Chain-on-Edge Anti-Corrosive Spray System
Fully Automated Anti-Corrosive Single Coat System
A Tier 1 Automotive Supplier reached out to Arnold Machine to create an innovative spray system that covers parts in an anti-corrosive water-based material. Arnold Machine was tasked with designing a cutting-edge spray system that would cover small parts with the desired thickness for coating. The customer was looking to expand their capabilities in anti-corrosive coating and trusted our team to assist in providing a solution.
This system was a brand-new process requested by the customer. There were many challenges in learning and maintaining an entirely new process, and coating was no exception. Previously, the customer was outsourcing this process as they had no experience coating parts. As a value add, the customer decided to keep the coating in-house as there would be savings in packaging, transportation, and scheduling.
The customer utilized a span of 12 months to understand the various areas of coatings, the process, and all associated job measures. From selecting the right anti-corrosion product to developing the type of equipment to perform the job, to the right personnel to perform, Arnold Machine worked with the customer in various phases to help spearhead the learning process and provide the various levels of automating the process.
Our team was able to create a multi-station “one stop shop” that utilized an automated washer, robotic transfer, and automated painting system.
There were two main challenges that Arnold Machine faced: keeping paint from unwanted areas and having uniform coverage to meet requirements.
Other considerations included:
- Small parts with complex areas that needed coated
- Creating a no-contact washer to eliminate the potential of fingerprints, dust or debris on the part
- Containing the overspray
- Keeping coating from the top side of the part due to the raw cast finish
- All thicknesses had to be within an acceptable range as well as pleasing to the human eye
- Higher level of refinement within robot programming and the spray gun
The process our team created was an Indexing Chain system that took the parts through several stations completely designed and built in our facility in Tiffin, OH. Our Chain-on-Edge solution robotically loaded and offloaded the parts as well as utilized the same robot to insert and remove part masks manufactured out of regular steel. The first set of stations preheat the part, the next group of stations allow for the coating applications, and the final group allowed for part cure. Our solution also allows for several recipes, complex areas to be coated, and meet the required thickness. The chain system can produce 60 parts/hour.
Using a FANUC America Corporation M10, 2D vision and LR Mate Paint robot, and a Krautzberger M18 automatic HVLP spray gun, Arnold Machine was able to provide the consistent coating at the acceptable thickness. We also used a pneumatic tip cleaner to clean the spray gun tip between cycles. The robot was able to articulate and apply the anti-corrosion to the corners and jagged areas that a traditional method would not have been able to achieve on an indexing chain conveyor. The M10 robot takes the part from the washer to the preheat stations, then the chain-on-edge system allows for automatic transfer throughout the preheat, spray booth, and curing processes. From there, the M10 robot removes the part from the system.
Arnold Machine was able to provide a washer and coating system that allows the customer to offer an in-house solution for applying the anti-corrosive to the product. The additional resources utilized for logistics, packaging, and transporting to an outside supplier are no longer required. The customer is now able to offer a shorter lead time as the product is now cleaned and coated at the final stages of production. As an added value, the customer can expand their manufacturing ability into other anti-corrosive markets. The customer was happy to have a single source integrator to create the whole system in one place.