Employee Profile: Eric Franzen, KORT Painter Extraordinaire

Many KORT signage manufacturing projects include special paint jobs. That is where Eric Franzen steps into the picture. Eric has been a “special projects” painter for over 10 years and started his career in automotive and scenic painting.

We interviewed Eric about his experience, his current work and some of his favorite parts of the creative work he does for KORT and beyond!

What material composition can be painted?

Can you match any color a customer wants?
Yes, we do that all the time. We utilize Pantone matching systems, color chips, spectrometers and various color codes.

Are there safety requirements for painting within the booth?
Yes, there are many OSHA requirements. These include using the proper respirator and gloves, fire suppression systems, explosion-proof construction and the required ventilation. There are also rules to follow regarding proper waste disposal.

How big is the spray paint booth you usually work in?
The booth is 12 feet by 24 feet and can handle the majority of signage/parts painting requests.

Is there any automation involved in the painting process?
No, this is still a field that involves personal artistry skill sets.

What are the start to finish steps to paint a metal sign?
The first step is normally getting the metal sign from the CNC router. Many times, there is also welding in the initial process. The metal needs to be sanded and cleaned with a degreaser. Next it is primed with either an etch primer or an epoxy primer depending on the metal type. Finally, the topcoat is sprayed onto the surface and allowed to dry for three days. Sometimes it is finished with a clear coat for a protective glossy finish or a matte finish.

What have been the biggest challenge projects so far?
The biggest challenge project was probably the Polaris project because it was a process we hadn’t tried before, but I think it turned out well and we learned a lot along the way. That was a project where paint and printing were being applied throughout the process of making the sign in ways we had not done before.

What other KORT teammates do you work with?
We work as an entire team on every project. This includes marketing, sales, designers, estimators, project management, packaging/shipping and other KORT members in the manufacturing process. And, of course, we see the customer as part of the teamwork communication process.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
I really like building things! I like painting something that I built because it’s the last step in the process and it makes everything look smooth and clean.

To learn more about how KORT can handle any creative signage request in a short period of time, give us a call at 763-432-7630 or send an email to [email protected].

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