What about Paint Robot Safety?
Case Study: Paint Robot Safety and Consistency
Paint robots are more complex than a regular robot since a lot more needs to be considered to implement them safely into the workplace. In automation, it is useful to use these types of robots to finish the painting process of parts in a much more rapid manner than possible with traditional human means of painting. However, to make this successful application we need to consider the application that the paint robot will be used for as we will need to perform a risk assessment.
A risk assessment for a paint robot is critical because paint robots require safety regulations. In North America, the robots need to be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory like UL, ETL or FM. Paints and powders create a Class 1, Division 1 environment, meaning the electrical components need to be protected in the hazardous environment to make sure that it will operate safely and be certified. It is important to stress how crucial a risk assessment will be when implementing a paint robot in the field of automation, especially since different robots or applications will require different certifications.
Other things to consider when dealing with paint robot systems is the concept of Faraday cage effect, where the paint wraps around the part being sprayed due to the electromagnetic field and high voltage. This is solved by using no voltage and a control handle which will control the paint, powder, and suction gun. This allows for the perfect paint coating and application. We need to calculate the paint mix ratio, paint viscosity, powder quality, booth design and airflow. We also need to consider the varying ambient and compressed air temperatures and humidity. On top of that, we need to think of the paint flow, electrostatic field, speed and distance from parts, atomizing air, and fan pattern.
All the above-mentioned requirements need to be met to produce the best repeatability plus consider of the other systems that may need to be implemented. For example, if you are painting parts on a conveyor system- we need to consider the cycle time, etc. The role we provide as an integrator is to assess all these things and provide you with the optimal solution. We help make the automation an easy transition, ensuring that all the equipment and surroundings will support each other and provide your company with an application that produces the best results. Paint is complex, requiring us to think about a plethora of safety risks and requires us to make sure that all the other interfaces will work together seamlessly.
For an example of a case study, a company requested that we help them automate the painting process of their balusters, which are used for stairways. They wanted a conveyor system that would bring around the part, and then a robotic paint system that was able to paint the various size balusters. This allowed the company that was having a difficult time finding painters to still meet their customer demands and automate the task instead. This allowed the company to continue building their legacy without worrying about needing to hire a painter.
“Innovation Tech has provided us with prompt response on our service requests and resolved all software, electrical and mechanical issues quick and efficiently. We therefore highly recommend Innovation Tech to other companies that are looking for a first class robot integrator to provide the be possible service.”