Surface finishing is essential for the practical use of metals. When left unprotected, the iron in these metals reacts with oxygen to form rust. This means that colorful exteriors aren’t just decorative—they are functional barriers that assist in corrosion prevention.
Metal parts can be finished with either powder coating or a wet paint process. While they serve a similar function, the powder coating finish method is increasingly popular in industrial applications, due to a multitude of factors.
So, which is the better finish for your reel?
Both coatings contain additives and color composition pigments. The major distinction is solvent: wet paint contains solvent, but powder coating does not. The solvent in wet paint keeps all the other components in suspended liquid form. In contrast, powder coating is applied as a dry powder.
For the powder coating process, dry powder is applied through an electrostatic gun on to the surface of the metal exterior. Once the coating reaches the desired thickness, the coated part is placed in a curing oven, where the heated powder gels, resulting in a smooth, durable finish.
The overall purpose for the finish on your reel is to protect the surface of the metal components from corrosion and other environmental damage. If the finish is damaged, it ceases to function as an effective barrier. Powder coating provides better performance than wet paint—it is more resistant to chipping, scratching, and other natural wear because of the thermal bonding it undergoes during curing, and because it can be applied in much thicker, more durable layers. In addition to its physical toughness, powder coating provides superior color retention. Long term exposure to moisture, sunlight, and heat breaks down the resins found in both paint and powder coating.
In addition to superior protection and performance for your reel, powder coating is also the safer coating option. Liquid paint is hazardous for several reasons. First of all, it’s highly flammable. Wet paint is also a health hazard to the operators that work with it. Because powder coatings do not contain any fluids to evaporate, they are free of the health and safety risks associated with wet paint.
Powder coating is not bullet-proof, but it is more durable than its liquid counterpart and is undoubtedly the better surface finishing option for your hose, cord, or cable reel. While there will always be a role for liquid paint, you can expect a powder-coated finish to increase the life of your reel and provide the best overall protection.
To begin answering this question, let’s take a deeper look at what stainless steel is comprised of. While stainless steels are naturally corrosion-resistant, they are not entirely protected from corrosion. Stainless steel derives its corrosion resistant properties from its chromium content. The chromium, in the presence of air (oxygen), forms a thin film of chromium oxide which covers the surface of the stainless steel. Chromium oxide and chromium in the material gives stainless steel its corrosion resistant properties.
Under completely ideal situations, pure stainless steel forms an oxide film when exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere, which ultimately protects the stainless steel from corrosion. Under realistic conditions, such as most factory settings, foreign material in a manufacturing environment may be transferred to the surface of the stainless steel parts of your hose reel, often inhibiting the formation of the protectant oxide. These contaminants need to be eliminated from the stainless steel and the removal process is known as passivation.
Stainless steel passivation is a process that chemically removes these natural contaminants and forms a “passive” oxide film layer, which further improves corrosion resistance. This process proves especially beneficial for your stainless steel reels in unforgiving environments, such as those in very close proximity to saltwater.
Passivating stainless steel is typically accomplished by dipping the part in a bath of nitric acid. Nitric acid dissolves any free iron or other contaminants from the surface, which cleans the metal, and it re-oxidizes the chromium, and restores the original corrosion-resistant surface to the part.
Anytime a system is being fabricated, there is the possibility that residues from the fabrication process end up in the system components. Extreme care must be taken to prevent the stainless steel particles from getting into the system during construction. Stainless steel passivation will create the most effective corrosion resistance surface for your hose reel.
Properly passivized stainless steel reels will increase the life of expensive chemical fluid transfer and wash down hoses, and the life of the reel in itself.
Hose reels are essential components in industrial cleaning applications. Hose reels are the best choice for high pressure hose management and storage in the pressure washing industry, as they are used to neatly store and efficiently handle hoses on pressure washer units, adding convenience while routinely spraying and cleaning properties and equipment. Pressure washing hose reels not only increase your hose life, they save time and allow for hassle-free maintenance.
