Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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Established in 2007 mainly to service the steel fabrication sector, Techko-X has more than 20 years of expertise in industrial automation and manufacturing. Partnering with Powertech Finishing Solution has allowed the company to become a one-stop automation and engineering solutions provider.
100-per cent Local Made
“Our expertise in tailor-made car spray booths gained us a solid reputation in the industry. At present, we are the only manufacturer in Malaysia that provides 100-per cent local made customised spray booths. Though the cost is higher, it is important to ensure the quality and durability. With proper maintenance, our spray booths can last at least 10 years,” said Techko-X Director Jacob Kow.
About 2 years ago, he said, the company constructed a spray booth for a coachbuilder. Last month, the coachbuilder ordered another unit. “Though the demand from the commercial vehicle segment is not as big as that from cars, there will come a point when the Department of Environment (DOE) of Malaysia would tighten its enforcement to ensure spray painting is carried out within a properly constructed spray booth. It is important to be well prepared and we are looking at further expanding into this segment.”
The uniqueness of the company’s products, he said, was in maintaining the old design with new materials. Besides that, it used a powder coating system for corrosion protection and even went to the extent of designing its own spray booth hinge that could withstand the internal pressure of the booth.
“The design, construction and installation of a spray booth demand a level of technical expertise, skill and experience. We need to get the calculations right, such as the specification of the booth and proper airflow, and determine the temperature, types of motor, fan and lighting system, just to name a few. Our products comply with the standards and regulations set by DOE and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including having fire resistance spray booth construction to assure a safe and healthy workplace.”
He added that there was a new regulation set by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) Malaysia on a spray booth’s ventilation system. It had to meet the criteria of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (AGGIH) Industrial Ventilation manual.
Talking about new trends and technology, he said compared to the other conventional lighting solutions, the company opted for T5 lighting. According to him, T5 lighting yielded significant savings in energy cost. In addition, it was directly wired and had no ballast and starter maintenance, making it convenient with greater cost saving.
“Instead of a diesel burner, our spray booth uses an infra-red heater for curing. It can cure paint faster (40 minutes to 1 hour) and is more efficient with a lower consumption of electricity. It is less harmful as no smoke is produced and is especially suitable for tropical countries such as Malaysia.”
Green Spray Booth Brand Name Reflects Focus on Environment
Under the brand name of Green Spray Booth to reflect the company’s focus and commitment to the environment, its products are widely used in local after-market automotive service centres, including BMW Glenmarie, Honda Malaysia, PPG Coating (M) Sdn Bhd, Perodua Sales Sdn Bhd, Tan Chong Express Motor Sdn Bhd, Terex Malaysia Sdn Bhd and PPG PJ. “Honda and Perodua are our two main customers. Proper clean up and maintenance are not only crucial for creating flawless finishes and providing a safe and efficient working environment for the painters, but also help to extend the lifespan of the spray booth. To give the customer complete peace of mind, we offer a maintenance package at a fixed rate, whereby our team will maintain their spray booth every 3 months to ensure optimum results.”
Currently, the company exports its passenger car spray booths to Manila through a local dealer that would provide after-sales service. The next country that it would soon export to is Singapore.
“We have more than 12 production workers and an in-house R&D team. The research that we are doing is to develop a quick dry system that would shorten the paint dry process from 1 hour to 20 or 30 minutes. This would significantly increase productivity and generate more income for the workshop.”
As to the challenges, he said it was to educate the customers on the importance of housekeeping and maintenance of the spray booths. Regular servicing was a major aspect, which the company could provide, but it was equally important that customers kept it clean and safe on a daily basis.
Moving forward, he revealed that the company was looking to invest in Solidworks design software that allowed it to transform new ideas into products more efficiently. The software could set up virtual real-world environments such as simulating air flow and reduced costs for creating product prototypes and testing. “It is a very costly investment and we need to plan for it. The market for spray booths in Malaysia is growing, especially in the Original Equipment segment, and we are looking to tap into the growing demand here.”
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