At Awlgrip, continually striving for excellence is part of who we are. Our highly skilled team are always looking for innovative and novel ways to advance yacht topcoats, and not just by developing new products.
Using our three core strengths; Scientific Expertise, Making a Difference and Involvement, Awlgrip, through our Global Technical Services team, recently collaborated with DeVilbiss resulting in the development of a revolutionary new spraygun solely for the yacht market.
Through sharing and using our Scientific Expertise, Making a Difference to our customers’ businesses and getting Involved with applicators, this whole project epitomises all the Awlgrip brand stands for.
During an extensive work programme assessing Awlgrip topcoats through a range of DeVilbiss sprayguns, ITW DeVilbiss and Awlgrip spotted an opportunity to utilise both theirs and our level of knowledge in this area and jointly develop a new gun specifically for Yacht topcoats.
Just like the paint industry, the spray gun industry has been under regulatory pressure for a considerable time. UK regulations, launched in 1990, spawned the growth of High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) technology and other legislation globally. Driven by other industries, such as the car refinish market, these guns and technologies were not designed with Yacht topcoats in mind. In 1998 equipment manufacturers found a different way to comply with legislation and so was born the ‘compliant’ spray gun.
Compliant sprayguns, like the DeVilbiss GTI and Satajet RP ranges, have become the standard setups in many yards but interestingly the regulations governing the use of these guns does not actually apply to the yacht painting market. For companies like DeVilbiss, Sata and others, yacht applicators are traditionally placed in the same category as other metal and plastics industrial painters and thus they are sold the same gun setups as are recommended to everybody else. The result is that many yacht painters are purchasing and using sprayguns which were not specifically developed for yacht coatings. New spraygun ranges developed by manufacturers also have far fewer options for applicators wanting to continue to use conventional, “old fashioned” equipment.
Following some exploratory work between Awlgrip and ITW DeVilbiss it became clear very quickly that older spraygun technology was more suited to yacht topcoats. Thus began a collaborative project resulting in the creation of a ‘Superyacht’ spray gun.
Initially, in order to try to understand every aspect of gun set up and the influence on finish, Steve Mannouch (ITW DeVilbiss) and Stuart Downie (Awlgrip, GTS), working in the Yacht Paint Application Centre in Southampton, applied Awlgrip Topcoat through various guns under numerous parameters.
The next few months saw much communication between Awlgrip and DeVilbiss regarding how to achieve exactly what the yacht applicator needs from a spray fan. Specifications from various ‘old favourite’ aircaps were combined and turned into prototypes, which were tested, refined and re-tested in the Southampton YPAC, at the Awlgrip Global Technical Review in Florida and at DeVilbiss’ test centre in Bournemouth, UK.
This culminated in Steve Mannouch refining the original gun designs to incorporate a different fan shape and the new Superyacht Spraygun was born! The next step was testing with a customer and so Klaas Apperlo (New Build Manager, Awlgrip Europe) kindly helped with a high profile trial together with a major applicator and the results were extremely positive. So much so that the applicator wanted to buy a set of these new sprayguns immediately!
New Spraygun Launch
Following this great success and numerous other positive trials, DeVilbiss have confirmed the production of the gun, branded as the Cspray Gun. Featuring an updated handle design and incorporating Controlled Droplet Technology (CDT), the gun was launched at the recent METS 2011 event in Amsterdam.
Awlgrip is proud to have been part of the development of this new gun, working with our partners and contributing our expertise.