Many industries depend on pressure washing equipment and cleaning systems. Features such as ease of use, weight, and durability play a large role in the selection process in determining which hose reel is correct for a particular application. Cold-water or hot-water pressure washing applications are found in many industries including, but not limited to:
- Agriculture / Farming
- Construction / Mining
- Industrial / Manufacturing
- Food Processing
- Oil / Gas
- Commercial / Retail
- Municipalities / Cities / States
- Government / Military
- Marinas / Docks / Shipyards
While corrosion can occur in any wet environment, adding salt water to the equation can greatly increase the danger. Stainless steel hose reels are often necessary in especially harsh environments, such as marine and other salt water areas. By choosing the right type of stainless steel for your hose reel, you will have very little hassle maintaining your hose reels’ durability for years to come, especially near unforgiving salt water environments.
Pressure washing is a tough industry on all products but especially on the reels, hoses, and wands. Because those components are the main points of operator interface, they have to deal with all of the abuse, neglect, and manipulation. Robust construction and fool-proof design are critical for this kind of application. A balance including longevity and performance is needed to find a reel to meet all of your pressure washing needs.
A family business is a commercial venture in which family members are involved. A family business can include many different types of combinations, such as parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings, and multi-generation owned ventures. Most family businesses are operated directly by the owners, who are consistently involved with day-to-day operations. Alternatively, others hire non-related individuals to coordinate day-to-day operations while the actual owners have very little involvement.
Leading and working in a family business can bring valuable benefits compared with other business types. The long-standing history family members have with each other properly equips them to define each other’s strengths and weaknesses appropriately when operating a family business. Family members are more likely to accurately assign one another to suitable business roles, which provides for a competitive advantage over other variations of businesses where talent may not be correctly utilized and placed.
Benefits to running a family business:
- Commitment to success: families who are involved in running a family business together place more value on the success of the company. Family members are often the ones who have invested most of the time and money to get the business off the ground, so they are usually motivated to do what it takes to help the business survive and grow. Families also tend to be more willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the business, as opposed to working for or within a large corporation.
- Quality of product: family ownership is a tremendous asset when it comes to product quality. For most consumers, family ownership means that there is a dedicated family they can trust standing behind the product brand. A business that is family owned can fully capitalize by making sure they are perceived by the public in a specifically closely managed way. By doing so this gives friendly characteristics as opposed to a large company with no distinguishable personal characteristics within its running process. Also, when actively purchasing product from a family business, it is highly likely that a customer will, at one point, come face to face with the actual owner(s) of the business. Family business owners who are actively involved in the day-to-day processes are often known to make a point to have face-to-face meetings with the very individuals responsible for the successes – the consumers.
- Flexibility: family operations tend to be more lenient and forgiving when it comes to work schedules, work-related judgments and even mistakes. In family businesses, there may be more leeway to work a flexible schedule or create an appropriate work/life balance that effectively serves both personal and company needs.
- Employee relations: family-owned businesses generally take better care of their employees, as they are seen as extensions of their own family. More often than not, family businesses are significantly smaller than businesses in the corporate world, so there is less potential for employees to feel as though they are just another employee number on payroll. It is also important to note that happy employees are known to treat customers (existing and potential) better as compared to a continually disgruntled employee working for a large corporation.
- Speed: In a smaller, family-owned business, an idea can emerge in the morning and employees can begin implementing said idea by the afternoon in the very same day. Employees and business leaders have the capability to bypass the multiple hurdles and barriers that encompasses the corporate world. This not only allows family businesses to have quicker response times to customers, but also quickly react to any potential employee needs.
“Family values” are taking on a new meaning in today’s economy. If family members are able to recognize that value and work together for the common good, family can be the biggest competitive advantage in the workforce.
CARC stands for “Chemical Agent Resistance Coating” and is known as the camouflage paint used on military vehicles and equipment. CARC paint is much more than a visual camouflage for tactical vehicles and equipment; it is a critical effort in attempt to increase success on the battlefield. In addition to being a highly effective visual camouflage, CARC paint offers many additional benefits of use.
