The test center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for all processes. In addition to the test series conducted by Dürr as part of its own research and development, car manufacturers can work with their own products in the test center to check processes for their practicability and improve production results in advance. This applies, for example, to the RoDip rotational dip process, which is used in pretreatment and cathodic electrocoating. With RoDip, the vehicle is rotated once around its own axis in the tank to optimize the immersion, flooding, and dripping off processes. Even though more than 10 million bodies worldwide are coated using RoDip each year, this technology is constantly being enhanced. One aspect of this enhancement is customer-specific immersion tests for testing the body rigidity.
In addition, the test center has the latest application technology for using water- and solvent-based paints. It uses the third robot generation from Dürr with the EcoRP E133i models, which operate on a rail and can thus be used to test a wide variety of different painting applications. The new, optimized control system allows the robot to follow smooth and harmonious paths over the body. The painting robots are equipped with the high-speed rotary atomizers from the EcoBell3 family. This enables painting concepts to be tested with water- or solvent-based paints, both for plastic parts and for interior and exterior painting of the car bodies.
After the paint has been applied, it is cured in an oven. The Ecopaint Oven product family ensures perfect surfaces and enables recording and verification of the optimum drying process, thanks to a wide range of simulations. Dryer modules from Dürr that are also in the oven in the test center offer optimized complete systems for the customer with the combination of tunnel and heat exchangers, sealing air, heating units with recirculated air and exhaust gas recirculation, fresh air supply, heating, exhaust air purification, cooling zones, and conveyor technology.
Directly following the oven is the new EcoReflect light tunnel for inspecting the quality of painted surfaces. With an innovative light concept and a perfectly ergonomic environment design, it delivers precise and highly focused vision. This permits continuous detection of irregularities in paint with maximum accuracy.
There are also three sealing robots equipped with the latest application technology. In the cells, fully automatic processes for highly effective sealing of welding seams and coating of underbody and rocker panels can be tested directly on customers' bodies. Other stations deal with automated gluing techniques in body construction and in final assembly.
Fully equipped training center
The separate training center has several fully equipped training rooms and a technical area with four painting robots from the EcoRP series. EcoLCC2 color changers and EcoPump9 metering pumps are also available on robotic arms for training courses. Two stations equipped with EcoScreen and EcoScreen 3D-Onsite provide an opportunity to practice with digital solutions as part of an Industry 4.0 platform. With EcoScreen, Dürr offers a one-size-fits-all solution for visualization in the automotive industry. EcoScreen 3D-OnSite is a 3D visualization and programming software that can be used to generate robot programs, parameterize the associated process data, and simulate the entire robot cell. In addition, all training modules can be individually tailored to customer requirements.
The permanent training team is comprised of engineers, technicians, electricians, robot programmers, and process managers. This expertise provides the basis for a wide range of project- and customer-specific courses, which are held in Chinese and English. The course program is aimed at maintenance personnel, plant operators, programmers, executives, and planning teams. The participants not only learn how to correctly operate standard robots but also gain extensive know-how about application technology, as well as special technical aspects, such as the electrical maintenance of plants. This newly acquired knowledge is consolidated with practical exercises on servicing, preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting.
The new location in China brings the total number of test and training centers available to Dürr customers worldwide to seven.