ABB introduces digital connected paint atomizer
Jul. 20, 2018 - ABB has introduced what it describes as the world’s first digital connected paint atomizer, potentially saving millions of dollars for users.
ABB launched at Automatica 2018 the ABB Ability Connected Atomizer, which it says will for the first time allow automakers to optimize painting quality in real time during application rather than following a quality inspection after painting is completed.
The paint shop is one of the most expensive parts of automotive manufacturing, with costly raw materials and high energy consumption. Undercoat, paint or sealant errors can be especially costly and are often only discovered during post-paint inspection. The new solution begins with ABB’s paint atomizer, whose design aims to increase paint transfer efficiency and reduce paint waste by 75 per cent between today’s frequent colour changes. The design, ABB says, also doubles the operating time between manual cleaning from two to more than four hours for the externally-charged atomizer, meaning the system is easier to maintain and can stay productive longer without over-spray contamination.
The real breakthrough for this solution, ABB explains, comes from connecting the sensor-equipped atomizer to the ABB Ability digital offering, which allows for real-time smart diagnostics and precise paint control. By monitoring the condition of key atomizer components such as bell cups, air motors and shaping air ring, as well as variables such as acceleration, pressure, vibration and temperature, paint transfer efficiency can be boosted by up to 10 per cent while the paint is being applied, ABB says.