Learn About It

The Invention

In the early 1930s, Harper Ransburg's three sons joined him in the business. While Gregg focused on sales, Harold and Edwin ran the manufacturing operation. Harold was concerned about how much paint was wasted coating Ransburg products and began exploring ways to reduce waste--including the idea of attracting paint directly to a metalware item like a magnet. With this, the electrostatic painting process was born.

Photo of coating process    

Edwin Ransburg watches as the Ransburg coating process is used to paint kitchen canister sets.

Photo of Honda plant One of many installations of the Ransburg coating system--Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 1987.

The Process

The electrostatic painting process is based on the principle that opposite electrical charges attract. The result is a more uniform coat of paint, less waste, and reduced material costs.

The Impact

While the electrostatic painting process was invented for and first used on Ransburg products, it had applications for many industries--including the automotive industry, where it is still the standard process for coating today. After Harold's initial development, Al Starkey, and later Edwin Ransburg, worked to develop more sophisticated processes backed by strong patent protection. In 1948, the Ransburg Electro-Coating Corporation was created to commercially sell the electrostatic technology.

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