Painting robots at Dürr began their success story in the 1990s. The first RP7 robots were delivered to Nissan in Spain in 1998, where they proved their worth with high painting quality, fast color changes and great process reliability. They more than halved the material consumption – and therefore the costs for disposal and recycling – compared to the previously employed machinery. The 5,000th robot was produced in 2011. It was already a second-generation model with optimized hose and cable routing, lower energy consumption and better reachability.
Painting robots from Dürr are now in use on five continents and have become indispensable in the factories of car manufacturers and suppliers. “We sold the first 5,000 robots over a period of 14 years, but it took only five years to sell the next 5,000,” says Dr. Hans Schumacher, president & CEO of the Dürr Division Application Technology, explaining the success story behind the robots, which are specifically matched to the ongoing trend of full automation in painting technology.
Milestone robot number 10,000 was recently sold to Opel and will be installed in the Zaragoza plant in 2016. With the two primer stations that Dürr will install there, another area of the paint shop will be modernized. In the summer of 2015, Dürr already delivered twelve robots for the base coat line and eight robots for two-tone roof painting and repair painting to Zaragoza for this purpose.
Primer paint was previously applied at Opel with machines that have been in use for many years and are no longer flexible enough to adapt to today’s car body geometries. “After modification, the process with the EcoRP E033 robots will be much more flexible and efficient. The Dürr application equipment installed on robot arm 2 will also save on paint, solvents and flushing media, thereby reducing unit costs and making a contribution to eco-friendly production,” says Dr. Schumacher, explaining the investment.
EcoBell3 E atomizers will replace the existing voltage block systems with tank equipment. The new atomizers with exterior charging apply the water-borne primer paint very uniformly. At the same time, the EcoMCC3 color changer with its A/B technology in combination with the two EcoPump 9 metering pumps and separate main atomizer needles ensures very fast primer color changes in less than six seconds.
The scope of supply will be supplemented by three stations for door rocker panel coating. This coating will be applied with EcoGun 1D and EcoGun MD applicators. It protects the vehicle from stone chipping and corrosion. Dürr will also modernize the material supply system, booths, paint recesses and conveyor systems. Furthermore, Dürr has also taken on the tasks of dismantling the existing machinery and teaching the new robots. In the base coat and clear coat areas, Opel in Zaragoza has already been working with Dürr robots for years.
The Dürr family of robots is modular and thereby covers all market requirements for fully automatic paint application. The floor-mounted or raised robots apply water-borne and solvent-borne paints. Simultaneously, they are suitable both for continuous transport of car bodies through the painting booth (tracking) and for stop & go stations. They are also versatile for use in interior and exterior painting. As 8- or 9-axis swing-arm robots, they also paint the cargo spaces of commercial vehicles. The Dürr robots additionally function as door and lid openers during interior painting. Other applications include automatic coating-thickness measurement and plastic-part painting, including flaming and CO2 cleaning.