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Dürr robot in the development lab

WB Coatings using ready2spray robot for paint application with µm precision

New special paints call for new development methods. To remain at the cutting edge of technology, the paint and coating manufacturer WB Coatings is using the ready2spray painting robot from Dürr in its innovation center – the first in its industry to do so.

Normally sample panels and speed shapes are painted by hand in the development labs to test recipes. However, innovative products such as chrome-effect paint require fully reproducible layer thicknesses in the µm range. Manual application reaches its limits in the face of these challenges. It was for this very reason that WB Coatings, known for pioneering inventions like hammertone paint and many other special coatings, broke new ground.

We’re very happy with the compact painting robot because it opens up development opportunities to us that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Andreas Ohletz, Head of Sales for Innovations at WB Coatings 

The automated painting solution consists of the six-axis robot EcoRP 10 R1100 with state-of-the-art application technology including mixing and dosing technology for two-component paints (2C), paint delivery systems, and controller. This enables the coating layers of the chrome-effect paint to be evenly applied in extremely thin layers of just 2 to 3 µm in some cases, with maximum repetition accuracy. This is made possible by the dosing system, which always mixes the components in the exact same ratio, and the robot, which always applies the paint at the same speed and the same distance from the object to be painted. Not even very experienced hand painters can do this.

A major benefit is that the robot lets us simulate industrial painting, and by so doing we can develop new paint systems that will enable our customers to make their mass production more profitable.

Sebastian Grahammer, Head of Development in WB Coatings’ innovation center

By opting for a six-axis robot, WB Coatings will have the flexibility to respond to customer requirements in the future. Because unlike a flat spray system, the EcoRP 10 R1100 can also paint complex 3D geometries. Despite the mobile kinematics, it is easy to operate and to program. 

The Dürr team instructed and trained us perfectly, and configured the system for our products. The rest was straightforward learning by doing.

Sebastian Grahammer, Head of Development in WB Coatings’ innovation center 

Since the application technology is already pre-installed, the Dürr robot system at WB Coatings was set up, installed, and ready to paint within just a day and a half. With its compact dimensions, it fit easily into the limited space of the spray booth. When the robot is in its parked position, painting by hand is still possible in front of the same extraction wall.

The painting robot is part of our ready2integrate concept. The concept centers on technologically sophisticated and tested application solutions that are easy to integrate into individually designed plants. Dürr collaborates with selected system partners here, since they enjoy extremely close proximity to their customers, are familiar with their requirements, and can act with an extremely high level of flexibility.

Holger Beiersdorfer, Vice President Industrial Products at Dürr 

The six-axis compact robot EcoRP 10 R1100 is equipped with application technology and can be used to paint 3D objects with complex geometries. A wide range of application technology can be installed on the robot, for example the automatic spray gun EcoGun AS AUTO.

The MM MaschinenMarkt magazine reported on the collaboration between Dürr and WB Coatings, and asked Andreas Ohletz, Head of Sales for Innovations at WB Coatings, for more details:

Why did you opt for a painting robot from Dürr and not another provider?
A. Ohletz: The Dürr robot combines many benefits: it’s the right size for our technical center, it’s very easy to operate, and the quality and service are hard to beat.

Which technical characteristics of the Dürr painting robot were pivotal in comparison to the competition?
A. Ohletz: What made our minds up was the very precise dosing technology and the ability to dose small quantities.