Paint development with the robot

WB Coatings is now testing its new paints with the compact ready2spray robot.
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The pre-installed, ready-to-paint robot from Dürr is a professional solution for automated paint application. With components that have been matched and tested to each other, it is tailored to the requirements of general industry and in this combination is unique on the market. WB Coatings is the first paint manufacturer to develop its new products with the "ready2spray" robot. One new product is, for example, a chrome effect paint which is used for vehicle interiors, among other things. This gives plastic components, such as window regulators or decorative clips in the steering wheel, a deceptively real chrome look. WB Coatings achieves this effect with paint systems consisting of one, two or three layers of paint. According to WB Coatings, it would not have been possible to develop these new types of paint systems as a chrome-free alternative for shiny silver surfaces without the use of a robot. The challenge was to apply the layers of chrome effect paint very evenly. And especially with the three-coat paint system, particularly thin, reproducible layers of 2 to 3 µm should be painted. Even very experienced hand painters are not able to do this. To meet this requirement, the paint manufacturer decided to use an automated painting solution from Dürr. This consists of the six-axis EcoRP 10 R1100 small robot with modern application technology including mixing and dosing technology for two-component paints (2K), paint supply systems and control. The automated spraying program of the robot system does not allow any deviation and thus achieves maximum repeatability. This begins with the dosing of the components in exactly the same ratio every time. If, on the other hand, the smallest quantities of only a few milligrams are mixed by hand, the risk of inaccuracies is high. The painting result is also influenced by the application speed and the distance to the object to be painted. These factors naturally fluctuate during manual application, while the robot works completely evenly and thus always produces identical coating thicknesses.

Ready-to-spray in the shortest time

With the decision for the six-axis robot, the paint manufacturer remains flexible for future customer requirements. The robot enables the painting of three-dimensional objects with complex geometries. With a two-dimensional spraying system, WB Coatings would have limited its own development possibilities. Since the application technology is already pre-installed, the robot system was set up, installed and ready to paint within one and a half days. Due to its compact dimensions it could be integrated into the existing painting booth despite limited space. If the robot is in the parking position, painting can still be carried out manually in front of the same extraction wall.

The complete article was published in German in the April issue of JOT.

Author(s): Dürr

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