Robotic painting is one of the most common applications of robots in modern industries. It has found application almost everywhere where it is necessary to obtain the quality and stability of the production process, such as painting.
Since painting is the final part of a product, it must be perfect, as long as it looks beautiful and has protective properties. The application of robots, Paintshop, in the car industry is almost unthinkable now.
Quality and health hazards
We all know that the working conditions in the paint shops and the plants where the painting is performed are very difficult and very harmful to health. The air in painting plants is saturated with vapors from painting agents, and these substances are in most cases toxic and even carcinogenic. And this is just one of a number of reasons why painting jobs are entrusted to robots.
As for the quality, there is nothing disputable. Each part comes out with the same quality, protection and appearance. It is impossible to apply a larger or smaller amount of paint, protection, varnish, we always get the same, set value. By properly regulating the movement of the robot gun, we achieve an even application of paint. Material savings, in addition to the aforementioned motion control, come with the establishment of a precise rhythm of turning the painting tool on and off. As a result, the amount of waste (scrap) was reduced, and the consistency of quality was improved. By applying and introducing robots into the painting process, we get a stable process.
What characteristics should paint robots have?
There are several characteristics that are necessary for quality painting with robots. They allow the robot to quickly and flexibly paint any object with the least consumption of paint, varnish and primer, taking into account the quality of material application in the process of mass production.
Enough degrees of freedom – The more degrees of freedom (DoF) a robot has, the more capable it is to approach a certain point from several angles. This is important because the painting tool must maintain the correct distance from the surface to ensure safe and stable painting.
Applicator – The working part of any painting robot whose role is to apply paint. Two variants are used: an atomizer with rotating bells and an air spray gun. The applicator turns liquid paint into a spray or fine mist for application to the surface to be painted. By combining paint and air pressures (in certain applications and currents), an appropriate “brush” is obtained, as the basic process parameter of the painting program.
Paint pump – The paint pump is one of the basic components of robotic painting. A dosing gear pump is usually used, mainly in the process of serial automated production or an external supply is used.
Color changer – Some paint robots allow you to quickly switch between different colors using a color changer consisting of a series of paint, air and thinner / water valve blocks. The switching process leads to flushing of the system because it is necessary to flush the old paint from the sprayer and insert a new one into the system.
Hollow zglob – The feature that only dedicated painting robots have is that they have a hollow joint, so you can also recognize whether it is a standard industrial robot or one intended for the painting process. This means that the cables and hoses that guide the air for the work of the tool and the paint can pass through the joint, and not outside it, which further prevents them from being covered with paint and damaged.
Protected from explosion – Working with flammable liquids such as paint poses a real risk of explosion. Dedicated paint robots are often designed to be “explosion-proof” to ensure that, if an explosion does occur, the robot can withstand it.
Paint robot motion programming software – Every robot application needs good programming software, so when it comes to painting and painting. Ideally, you want software that makes it easy to create complex painting paths with minimal programming and the ability to modify programs in real time, during the painting process itself. These complex software packages also provide a complete insight into the state of the robot, its components and the optimization of the necessary parameters for the paint application.
Which robots are used for painting?
One of the most famous manufacturers of paint robots is the German company DÜRR. In principle, others can be, ie. standard industrial robots can be used for painting applications, but they have certain limitations in the movements and the way of programming the paths, so that they further complicate the work and obtain the desired quality.
DURR i KUKA
The German company DÜRR has long been a market leader in the automotive industry, providing solutions primarily for painting processes, as evidenced by the presence in all Paintshops of DAIMLER, BMW and FIAT around the world. A few years ago, they teamed up with robot manufacturer KUKA to produce a readi2_spray solution.
The solution is based on the KUKA robot AGILUS KR 10 R1100 and has all the necessary characteristics of a painting robot.
Another big name in the world of robotics, a dedicated solution for painting FANUC is the PaintMate series. Like the previously mentioned solutions, it is explosion-proof in accordance with the ATEX standard for equipment operating in an explosive environment. PaintMate comes in different sizes, each based on one of FANUC’s robot models.
B+M Surface Systems
Although a lesser-known manufacturer of robots than previous options, the German company B + M Surface Systems specializes in surface finishing technologies, from immersion technologies to robotic painting solutions.
ABB was a pioneer of painting robots in the late 1960s. Their latest painting robot, FlexPainter, continues to innovate with their new ABB Ability Connected Atomizer – “the first digital robotic car painting system”. Like other painting robots, the FlexPainter (based on the IRB 5500) has the ability to reach even large pieces for painting on the other side.
Kawasaki painting robots
Kawasaki offers its own robotic painting solution based on K-series robots. Like all robots on this list, they come with a range of peripherals that enhance the painting experience.
Yaskawa MPX / MPO series
Yaskawa offers its Motoman MPX / MPO series robots designed for painting. Like the other robots listed here, these robots can be mounted in a variety of configurations (e.g., on a ceiling, wall, or floor) allowing for greater flexibility in the painting task.
Stäubli painting robots
Stäubli’s painting solutions are based on some of his TX and RX robots. Process parameters are controlled using PaintiXen software, which controls parameters such as flow rate, dispersion and electrostatic charge. Stäubli claims that this software reduces solvent and paint consumption by 30%.
More information on industrial robot programming, robot programming training, maintenance, process learning such as spot and arc welding, painting, glue and sealant application, material handling, SafeOperation with robots from KUKA, ABB, DÜRR, MITSUBISHI and others can be found HERE.
You can contact us via e-mail: [email protected] where you can get all the information for the design, simulation, programming, maintenance and installation of automated lines for painting and other robot applications. We also procure, deliver and install protective suits for robots in the process of painting and other applications.
Source: Automatika.rs by www.automatika.rs.
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