Mueller Electric Blog

Top Considerations for a Custom Paint Line Grounding Assembly

Posted by Mona Weiss on Feb 19, 2018 8:30:15 AM

So you’re considering if you need a custom grounding solution for your automated paint/powder coat line, but you still have questions and concerns.  You’ve probably evaluated all your alternatives and realized it may be time to update your grounding process, and maybe you've even read our whitepaper on Static Electricity and Grounding in Industry. But there are still some questions and things to consider.  This infographic addresses the common questions and considerations that people have when evaluating grounding solutions.

 1.	How do I address paint build up on the clip? The Clips can usually be cleaned with chemicals or just replaced when paint builds up too much. They can also be cleaned in an oven but the springs will become soft and unusable after a few cleanings. 2.	Will I need to worry about the clip contaminating the substrate/paint? Maybe. In some applications any impurities will dislodge from the grounding assembly and potentially land on the substrate, especially during the clear coat process. 3.	How will it attach to the carrier?  Assemblies can attach to the carrier in a quick disconnect fashion, i.e., with a clip or be semi-permanently attached by bolting down a lug or ring terminal on one end of the assembly to the carrier itself.   4.	Can they be placed out of the direction of the spray? In many cases, yes. Most times the clip is placed on the opposite side of the spray. However, in some cases the clip is exposed. For these applications a clip designed with less surface area is desired.   5.	How long do they need to be? These can be as long or as short as necessary. The assembly needs to be able to attach to the substrate and carrier in a manor where they will not be too loose and get caught on anything but will not be too tight where they can become dislodged through simple vibration. 6.	How many do I need? The number of assemblies per substrate depends on size and material. The better the conductor a substrate may be (i.e. metal) the less clips / assemblies may be needed. 7.	What’s the best surface of the clip to attach to the substrate? Flat is usually the most preferred method, however, some customers use jaws with teeth for better connectivity.

 Ready to move ahead with a custom or ready-made solution for grounding to update your process? Click here and fill out the form to get the ball rolling!   


You can also read our free guides to grounding for plastic and metal painting below

                           Free Guide Grounding Plastics  for Painting      Free Guide Grounding Metals  for Painting


Topics: Plastic Painting, Painting Plastics, Paint Line Grounding, Electrostatic Painting,, Grounding Metal, Grounding Wires, Grounding, Powder coating, Grounding Plastic, Grounding Clamp, Static Control

Signs It's Time To Update Your Grounding Process

Posted by Mona Weiss on Feb 12, 2018 11:27:15 AM

When trying to determine the cause of problems encountered with electrostatic painting, it can be confusing. The problem is often solved by updating the grounding process, however this simple solution is often overlooked. 

Grounding Infographic.png

1. There is a drop in transfer efficiency

Your measurements and output are lower than they should be. 

2. Paint thickness is not what it should be

You may see a reduced paint thickness, uneven paint thickness, or both.  

3. There is a lot of scrap/rework

Lack of a good ground can result in much higher  amounts of scrap and rework than there should be. 

4. There's more paint on the surrounding surface than on the substrate

This can indicate you had a bad ground or no ground at all. 

5. Your cost of paint has gone up

You are going through more paint to coat the same number of items. 

6. Servicing the robots doesn't help

You may have thought there was something wrong with the paint robots, but they are in working order

7. There's a drop in weight

If your substrates come out weighing less than they normally do, this can indicate that less paint is making it to the surface which usually indicates there're something wrong with the ground.


If you think updating your grounding process will help, you can head over to this handy page which addresses the most common considerations and questions for updating your grounding process. 

For more information on grounding, read our whitepaper Static Electricity and Grounding in Industry

You can also take a look at our free guides for grounding plastic and metal for painting.

              Free Guide Grounding Plastics  for Painting                                Free Guide Grounding Metals  for Painting

Topics: Plastic Painting, Painting Plastics, Paint Line Grounding, Electrostatic Painting,, Grounding Metal, Static Electricity Grounding, Grounding Wires, Grounding, Grounding Plastic, Painting metal

Removing Static from the Paint Line, Don't Overthink It!

Posted by Tim Ulshafer on Apr 4, 2017 8:25:16 AM

For most painters, removing static from the paint process is critical to improving transfer efficiency. This is true for the painting of plastics, fiberglass and metal components. Does your paint line use robots or painters? Are you continually trying to reduce static with solutions that work, don't work or just are not reliable? The universal painting issue appears to be the cost of repainting and scrap versus the solution you are using. You may be building an electrostatic grounding solution yourself or buying something at a higher cost than you would like.

As a paint engineer or tech, you spend countless hours looking for the perfect solution. Many of these solutions result in new paint line processes where static is removed by a special pin system or items are sprayed with various chemical formulas. True, there are some very tech - high end paint line processes that are working well in reducing static and improving transfer efficiency. Unfortunately, not everyone has a budget to upgrade the paint line which is going to cost several million dollars.

So, what can be done about reducing static and improving your transfer efficiency without breaking the bank and be immediately available? A simple grounding solution is your best bet. It may not be glamorous but it is a solid and immediate solution. Grounding assemblies and clips come in all shapes and sizes which will meet most needs on the market. These clips are usually so inexpensive that they are most often discarded for new even after just a few paint runs. Still, they are rugged enough for most chemical cleaning processes along with a few heat cleaning processes if cleaning is desired.

Mueller Electric provides this solution and they are already in place at several major auto makers both in the U.S. and overseas. Mueller can design unique solutions to your painting process which tremendously reduces rework and scrap costs. Plus, these are so cost effective, there is no reason to build these in house. These solutions can include flat nosed clips for a wide surface connection, clips with teeth to bite through the layers of paint and a bolted down solution as well. These are customized to any length needed. Mueller will work with you until you are certain that your solution is right for you. Free samples are readily available as well as engineering expertise. To learn more click below for your free guide on improving transfer efficiency.

