Solutions for the automation and digitalization of painting processes are a big topic for both wages and in-house coaters.
“It is no longer just a matter of automating individual painting steps, but of networking the process chain,” says Jürgen Haußmann, Managing Director of Fair fair, the organizer of the Paintexpo trade fair. At the trade fair in Karlsruhe, among other things, multi-axis robots and robot spray booths specially designed for the coating industry for wet painting and powder coating will be presented. They combine the high quality and reproducibility of robot painting with a flexible and cost-effective solution that also enables medium-sized and small companies to get started with robot-automated painting.
Automation begins with the pretreatment of the components to be painted. Blastman Robotics, Düsseldorf, has developed fully automated robots specifically for a reliable blasting process that can be reproduced with the appropriate roughness and peak number. You can use all abrasives in all grain sizes and shapes as well as the optimal beam spacing and angle. These jet robots with particle speeds of up to 200 m/s not only clean metal components much faster, but also achieve a reproducibly finer structure with a larger surface, which has a positive effect on the adhesion of the coating to be applied.
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Light Paint Dosing Pump Relieves The Robot Arm
Robots also ensure reproducible results when applying paint. To reduce the load on the robot arms, Oerlikon Barmag, Remscheid, has developed a particularly light paint dosing pump: the GP451C weighs less than 1 kg. “The already low weight of the GP451C can be reduced even further if it is manufactured using additive manufacturing,” explains Thorsten Wagener. The pump has a wide speed range (20 – 240 rpm) and thus covers a large discharge range. Producers can, therefore, do without the use of several pumps of different sizes.
BZ Brush, Ornbau is also seeing increasing demand for automation solutions for coating applications. The company, therefore, develops robot system concepts that are individually tailored to the respective customer and application requirements. Industrial applicators and continuous brushes made of bristles, foams or felt are used. This also includes a robot solution that fully automatically and precisely applies an adhesion promoter to plastic parts. Compared to conventional application options such as spraying or manual application of liquids, the solution offers significant added value in terms of material savings, process reliability and the reduction of emissions.
SLF, Emsdetten, has the new Reco-Painter paint portal for the automatic coating of large, rectangular components such as box bodies for trailers and containers with low undercuts. Particular emphasis was placed on easy handling and operation. This is primarily due to the automatic contour recognition of the components, which eliminates the otherwise complex programming of the component geometry. The set-up times for a color change are short thanks to the decentralized paint supply. The new painting portal can also be integrated into existing cabins.
According to the Czech paint shop manufacturer Galatek, robot painting is one of the most interesting and most dynamically developing areas of surface treatment. It is particularly important to check the suitability for the respective part with regard to the shape and size of the workpieces and the capacity. The company not only offers virtual animation but also its own research facility. Their main task is to carry out the tests and to verify the suitability of the selected technology in practice. There is a small, non-commercial painting facility with a laboratory for evaluating the test results.
The Simulation Of The Painting Processes
The simulation of the painting process is moving more and more into focus. For example, simulates the painting process in automated coating systems with an industrial 6-axis robot, for example with various spray systems. This shortens the time to set up and commission the customer up to 30% compared to other systems.
All stations of a networked process are clearly shown – from compressed air generation to ink supply and color change to paint application by a painting robot and, finally, an ERP-based provision of spare and wear parts.
In addition to programs for manual teaching, solutions for offline programming are now also available for programming the robot’s motion sequences. Convergent Information Technologies, Haid / Austria, has developed such a software tool with Automappps Offline. Automappps can be used for coating, cleaning, and sanding – or it can also be used to automatically detect and correct defects on car bodies. The robot marks the defect, grinds it again and polishes it. The software determines the repair tracks on the body, the robots and the processing sequence for each defect. The software plans the movements of the robots so that they do not collide with the component or cell, nor with one another.
With digital powder coating, further efficiency potential can be leveraged: A dynamic contour laser scanner from Gema, St. Gallen / Switzerland, enables a high degree of automation by recognizing even the most complex object geometries and placing each gun in the correct position for the purpose Coating components to a high level. The object outlines are recorded precisely. Intelligent components in combination with the associated main control with 3D software automatically translate the object shape, adjust the coating parameters accordingly and position the gun axes individually. (SK)
Paintexpo Trade Fair Postponed
The date for the 8th Paintexpo in Karlsruhe has been postponed to October 12-15, 2020 due to the coronavirus. The trade fair for industrial painting technology covers the entire process chain in wet and UV painting as well as powder coating and coil coating. The fair has grown continuously in recent years. Around 16,000 m2 of net exhibition space is planned for this year.