· Chemical resistance: CARC is a non-absorbent material that prevents dangerous chemicals from being absorbed into the coating and potentially damaging a reel. In the event of a chemical attack on military tactical equipment and vehicles, it will be necessary to decontaminate vehicles and equipment. Because damaging chemicals will not be absorbed by the CARC camouflage, it will be much easier to neutralize and sanitize the affected military equipment.
· Infrared Signature Management: This is one of the least understood, yet most important attributes of the CARC camouflage system. Each of the colors in the CARC camouflage contains a special pigment that camouflages vehicles and equipment when they are engaged in operation. The green pattern in the CARC paint has an infrared signature equal of chlorophyll. When viewed using infrared technology, the vehicles and equipment will blend in with the surrounding environment.
The use of commercial paints and aerosol sprays represent a severe danger to our United States military troops. Not only do these products offer no chemical protection, they also pose a significant threat by creating an infrared hotspot, potentially opening doors for an attack on our U.S. military personnel.
CARC paint is an option provided by select reel manufacturers. Many overlook the key benefits of CARC paint – it is much more than an active camouflage agent. The men and women of our U.S. military are undoubtedly worth the added protection that CARC paint provides.
Hose reels are a relatively simple piece of machinery. However, the individual mechanisms within each reel are what individualize each reel. You can find a reel built specific to any industry or application – the possibilities are truly endless. In the event that a reel manufacturer does not carry a reel model tailored to your exact needs, a custom-built solution, available by some manufacturers, can be implemented to meet your exact needs.
There are several different specifications that you will need to know prior to requesting a custom reel:
- Product to be handled (water, air, gas)
- Temperature and pressure of product
- ID, OD, and length of the hose
- Size and thread of the outlet
- Finish type and color
- A variety of optional accessories/upgrades: hose stops, guide rollers, etc.
Custom reels can even be built to accommodate:
- High-pressure hoses
- Large diameter hoses
- Heavy duty hoses and cables
- Multi-hose cable lines
Above all else, collaboration with the customer is the most vital step in the custom design process.
It may sound obvious, but before contacting a reel manufacturer, do your best to gather as much information as possible and have a detailed idea of exactly what you want your hose reel to accomplish, and in which specific environment.
In a nutshell – the best path to getting the perfect reel combines both collaborative problem solving and independent contemplation with the manufacturer’s internal engineering team, to produce a strong, practical, beautifully designed product.
When purchasing an industrial strength hose, cord, or cable reel, it may come as a surprise that many of the big-name manufacturers do not sell direct. It is all too common to be referred to a local or online distributor. This may seem like a hassle at first, but there are actually many advantages to purchasing through a distributor to include flexibility, lower overhead, and better sales support.
Distributors are in the business of being competitive, especially when working with manufacturers that sell directly. As a result, sales costs are generally transferred from the manufacturer to the distributor, not added. Because the distributor can spread the costs of these value added services across a wide inventory, the total cost to you ends up being much lower than if you purchased directly.
Another clear advantage of purchasing through a distributor is they are able to maintain extremely low overhead costs, directly translating to lower costs for the customer. Because distributors do not have the need to maintain expensive equipment, machines, and supplies, they are able to maintain lower overhead costs than manufacturers.
An additional advantage that distributors offer is the ability to choose products from a multitude of competing manufacturers. This ensures you’re getting the best product for your specific, unique needs at a competitive price.
Lastly, distributors can offer better customer service and sales support than manufacturers can, sell in smaller quantities, and allow the ability to mix and match products from different manufacturers. What is often overlooked is the high level of support distributors can offer across the board. Manufacturers specialize in engineering and production, but can lack the personal touch and understanding of support that distributors are built on.
Purchasing a hose reel and/or reel accessory through a distributor may seem like an unnecessary inconvenience; however, distributors are disguised with value-added offers and benefits. It is well worth the additional step.
