Painting Robots for Car Industry
We automatically think of the automotive industry when we consider the use of painting robots. For example, factories with long lines of robots weaving their way around the inside and outside of car bodies. Off course this is an area where painting robots have been working for many decades now. Today, we are seeing a new interest in paint robots for much smaller applications which have traditionally been carried out by hand.
Spray painting is typically a task that is unpleasant for humans and also in a lot of cases an environment which is toxic as well. This leads to one big advantage in using robots for this role. Robot arms are able to take on this potentially unpleasant and dangerous work..
Elements to Consider when investing in painting Robots
The Robot Manipulator itself which will carry out the painting movements over the part or parts to be sprayed. The manipulator will have a high degree of freedom of movements to allow for smooth and fluid trajectories around the part or parts to be sprayed.
Paint robots are usually designed to contain the paint application piping and where appropriate colour changers within the structure of the arm of the robot eliminates the risk of cables and hoses snagging and contamination from paint material.
It is possible that the material being sprayed when vaporised can bring rise to an explosion risk in which case the robot will need to have the appropriate Atex protection rating to comply with the Atex rating of the zone that it will be working in. This is an important consideration for any new cell so we will consider this subject in a bit more detail.
Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) – Robotic Painting Systems
The HSE states that an explosive atmosphere is:
A mixture of dangerous substances with air, in the form of gases, such as vapours, mist or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture. Atmospheric conditions are commonly referred to as ambient temperatures and pressures. That is to say temperatures of –20°C to 40°C and pressures of 0.8 to 1.1 bar. HSE Guidance
For any new project, it will be necessary to establish the Atex rating for the zone where the application will take place, the HSE directs that:
Employers must classify areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur into zones. They give this classification to a particular zone, and its size and location, depends on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring and its persistence if it does.
MAIN ROBOT APPLICATIONS
The robot manufacturer will indicate the rating for its robot ranges. For example, in the case of the FANUC range of paint robots: All FANUC paint robots are explosion proofed and fully ATEX compliant for category 2 and Group IIG (previously zone 1)
what do you need to know?
Rating For Painting Robot Operation
Zone 0: A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.
Zone 1: A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
Zone 2: A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.
Zone 20: A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air is present continuously, or for long periods or frequently.
Zone 21: A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally. Equipment category 2 (2G/2D) – High level of protection
Zone 22: A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.
Applicator for Welding Robot Cell
The Applicator which is mounted on the robot flange to apply the material. There are different types of applicator depending on the material and coverage required. For example we have:
The Distribution or Paint Supply System
The Distribution or Paint Supply System To bring the material to the robot and ultimately the applicator. When considering paint application whether manual or robotic the storage and supply of the material or materials to the gun needs to be taken into account.
Some of the main elements being:
- Agitators for correct mixing of the material in the storage containers.
- Pumping systems for taking the material from the storage containers through the supply network to the base of the robot.
- Fluid pressure and air regulators for fluid control.
- Control system for managing the distribution process.
Shown below is the Durr EcoSupply P standardized modular paint supply system. This system employs pig technology and is equally suited to water based and solvent borne paints.
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robotiC PAINTING SOLUTIONS
Phoenix integrates and installs complete robotic painting solutions from initial design and consultation to manufacture. Besides this, we provide robot training, robot programming, robot simulation, commissioning, and technical support.
Likewise, we help you to choose the right industrial robots whether you decide to purchase a new robot or reconditioned robot.