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One of the most common questions we get asked is “How long will it take?” or “What are the lead times on this job”.

The answer does depend on what the job is, how many parts etc. our skilled estimators will give you an approximate time, based on a number of factors. But maybe we can give you some details that we help you understand the processes involved and help your understanding of what’s entailed and how long it takes to provide a quality protective coating.


I will base this on our factory, but all facilities large or small will have capacity issues from time to time. This is mainly around the time it takes to complete a process or when an item is very large it just takes up a lot of room and nothing else can move through that stage of the process, i.e., shot blast, hot zinc spray, wet spray, or powder coat until its finished.

Although at NSP we have increased capacity with two of each process at each stage.

Let me give you two extreme examples to demonstrate some of the logistical issues we might encounter.

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Example 1.

Gutters and down pipes

This job is for a large 30m x 20m canopy, the job consists of 100m of 1m gutters, with 100 connectors and 8 down pipes with 4m sections giving 32 pipes in total. So, all in all we have 232 items to move through the factory.

These do not need to be shot blasted as they aluminium and new material, so in effect miss out the shot blast and HZS stages and move straight to the powder coat booths where they are processed with a degrease, manual abrade, etch primed, and then finished with a powder coat.

Laid out in batches of component type these will take approx. 30 mins per batch involving 3+ staff to degrease, abrade, and hang up in the booths, so a total of 2-3 hours to prepare before the powder coat process. (Time depending on staff allocated) We have two large 8m ovens, we can split this job across both booths and with 4 tracks on each and the skill of our workers we can hang the whole job across the two ovens.

To tech prime and then heat to cure the primer will take 1 hour and then coat with the powder coat finish will take another 1 hour.

But we are not finished yet.

Once each of the ovens is cured, the items need to cool in order to be checked and packed, this takes another 1 hour.

Then they are wrapped, labelled and ready to ship out. In total, from the start of the process to them being packed and ready to ship it’s taken 6 hours and that’s without any interruptions and all the finished items being approved by quality control.

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Example 2.

Large 2-tonne gate posts

When we do something of this size, it takes the large team to coordinate the item into positions to be Shot blasted, this can take 2 hours per post. Yes, they are large, but they are also very heavy and require our side loader to move the item multiple times in order for the operator to hit all areas to prepare the item for the next stage, HZS.

It’s a major operation to move these posts from one bay to another and takes a team of people to ensure the manoeuvre is performed safely.

When the item is in the Hot Zinc Spray booth it takes another 2 hours to spray and manoeuvre this massive gate post into position to be fully coated. The important thing to note here is while this very large item is moving through the factory, nothing else can overtake it, it is no exaggeration to say the whole factory is being occupied by this one job.

When it makes it into the spray booth, a team of sprayers apply the primer and then it’s heated, because of its size it can take 2 hours to reach a core temperature high enough to green cure the primer, then it’s back to have the topcoat applied, again this takes an hour to apply and then another 2 hours in the oven.

Finally, out to the inspection area, to be checked by quality control and allowed to cool. It can take 3 hours for the metal to cool or even to be left over night, then cooled to be packed and ready to ship.

In total this one job takes the whole team a full day to move through the process and it prevents anything else from being coated ahead of it that day.

How long on average?

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So, if we take an average job, say 20 off 1mx2m railing panels with flat bar uprights every 100mm.

These will take: –

  • Shot blasting = 1.5 hour
  • Hot zinc spray =1.5 hour
  • Hang, prepare & Primer coat = 1.5 hours
  • Topcoat =1 hours
  • Cooling time= 1 hour

So, on average, this job will take around 7 hours to complete and this assumes that it passes quality control.

At NSP our skilled estimators work hand in hand with the production and operations team to ensure the items move through the factory in the most efficient way. We like to have all of our facilities running at full tilt all day long.

If we quote you 4-7 days for a job, this takes into account other work going through the yard at the time and it does allow a little contingency time for the unforeseen problem that do occur from time to time. We never like to let our customers down and we want to get your job finished as quickly as possible, but let us stress, we do not cut corners here at NSP, we have been providing quality protective coatings for 22 years.