The History of Painting Robots
Painting robots have been at the forefront of the rise of industrialisation throughout the 20th century, modern age. They have been crucial since the mid-1980s in providing efficient, automotive paint applications. They were originally created as both means of increasing productivity and reducing labour costs, whilst also keep workers away from jobs that were considered a danger to their health. Nowadays, they are becoming a crucial part of the day-to-day running of many manufacturing companies, e.g. within the woodwork industry.
The earliest painting robots were traditionally made using a hydraulic system – which is still used today by some companies – however, they are generally considered to be of noticeably lesser quality to the electronic systems which are primarily used today. Originally, these industrial robots were far bigger and more expensive to produce.
Painting Robots Today
Painting robots in the contemporary era have lowered in price significantly to the point in which more general industries and smaller companies are able to implement the same level of automation and effective painting solutions which the bigger, corporate automotive manufacturers are. These newer, electronic based robots are highly accurate and deliver consistent, seemingly identical results in terms of thickness and uniform film builds. As with this development in the automotive paint industry, the selection of robots available to you today is far more varied to fit your precise painting needs need through a multitude of configurations which can be used on items of essentially every size.
The Different Robot Painting Solutions Available
Paint robots for vertical lines have been engineered for coating on any type of object which may have a particularly complex shape or may be large in size – offering manufacturer’s much needed versatility in their automated painting solutions. The in-line spraying method which these models feature is particularly useful for these more complex workpieces – allowing the painting robot to adjust speed or automatically stop the load when necessary to complete the job. Dependant on the specific model, these systems are usually equipped with either a 2D or indeed 3D automatic reading system for acquisition of the positioning, dimensions and shapes of incoming workpieces – implementing a precise result which would have been previously impossible under older, hydraulic systems.
The likes of the Cefla IGiotti vertical painting robot system offers an expertly unique solution due to its top of the range, highly technical software. This technologically advanced Italian craftsmanship comes fully equipped with management software which allows users to program all of the dedicated coating cycles (both colour and recipe), manage a production schedule for each load and even differentiate between each individual piece that is being worked on.
General Painting and Spray Operations
A whole host of paint robots are available to automatically perform general painting and spraying operations. These are able to be implemented with both powder and liquid paint and are commonly used for spraying onto a wide array of materials, including wooden, metallic and plastic surfaces, glassing of sanitary items and the application of resins. Often, the conveyor can move either continuously or step by step for flexible spraying from different positions and angles – often maximising a 360-degree movement on each axe – to permit the smooth spraying of each element which requires painting.
The CMA GR 6100 Shuttle Robot is an example of such a painting robot, which is uniquely efficient through its implementation of a 3D Laser Recognition device. This electronically automated machined – featuring 6 distinct axes – implements the laser recognition device in the area loading conveyor, which in turn allows 3D scanning of the pieces positioned on the shuttle support. This is particularly effective as the pieces are carried beneath the scanning system and then – thanks to the dedicated software combining with settings pre-inserted by the user (depending on what needs to be painting) – is able to efficiently convert the scanning information to the robot. This painting robot is also popular due to it requiring minimal maintenance and upkeep as the system is installed requiring low level light conditions without leaks.
Overhead or Floor Painting
The standard versions of these robots are fitted with up to six degrees of painting to ensure they are suitable for painting using overhead or floor transporting systems. As a result of its well engineered structure, such systems are able to process pieces with large sizes. Often, these robots can be synchronised with the conveyor to track the product – then, when the pieces have exceptionally big dimensions, the robots are placed onto translation carts.
The CMA GR-650 ST/G Robot comes fully equipped with either two, three or four arm carousels – which are supplied with rotation groups which are synchronised with the robot to ensure different unit supports can perform to the users individual painting solution needs.
There are various models available which specialise in 3D painting to ensure maximum flexibility on coating objects of all sizes. These typically implement a highly sophisticated software which is capable of precise acquisition of the positions, dimensions and forms of incoming workpieces, automatically generating spraying trajectories even on pieces of different shapes and sizes. This software is crucial for the plotting and controlling of all the painting robot’s precise movements – ranging from the simplest sequence of operations to far more sophisticated trajectories.
When it comes to environmental awareness, the CEFLO iGiotti again provides a technically brilliant solution to 3D painting through their anthropomorphic painting robots. These are highly revered within the industry, partially due to their state of the art conveyor system offering a more eco-friendly and efficient solution for non-recoverable paints. Such a configuration comes fully equipped with electronically controlled belt tensioning and a pay-off and take-up that affords a wholly clean process and surface. Thanks to the patented HCD system in place, the configuration with CFP belt resting on a carriage extracted lengthwise maximises paint recovery and belt cleaning – ensuring a constantly clean working area and minimises any necessary maintenance.
The Future: Computer Generated Art?
Moving past their primary focus of providing industry-based solutions through meticulously painting in solid blocks of colour, painting robots may have the potential to uplift another area of expertise in the future… Within the contemporary 21st century – alongside the rise of artificial intelligence systems – such machines have been theorised and indeed implemented by some innovators to create abstract works of art themselves. This area of use has not just been looked at as means of “improving” art past human means, but also due to the affordability which they could bring to commercial creation of artwork (e.g. mass produced portraits).
A team of scholars at The University of Tokyo have indeed set out a vision of creating a painting robot, featuring multi-fingered hands and stereo vision, who might be able to authentically and efficiently “reproduce the world procedure involved in human painting” – whilst perhaps improving it also… Who knows, maybe the 21st centuries answer to Vincent Van Gogh will be missing more than just an ear, but a consciousness as well.
How We Can Assist You
Have any more questions or enquiries about how painting robots can satisfy your industry demands? With long-standing partnerships with Industry renowned names including Cefla, Wandres and CMA Robotics; MPS Machines Ltd provides the complete service and package for the furniture production sector – providing high quality, innovative equipment and solutions to the entire woodworking industry.
Contact us today at [email protected] or give us a call on +441162401795 (phone) / +447799896769 (mobile).
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