For more information on grounding, read our whitepaper Static Electricity and Grounding in Industry

                                                       Free Guide Grounding Plastics  for Painting

To request your grounding solution free samples or to request additional support please contact us below.     

                                                           Contact Us

Topics: Painting Plastics

Painting Plastics: How to Produce High-Quality Output in a Low Cost Environment

Posted by Tim Ulshafer on Jan 25, 2017 1:03:11 PM

With the vast varieties of paint, materials and application processes, the achievement of an efficient, high-quality and consistent automated painting process can often seem elusive. How can the director of the painting operation optimize output and quality while controlling costs?  Output is useless without quality.  The cost of scrap and rework adds up quickly, and can delay the overall project. For example, if a painted plastic bumper cover has flaws and needs to be reworked or scrapped, then that component will not be available for assembly to the designated automobile, potentially impacting the production line or the customer (and who wants rework stacking up?). This is a disruptive and costly nuisance.

A clean painting environment promoting "high transfer efficiency" is always a good place to start. But that alone does not guarantee a flawless paint finish. A major contributor to poor paint finish quality in plastics is ineffective electrostatic grounding resulting from poorly grounded components.  Yes, something a simple as grounding!  Paint departments use a variety of grounding methods including conductive tape, foil, clip assemblies, and grounding fixtures (of which some are internally integrated).   Each of these grounding methods have varying degrees of effectiveness and cost.  Here are some of the cost factors to consider:

  • Inventory: What are the associated costs to purchase individual grounding components and to monitor / maintain inventory levels?
  • Labor: What are the associated costs to build assemblies in-house, using your own staff, as opposed to buying a complete assembly?
  • Set-up/Clean-up: What are the costs of set-up and clean-up?
  • Effectiveness & Ease of Use: Is the grounding method reliable, repeatable, reusable & cleanable?

Many paint shop process foreman are inclined to think that a "do-it-yourself" grounding solution is the best, cost-effective option.  In reality, a solution engineered to your specific set-up will provide a superior, LOWER-cost result.  Don’t do it yourself!  

  • Customized to the exact requirements of your process. Each is precisely made and consistent.
  • Finished assembly cost is less than the cost to purchase individual components and build them yourself with in-house labor.
  • No scrap, broken or missing parts. Fully built assemblies arrive ready to use.
  • Less administration cost to order, stock, receive and count not to mention – fewer SKUs.

There are many outlets offering standard grounding assemblies and individual components, but it's the application knowledge and expertise that make it work.  Mueller Electric Company has that proven electrostatic grounding solution expertise and field experience.  Mueller offers applications engineering, a wide range of grounding solutions for any plastics painting production line, and samples for testing.  The right solution is a phone call or email away.   

For more information on grounding, read our whitepaper Static Electricity and Grounding in Industry


Free Guide Grounding Plastics  for Painting

Topics: Plastic Painting, Painting Plastics, Test & Measurement

Electrostatic Discharge for Plastic Painting Efficiency

Posted by Paul Kestler on Nov 11, 2016 9:54:49 AM

For most things in life, there's a direct relationship between effort and results. If you want to improve your golf game, you need to play regularly.  If you want to be an authority on Einstein's Theory of Relativity, then you're going to have to hit the books.  But occasionally there are some low-effort shortcuts available that make positive contributions to our everyday lives.  Perhaps they are not life transformative, but when they come along, you scoop them up as a freebie.

If you do plastics painting, you're already well-aware of the many variables that impact quality...which can be particularly challenging if the parts need to be visually perfect. Spray equipment, paint, flow rates, dispersion patterns, technique, and parts preparation are all important variables in the process.  There are, however, other subtle variables that can negatively impact part quality if not properly addressed.  Electrostatic discharge is one of those variables.

 Most plastic painting processes address electrostatic discharge in some way. Those who don't control this variable risk inconsistent paint application and the dreaded "R" word...rework.  Commonly used grounding methods include the use of clip & wire assemblies, foil underlining, and parts carriers with integral grounding mechanisms.  If you're using a clip & wire assembly, or foil underlining, then this is where the "freebie" aspect I mentioned earlier comes into play.  Foil underlining is effective, but prone to failure with tears and messy paint build-up.  Clip & wire assemblies work well, but many users are burdened with buying individual components and assembling themselves.  Pre-built, ready-to-use clip & wire assemblies, customized to your specific process and needs are readily available.  Mueller Electric has been in the grounding business for over 100 years and offers a wide range of solutions.


Mueller ready-to-use grounding assemblies offer:

  • A customized solution that fits your exact need (clip selection, wire selection, wire length, cleanable/reuse)
  • Cost Savings. The assembly is oftentimes LESS expensive than buying the individual parts and assembling in-house yourself
  • Rework & Scrap reduction with reliable connections

Here are a few commonly purchased Plastic Painting Grounding Solutions by Mueller Electric:

  • AI-000422 Assembly: Quick-disconnect clip design enables the clip to gently slide off the painted component. Large conductive contact area, ensuring a solid grounding connection and firm, non-damaging grip
  • AI-000443 Assembly: Recommended for fully-automated part painting processes that require a rugged connection on the discharge end of the assembly 
  • AI-000441 & AI-000448 Assemblies: Used in applications requiring highly-reliable, extra-firm clip connection on both sides of the assembly to prevent inadvertent disconnection

For more information, contact Mueller, or download our Grounding Cables for Painting Guide.  Mueller offers free samples to test/validate your process, delivered OEM direct or through your preferred supply chain partner.

For more information on grounding, read our whitepaper Static Electricity and Grounding in Industry


Download Painting Efficiency Guide

Topics: Painting Plastics