Why Waterborne Stain?
KMC’s interest in waterborne comes from our commitment to quality and environmental stewardship. Today’s waterborne stain produces a more consistent stain on cabinets, more stable storage and a very low VOC content. Because the different stain colors can be set up with the same spray gun settings, using waterborne stain reduces human error and insures that all KMC stains are consistently applied. Waterborne stain does not contain solvents and the materials will not degrade as quickly as solvent-based stains . As well, these non-solvent stains are safer for our planet and our environment. One of the biggest advantages of waterborne stain is the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. VOC emissions are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Moving to waterborne stains has reduced KMC’s annual VOC emissions by 88%. These lower VOC emissions allowed KMC to increase overall production without harming the environment.
What is Flatline?
Flatline finishing employs a European approach to cabinetry. Each piece is finished individually and then assembled into the final product. This is very different from the traditional system where products are assembled and then finished. Additionally, the cabinet components benefits from enhanced sanding – programmed sanding machinery and skilled hand sanding – as they flow through the flatline finishing system. On the KMC flatline, components are fed into the finishing system and make multiple passes through stain, sealer and top coat. The computer is programmed for each job and 12 spray heads stain the material. Parts pass through a series of drying ovens and are gently denibbed and further sanded before the sealer and topcoat are applied. After sealer and topcoat, the components move through UV lighting for near-instant curing. Components come out ready for handling; there is no additional wait for the finish to cure, unlike traditional cure times of several hours to several weeks.Using the Giardina Flatline system, KMC has proudly made improvements in the areas of environment, quality and capacity.
What is a UV Topcoat?
UV topcoat is a formula that cures during exposure to ultraviolet lighting as opposed to curing in a drying oven or natural dryingDrying speed is the primary strength of a UV oven system – the coatings are 99% dry in five minutes or less. With this speedy curing process, the flatline components are ready to assemble immediately out of the oven. This means that the parts are more durable while inside the plant and have a reduced chance of finish damage before reaching the customer. With excellent chemical resistance and improved mar resistance, UV finishing has been successfully used on wooden flooring and household furniture. This durability translates into increased value for customers who want their cabinets looking new for many years.
How Will Giardina Benefit Our Cabinets?
Increased Environmental Friendliness
The Giardina line has greatly reduced Kent Moore Cabinet’s VOC emissions. This reduction benefits the environment directly, and has enabled KMC to increase production without incurring environmental cost and special expenses.
Improved Product Durability
As noted, the waterborne stain has some advantages. Because waterborne stain penetrates the wood, it is easier to repair and more resistant to damage. Waterborne stain goes well with the UV coating that produces a tougher finish. This is a benefit to our customers in two ways: pre-cabinet installation and post cabinet installation. Consumers benefit from a product that is resistant to damage in the plant and reaches their home in better condition. They also benefit from a finish that is resistant to household chemicals and is more resistant to marring and abrasion.
Efficient Use of Stain Material
Important from a cost-control standpoint, the transfer efficiency of the water-based stain enables the Giardina system to operate more efficiently than other application methods. Sealer and topcoat reclamation happens in the spray booth where overspray is collected, filtered, and remixed for recycling. Spray that adheres to the line equipment is scraped and is remixed with the sealer coat at a 1:1 blend and then reused.