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New Automated Painting System from Stäubli Robotics

Stäubli Robotics

New Automated Painting System from Stäubli Robotics

There is an increasing demand for many types of consumer goods to be available in a range of attractive colour finishes, rather than the traditional standard black or grey. Witness mobile phones, televisions, and portable hi-fis'; even PCs. The painting of these items calls for high quality and precise control which is capable of producing consistent results safeguarding the products' aesthetics and presenting the desired image in the market.

In response to this demand, Stäubli Unimation, the Swiss based leading manufacturer of precision multi functional industrial robots, has launched a new range of robot systems specially designed to operate in the hostile environments encountered in many painting applications.

Under the brandname RXPAINT, the new system comprises the RX EX robot arm complete with pressurisation unit, pressurised interconnect cable and electrical switch box; the robot controller and the painting software. The EX variant of the well-known Stäubli RX range of robots has gained approval from CENELEC and FACTORY MUTUAL for use in gas, dust and fibre environments (Zones 1 and 2) and is particularly well suited to painting applications across a wide spread of industries.

At the heart of each Stäubli RX robot is the patented unique JCS gearbox providing zero backlash and consistent performance. In essence the embodiment of Swiss precision and reliability.

Painting and spraying applications often involve hostile environments with the risk of combustible or explosive fume emission. A higher degree of automation is required in order to improve operator working conditions and decrease the risk of accidents. The RXPaint System has been specifically designed to provide a cost-effective solution.

It offers, at a competitive price, improved spraying performance, increasing uniformity and control while reducing waste and noxious emissions. Transfer rates of the product sprayed are improved by up to 90/95%, significantly reducing operating costs. The system has a small robot footprint and is suitable for floor, wall or ceiling mounting.
The housing of the robot is manufactured with a specially smooth surface finish which can be easily wiped down.   The fully enclosed, sealed design permits cleaning without the risk of affecting cables, connectors, motors or encoders.

A range of robot sizes and forearm lengths is available to allow the appropriate size to be selected for the specific product application and cell dimensions. Payload capability ranges from 2.5kg to 24kg and reach from 665mm to 1660mm.

The quality and uniformity of spraying is improved through precise path control, improving speed and minimising noxious emissions.

Existing systems are already at work in several demanding applications.
In France, at Axo-Scintex, a RXPaint system utilising a Stäubli RX90 EX  robot is metal spraying Peugeot 206 rear lamp reflectors with a degree of precision that eliminates the need to mask areas that are not to be painted. The fully automated cell produces 2,600 pairs of reflectors a day.

In Germany a similar Stäubli robot system is painting automotive components at Wabco, typically compressor parts, ABS solenoid valves and electronic braking systems. More than 30 different painting programmes are available, the complex geometry of the parts requiring accurate control of the fan width along the trajectory. Production rates are between 60 and 80 parts per hour.

Painting of mobile phones at Alro, Belgium has significantly benefited from the installation of a RXPaint system. Production has been increased and quality improved, while there has also been a dramatic improvement in working conditions with operators being no longer required to work inside the painting booth.

The RXPaint system can be supplied, when required, with Stäubli bespoke operating software, specifically developed for painting applications. The 'V_Paint' text and graphic software simplifies the task of programming the painting sequence. It allows for the visualisation of all application parameters while operating e.g. speed, material flow, atomising pressure, fan width etc. There is graphical representation of the trajectories and the sprayed zones. Different levels of user can also be accommodated with access restricted to certain program levels if desired.

The software allows for easy modification of the application parameters, such as angles and distances/stand off without any need for trajectory readjustment. There is also the facility to visualise parameter adjustment as well as constant speed of the 'contact point' (TCP) along the trajectory.

Demonstrations of the RXPaint system and operating software will be available at Stäubli's UK base in Telford. The system is also being exhibited widely at several trade shows both in the UK and across Europe.

The flexibility that the robot based RXPaint system brings to painting applications, coupled with the precision and consistency of operation, will make it the first choice for the many painting installations now being automated in response to the growing demand for colourful products.

Stäubli Unimation is an international family owned group founded over 100 years ago in Switzerland employing 2400 world-wide. Robotic production is centred south of Geneva in the French Alps, with facilities across Europe, North and South America and the Far East, the UK base is in Telford.

For additional information, please contact
Marketing Manager
Stäubli Corporation - Robotics Division
201 Parkway West
Duncan, SC 29334
Tel. 864-433-1980
Fax. 864-486-5497




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