At Powder Coating Services, we take pride in working closely with customers, so they get the quality standard and end
product finish they are seeking. When Upper Hutt pizza oven manufacturer Piazza came to us for help, it was a case of getting to know their niche product, their business, and their expectations before taking on the job. The challenge here was the effect of extreme temperature on the powder coating process. Piazza makes high-quality ceramic ovens that reach 400°, and their steel bases have to stand the heat.
Piazza is a New Zealand market leader in the manufacture of wood-fired pizza ovens for domestic use. Their ovens make pizzas that are simply superb, and are ideal for traditional Kiwi-style barbeque cooking as well. That makes them increasingly popular for backyard patios throughout New Zealand, with export markets also opening up. “Our ovens are designed to produce delicious pizzas”, says Piazza owner Mike Sarich, “and they are equally effective at preparing a great 40mm steak.” Highly effective heat transfer through radiation enables cooking to occur equally on both sides. And when you want a lower heat, there’s plenty of room to push the food to one side.
With stylish free-standing and built-in models available, Piazza ovens add huge variety to the fun and entertainment of outdoor cooking; just look at the recipes listed on the company’s website. “It’s not just about the quality food, but the whole friends-and-family experience of preparing a meal on an efficient wood fire,” adds Mike. Piazza also produces gas-fired ovens, many of which are used by commercial operators.
Constructed with three layers that work together for optimum cooking temperatures and exterior safety and with a granite cooking surface, Piazza ovens are certainly not lightweights. The cooking units sit on a steel frame, which in keeping with the high quality expectations of Piazza and their discerning customers, must also stay looking good. That means protection from the limited heat conduction that inevitably occurs, as well as from the New Zealand weather.
In undertaking to give Piazza the powder coating solution they required, our staff carried out a series of pre-treatment tests to evaluate different processes. Once a suitable zinc phosphate chemical pre-treatment process was determined, we chose a two-step powder system, devised with input from our major supplier Dulux. The first zinc shield primer coat ensures best possible corrosion resistance and bond on the steel surface, while the top coat (black) is specially formulated to withstand high temperatures.
Besides the technical challenges, cost was a major consideration. To meet the specific demands of the end product, time and material inputs presented a significant challenge “Powder coating Piazza bases is a relatively low-volume job for our operation,” says PCS manager Dave Beazer. “But with understanding from the customer we were able to work through the cost issues.” After all, quality is the key, and Piazza produces the best outdoor cooking ovens around. The company required bases finished to the standard of the rest of their manufacturing process, and that’s what they got.
Our team took great satisfaction from creating a solution for Piazza. The process required us to consult with customer and supplier alike, and apply our in-house experience to the particular requirements of the task at hand to get it just right. “We are proud of our ongoing involvement with a great product, and with a successful New Zealand manufacturer that doesn’t compromise on quality”, concludes Dave.