Metals are an incredibly versatile material – they are both strong and flexible. However, if used improperly or in a potentially hazardous environment, they can become surprisingly fragile. When it comes to metals, saltwater locations are among the most unforgiving due to the inevitability of corrosion.
What causes corrosion? Corrosion occurs when metal atoms react with their environment. Rusting is a common form of corrosion, created when iron reacts with oxygen molecules to form iron oxide.
Salt water speeds this process by forming an electrolyte solution. Metal does not even have to be fully immersed for this process to take place, as increased humidity and salt spray can provide the necessary electrolyte contacts for corrosion. Even exposure to the air alone can be enough to corrode some metals, like steel. This is because in all but the very driest climates, there is enough moisture in the air to accelerate the process of corrosion.
What is the best method to prevent corrosion? In especially harsh environments, such as marine and other salt water areas, choosing the right metal for your machines is crucial.
For hose, cord, and cable reels, stainless steel offers varying levels of corrosion protection. Like all steel, stainless steel is mostly iron, but it also contains nickel and chromium. These are not just a protective coating, but are melted into the steel itself. The mixture must contain at least ten percent chromium, because it is the chromium that protects stainless steel from corrosion. As long as there is sufficient chromium present, the chromium oxide layer will continue to protect the stainless steel and prevent it from rusting.
Corrosion is a frustrating process that we have been fighting for as long as we have been using metals for machinery. By choosing the right type of stainless steel for your hose reel, you will have very little hassle maintaining your hose reels’ durability for years to come, especially near harsh salt water environments.
"Buy American!" might sound like nothing more than a slogan advanced by American manufacturers to sell products made in the USA, but the truth is that there are many reasons to consider buying American-made products:
SAFETY – Foreign labor standards are often subpar to American labor and safety laws. When you purchase foreign products, you could be indirectly supporting unsafe working conditions or possibly child laborers.
SUPPORTING THE US ECONOMY – Profit earned from orders shipped abroad rarely benefit the American economy. When you buy products made in the USA, you help keep the American economy going and growing by keeping your dollars here working for you!
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION - US manufacturing processes are typically cleaner for the environment than some in other countries. Many products sold that are produced in other countries are manufactured using dangerous, heavily polluting processes and chemicals.
FAIR WAGES - Many countries have no minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low. The United States is one of the few countries with regulated wages.
FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE - The huge US trade deficit leads to massive, unsustainable borrowing from other countries. When you purchase domestically made products, you are actively helping to reduce the US’s trade deficit!
HIGHER QUALITY – Many people specifically look to purchase overseas in order to obtain lower pricing. In order to provide these products at lower prices, many overseas suppliers use lower quality products.
SECURE FUTURE - It's not always just about finding the lowest price. It's about keeping jobs here in America and our ability to provide for ourselves and our families.
We all can help America’s economic problems is in our own backyard. The answer is: buy American.
The reel industry is established and well developed, with reels maintaining their fundamental design for over 60 years. As with any long-standing industry, trends cycle and response can be slow. For the last few years the major trends seen in the reel market have been a demand for quality and a drive toward increasingly specialized products.
With the ever increasing influx of imported products, the market saturation with lower quality goods is growing and people are noticing the difference. There is now a consistent trend of users who demand high quality, well designed and manufactured products. As a result, product development is trending more toward product improvement in terms of reliability and quality rather than the drive for cost reduction, as is the focus of many companies.
The other trend being seen in the marketplace is the desire for application-specific products. Where in the past it was common place for the customer to use a generic reel for most applications, we are finding more and more that customers desire small adaptations specific to their application. Customers are demanding personalization and customization as the line between consumer and creator continues to blur.
More than ever in the past, customers wish to have their individual needs and whishes considered in any business relationship, and converted into products and services that address those needs and whishes effectively. Recent customer trends in the reel industry are indicating that end users are willing to pay a little more for their reel in exchange for higher quality, often custom products. Overall, quality reel products are catching consumers’ attention now more so than ever. Understanding that the service provided to the customer will remain in the customer’s mind long after the product he’s purchased has run its course is key to success in the industry.