Through automation and the use of robotics, coating processes become more efficient and consistent. To understand the advantages of automated coating techniques, it’s important to know what exactly coating entails in this context and how automation and robotics work in conjunction with the process.
In surface engineering, a coating consists of a layer of material applied to a substrate to improve physical properties, such as resistances to wear and corrosion. The type of coating used will depend on the substrate material, service environment, the size and shape of the component, overall cost, and life expectancy.
Robotics and automation have been employed to help improve the quality and productivity of the coating process in many applications. In this context, automation refers to certain types of machinery, computer software, or other technologies that complete tasks automatically without the need for human interaction, reducing or eliminating the risk of human error and inefficiency. Automation can take many forms, ranging from simple to complex and entirely virtual to completely mechanical.
Robotics rely on complex engineering to design and construct equipment that can work in tandem with automated software. Automated systems often employ robotics as the means by which they interact with physical workpieces, such as the setup found in most automated coating equipment.
If you want to benefit from automated coating processes in your facility, PF Technologies can meet your needs. Our 40,000-square-foot production facility in Phoenix, Arizona provides extensive experience in automation, process design, quality controls, and process controls, granting us the capability to design highly specialized systems.
Benefits of Automation: Consistency
One of the main benefits of automation and robotics in coating is the consistency it brings to processes, including:
- Volume. The volume of operations can range from small to large without any compromise in quality, unlike manually applied coatings that may vary in thickness between parts.
- Worker availability. Facilities can eliminate downtime due to worker absence. At PF Technologies, we effectively eliminate unexpected downtime through the use of 7 Robotic workcells.
- Worker capabilities. Automated equipment mitigates the need to train employees in specialized coating techniques. If the usual operator is currently unavailable, other employees can load the coating machine to avoid unwanted downtime.
Benefits of Automation: Cost
Automation can also help reduce the overall cost of coating processes in the following ways:
- Lead times. Coating cycle times, can accurately predict the time of completion for a project, which will indicate when to initiate the next step in the process.
- Lower labor costs. While automated equipment may have a higher upfront cost, the equipment gains economies of scale on each use thanks to a reduction in labor costs. Consistent coating processes also eliminate variability, so managers know the precise cost of coating with each project.
How PF Technologies Can Help
PF Technologies provides the highest quality coatings available. Our coating services and secondary offerings include:
PF Technologies offers multiple options for substrate preparation when needed, including:
- Plasma surface treatment to improve adhesion properties, which entails micro-etching surfaces to prepare for painting
- Primers that improve adhesion
- Adhesion promoters for better adherence to more difficult resin substrates
- Conversion coatings for stabilizing colors and metals
The robotic work cells we use allow for highly repeatable dry film thicknesses between parts, resulting in consistent gloss and color. We achieve this by collecting and applying thickness data for each batch or individual part to control color and gloss. This means that multiple painted parts in a single assembly will possess precisely the same color and gloss.
Design and Troubleshooting
Our team has extensive experience in all phases of design and production. We can work with you from the product design stage to improve the manufacturability of your products, or help you troubleshoot existing problems in your current systems.
Work Done Right
Our experienced professionals work to ensure the job is done right the first time to avoid any potential issues in the future, including unexpected delays or material waste.
We offer a wider selection of services for coating, including decorative vacuum metallizing, pad-printed graphics and images, and silk-screened graphics and images.
Advanced Coating Capabilities at PF Technologies
Using automated coating technologies improves the consistency and quality of parts across the production run. To learn more about how PF Technologies can apply our advanced automation and robotics capabilities to your coating project, contact us today.