For any manufacturing environment that involves painting, the paint process is the most expensive process in the plant. It is the most expensive to build and operate, and accounts for more rework and scrap than any other department.
Setting up a new part or paint color is a tedious process. Robot companies have created complex simulation programs to “shorten” this timeline, but they depend on many assumptions –inaccuracy in any of which can result in defects, missed deadlines, scrap, etc. Moreover, checking the result of these simulations requires painting a part (or parts), running them through the cure process, then spending countless hours inspecting each part to determine if the process was successful. Each defect can require hours or even days to resolve…
This innovative approach to process analysis, voted “2020 Idea of the Year”, allows painters to analyze the results of the painting process “in the wet” in minutes—eliminating the delays and scrap caused by curing. This can cut hours, and even days, from the setup process. Moreover, it establishes baselines for atomizer performance and spray patterns which can be checked periodically to assure that the parts to be painted will be of expected quality with no “surprises”. All this is achieved using the minimum amount of paint possible.
This represents a “game changer” in the painting industry.
Michael Bonner is the Vice President of Engineering & Technology for Saint Clair Systems, Inc., a leading supplier of process temperature and viscosity control equipment for industrial fluid dispensing systems. A degreed electrical engineer, over the years he has spent time in a wide variety of industries including audio systems, medical equipment, HVAC and appliance controls, metal stamping, even the manufacture of gasoline pumps. For the last 20+ years, however, he has focused on the science of point-of-use temperature and viscosity control in fluid dispensing processes.