no guarantee of results is made. Therefore, no liability for direct or consequential damages can incur by relying thereon.

 

Blank Comparison Tool (xlsx)

Comparison Tool with Example (xlsx)

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