By JUAN SAGARBARRIA
Assembling the best possible spray rig constitutes an involved buying process. Even though rigs are available in pre-equipped, turnkey packages, SPF contractors can go one step further when deciding how to outfit their rigs by customizing the rig with specific components that matches their needs. To achieve this, the SPF distributor meticulously walks the contractor through the equipment selection process. Through this collaboration, the SPF contractor is able to select SPF equipment based on their precise needs, rather than adhering to standardized packages.
Addressing those needs involves three main considerations: industry sector (residential/commercial), application type (roofing/insulation), and time spent on the job (part-time/full-time). Those considerations will dictate a properly equipped spray rig. To get a clearer picture of the spray rig outfitting process, Spray Foam Magazine spoke to Jeremy Slosek of Christian Fabrication, a spray foam equipment distributor.
Spray Foam Magazine: What considerations are involved when choosing the right proportioner for SPF roofing and insulation applications?
Jeremy Slosek: If the contractor works part-time on residential projects that entail medium-output applications, I’d recommend going with a smaller, yet effective electric machine that provides more bang for the contractor’s buck like the Graco E-20. If the contractor works in a full-time capacity, whether it’s for residential or commercial insulation, I’d recommend going with a higher-output designed for larger jobs like the Graco Reactor E-30 or Graco H-25, the latter being a hydraulic machine. When it comes to spray foam roofing, I’d recommend going with a larger, hydraulic machine like a Graco Reactor H-40 or H-50. With a high-performance hydraulic machine, you never run out of output and there’s little to no chance of maxing that machine out.
SFM: What are the different variables when choosing the length of hose to work with on SPF projects?
JS: The type of application dictates the length of hose you’re going to need. For commercial roofing applications, you’re obviously going to need more hose than insulation applications. For residential insulation projects, 210 feet of hose should be plenty to work with. For commercial roofing projects, I’d recommend going with the maximum amount of hose possible. 410 feet of hose should suffice, but once again, it all depends on the size of the roof. Alternatively, you could use an all-in-one portable unit that takes a smaller machine up an elevator to do high-rise buildings, in which case you’d be good to go with 60 feet of hose.
SFM: As far as spray guns go, what options do contractors have?
JS: There are many different options, but I always recommend three: the Graco Fusion Air-Purge (AP), the Graco Clearshot, and the Probler 2. The Fusion gun is the most commonly used gun in the SPF market and I feel it’s the easiest to work with, even though it needs constant maintenance. Many contractors prefer the Fusion Clearshot because it is built with a liquid technology that cleans the mix chamber as it is being used, thus providing less downtime. The tradeoff comes when it’s time to maintain the Clearshot, as it has twice as many parts as the Fusion AP, thereby making it more complicated to clean. The Probler P2 is a gun that we see selected from contractors that have been spraying for years and like the way it handles, albeit it is definitely not as user-friendly and technologically advanced as the Fusion AP or the Clearshot.
SFM: What factors play into the choice of transfer pumps?
JS: The size of your proportioner also determines the size of your transfer pump. Technically, you could go with a larger pump on a small proportioner, but that would be overkill. I would recommend 2:1 transfer pumps like Graco’s T-1 and T-2 or IPM’s IPO2 and OP232C.
SFM: What considerations are involved when sizing a generator?
JS: A smaller machine like an E-2O would typically only need an 18 kW generator, whereas a large machine like an E-30 would require a 30 kW or a 40 kW generator. If the contractor is operating with a larger machine, I’d definitely recommend the Morse 40 kW generator because it comes with a built-in 40 CFM screw air compressor, which provides the power supply and air you need to run your proportioner, while saving space in your rig since a separate air compressor won’t be needed.
SFM: But what about when you do need the separate air compressor?
JS: When considering what size of compressor to get, it is important to know what is going to be air-powered. For example: if the crewmembers are using a fresh-air system while air-powering their spray gun and fluid-transfer pump, then they’re going to need an air compressor that provides the CFM required to power all three things simultaneously. Other options include a drum mixer for open-cell applications and an air-powered foam planer. The only time a proportioner would play a role in choosing an air compressor would be if the contractor went with an air-driven machine that would require 28 CFM by itself. I’d recommend going with Rolair compressors.
SFM: How does an air dryer fit into the system?
JS: Air dryers have different CFM’s that can pass through them. Different types of air dryers can range from 20 – 50 CFM. In order for your equipment to run smoothly, the CFM from the air dryer must match the CFM of the air compressor.
SFM: What are your recommendations for drum placement within a rig?
JS: It all depends on their preference of layout. Normally, I’d recommend putting the drums towards the back of the rig because it’s easier to load them up and take them out there. If the crewmembers are busy, there’s going to be drums being loaded everyday, if that’s where they are situated. You don’t want to have to go past the proportioner to load and unload drums because the proportioner can possibly get damaged that way. The proportioner should be kept in the front so it stays out of harm’s way. The drums should definitely have either an E-track restraint system or barrel holders with straps keeping them in place when the trailer is in motion.
CONTACT CHRISTIAN FABRICATION
Direct any questions you have about outfitting your spray rig with the proper equipment to Christian Fabrication:
Phone: 1-866-257-1169 | Website: www.christianfab.com