Sometimes companies need to extract more efficiency from tight spaces. A customer needed to operate on larger components but expanding their building and existing paint booth wasn't an option. Midwest Engineered Systems rises to challenge by developing and integrating a robotic painting system that allows the larger painting envelop the customer needed while integrating the new automated solution with the customer's existing production system.
Technologies Used in This Application
MWES integrated four (4) Fanuc Paint Mate 200iA robots to an existing GEMA paint system with a “Two Pass Powder”. The industry calls this “Dust to Dust or “Dry on Dry” where the primer is covered by topcoat and then cured. This innovative process allows for a powder primer and top coat to be applied with only a single cure stage.
Automation System Features
One of the unique features of this automation system is the MWES vertical servo lift. This lift allows the smaller Fanuc Paint Mate 200iA to reach parts that filled the entire height of the spray booth (892 mm). Adding the robot lift allowed for a very compact robotic automation solution, without massive investments in custom automated production systems or larger robots.
With little available real estate to work in, MWES was able to retrofit the new robotic automation system into the existing GEMA painting system with minimal changes to the paint booth and no changes to the current paint room. The installation resulted in greater part capability for the spray booth without the need for major capital investment in the building.
Dressed with a GEMA paint gun package, MWES was able to integrate the Fanuc Robots and Servo Lifts into the existing GEMA paint controller. The robots and the lifts are coordinated and actively track the parts on the paint line production system.
The entire robotic painting automation system is an Intrinsically Safe design. Intrinsic Safety (IS) is an approach to the design of equipment going into hazardous areas. The production technique is to reduce the available energy to a level where it is too low to cause ignition. That means preventing sparks and keeping temperatures low.
This system offers our customer greater speed and more productivity in order to fulfill increasing schedules and shorter lead-times, while providing greater safety for the facility and the workforce within.
Automation for Surface Treating
Surface treatment processes are used to clean, etch, and functionalize surfaces to improve adhesion to a wide variety of plastic and metal surfaces.
Midwest Engineering Systems partners with firms that specialize in the field to provide automated surface treating solutions including: robotic integration for precise control of treatment patterns, material handling automation systems, and the design and construction of complete rooms for the automated surface treatment process.Surface treatment technologies include: air plasma, variable chemistry plasma, and flame plasma. All have the opportunity to be converted into automated solutions with robotic automation. MWES specializes in automating the more complex processes including:
Surface treating parts prior to printing enhances ink adhesion. Surface treatment can be used to improve print quality and production speed. In some cases printing would not be possible without pre-treatment.
Injection molded or thermoformed parts are often treated prior to painting. Surface treatment allows the paint to adhere to and increase the life and durability of the paint of the object’s surface.
Products are coated to protect their surface from harsh environments or as decoration. Doors, frames, and extrusions/profiles are often coated. The medical industry uses surface treating to improve adhesion of antimicrobial/antibiotic coatings.
Bonding is primarily used to increase the strength of an adhesive. The medical and automotive industries rely on surface treating to remove contaminants such as dust, grease, oils, or mold to improve bonding. Typical cleaning solvents such as methyl ethyl ketone, trichloroethylene, toluene, or acetone may be used for this purpose, but cleaning agents that leave a film residue upon evaporation will retard bonding.
Surface treating caps, bottles, and lids ensure that labels will not peel off before destruction of the label occurs. Air, flame, and chemical plasma treatment of materials like high-molecular weight/high-density polyethylene (HMW/HDPE) can effectively improve adhesion of labels.
Surface Treatment Automation
Just like most automation systems, the use of robotics and automation in the realm of surface treating has benefits such as increasing productivity, flexibility, and efficiency while reducing production costs. In most cases, automating the material handling aspect of the surface treating processes is necessary in order to achieve throughput goals. This is especially true in large volume manufacturing situations.
High performing robotic surface treating systems can be semi or fully automated and custom built for your treatment requirements. Midwest Engineering Systems uses state-of-the-art software, robotic programming tools, and sensors to ensure you receive the latest technology and equipment.