The rotary atomizer has been used for painting interior areas of car bodies since the early 1980s. Process improvements have tended toward shorter cycle times and higher transfer efficiency. Both of these goals work contrary to maintaining acceptable atomization by increasing flow rate in one case and decreasing bell speed in the other. Options such as the mini bell cup were introduced to reduce pattern size in effort to improve coverage, however, the use of smaller bell cups further reduces atomization energy and can produce large droplets that escape the influence of shaping air forming a noticeable “halo.” In effort to minimize large droplets while maintaining tight pattern control, an improved atomizer design uses high velocity shaping air jets placed near the edge of the bell cup. Investigations of droplet size and frequency by position in the spray pattern show the new design effectively contains the pattern while improving atomization quality. The use of the mini-bell cup combined with the shaping air enhancement has brought significant benefit to interior applications at two US Assembly Plants.
Scott Clifford is Principal Engineer for FANUC Robotics, Paint Shop Automation Group. The Paint Shop Automation Group provides robotic coating and sealing systems to the automotive, general industrial and aerospace sectors. During his thirty years (1989–2019) with FANUC, he has worked to develop painting robot and application technology with a main focus on automotive body painting. He has managed major development programs including the P-200, P-500, and P-700 robot painting systems along with the VersaBell rotary atomizer product line. Through the course of his work, Scott has acquired 17 US patents and has three additional patents pending. Scott holds a BS in Applied Science with a major in Manufacturing Engineering from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).
Biography coming soon.