Painting robots can make your processes more efficient, more accurate, and faster, but only if you take steps to avoid common failures that can lower productivity and throughput. There are some common problems that paint people experience with robotic programming, so today we’re going to go over six tips to help you avoid these problems.
1. Start with the Right Programmer
Your robot is only as accurate and efficient as the program it's running, so it’s crucial that you use a skilled and experienced programmer. Think of the robot like a car: the car itself doesn’t cause an accident, but rather the person driving. If you're not using the right program or the right parameters to operate your robot, then the robot will never perform ideally. Here are a few of the problems you can avoid with the right programming:
- Excessive atomization, mechanical force, and paint buildup
- Wrong spray pattern
- Improper application angle
- Faulty triggering
- Faults associated with movement or line stops
- Damaged applicator tubing and cables
- Paint spitting
- Color mismatch and variation
2. Give Your Robot the Right Support System
Support requirements for a robot include targeting, flow rate control, spray pattern control, transfer efficiency, spray booth conditions, and trigger time. The robot must know the style, location, and movement of the target, and then the flow rate and spray pattern control must be accurate, responsive, and controllable. It’s also important that the transfer efficiency and conditions in the spray booth remain consistent, and that the trigger time be both repeatable and quick.
3. Make Sure You're Using the Right Rack Design
The mounting system for your parts is immensely important to both throughput and overall productivity, and no amount of programming can compensate for a bad rack design. In fact, having the wrong rack design can increase the number of finish defects you experience, reduce your yields by 50 percent, and cut productivity by nearly 70 percent.
4. Integrate a 3D Vision System
A robot vision system typically comprises a camera with a lens, vision software, and a processor that allows the robot to see. For paint robot programming, vision systems are used to detect parts, confirm the presence of parts, and confirm part styles and positions. This means the robot can ensure that everything is in its right place before commencing an operation, allows the robot to automatically make corrections when necessary, and all this reduces errors and defects.
5. Don’t Overlook Temperature Control
Temperature may seem like a simple factor to control, but it shouldn’t be disregarded, because fluctuations can cause orange peel, runs & sags, cratering, and a wide range of other defects and imperfections. Temperature control systems reduce the margin of error, and this means your paint will always be maintained at the optimal temperature (read: "viscosity") for application.
6. Integrate the Robotic System Properly
Systems integration is just as important as programming and using the right support systems, because if the robot isn't properly integrated with the other processes, then it won’t perform the way it should. Imagine you bought an expensive accessory for a car but didn’t install it properly: it doesn’t matter how sophisticated the part is—if it’s not installed properly then it won’t perform properly, and the same holds true for your robotic system.
Paint robotic programming can increase throughput, boost yields, and improve overall productivity, but only if the robots are programmed properly, set up the right way, and are properly integrated with the right support systems. These six tips will help you avoid failures, but because many paint issues today are caused by temperature at critical areas of the paint system, Saint Clair Systems recommends a free analysis to help you locate the source of any paint issues you may be experiencing
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