METALLIZING WITH ROBOTS
We believe that our experience within the field of surface treatment mixed with a robots persistency and accuracy is what it takes to become a world leader of robotic solutions within anticorrosion.
Quick facts about robotic metallization
- The metallization process is very suitable for robotic solutions.
- Robots are slowly taking over the metallization work to avoid human involvement.
- For the best anti-corrosion result we suggest using alloy 85% zinc/15% aluminum.
- We use Osu Hessler metallizing equipment for our robotic solutions.
- We recommend to use inverter based power sources if the program requires multiple start/stop operations.
- The spray pattern can be controlled from a circular spray fan to an elliptical shape in-situ.
- The zinc wire consumption can be reduced by 30% when using our robotic metallization system
Our standard robotic solutions for metallization
The picture above shows a cart solution at a customer producing wind tower sections for the wind power industry. It is a complete metallization solution taylored for this specific customer and was installed in their current premises.
Metallizing with robot
Clemco Denmark's technical department is involved from the very beginning during the planning process and follows the project very closely untill the robot is up and running. When setting up the entire system and programming the robots, it is our own engineers commissioning it, and because of that we have total control throughout the entire project. This video is from one of our customers who until a few months ago had operators to metallize the wind turbine towers, and can now expect to metallize much faster and of a very uniform quality when using the robotic solution.
Robotic metallization of steel surfaces
Metallizing is an anti-corrosion treatment where molten metal is sprayed at high speed onto the surface to be protected. For the best anticorrosion result, a 99.9% pure zinc wire or an alloy of 85% zinc and 15% aluminum is preferable to use. The zinc instantly solidifies upon contact with the surface and creates a coating that protects the steel through the means of insulation and sacrificial action. As a result of this electrochemical process, the less noble metal, in this case zinc, will corrode instead of the steel.
This process is very suitable for an automatic routine with robots. The metallization process itself is hazardous because of the creation of a high percentage of dust consisting of zinc wjhich cannot be transferred to the steel surface. This dust is flammable and can create a high risk of explosions under very special circumstances. We see a great tendency towards robots taking over the metallization work to avoid personal involvement.
Metallizing equipment for robotic systems
Clemco Denmark represents the German company Osu Hessler who produces a wide range of inverter based metallizing equipment. The inverter technology has several advantages such as a very consistent ignition of wire melting with a very low number of misfires even with robotic programs with many stop/go pr. cycle. The metallizing equipment can be controlled with all important process parameters to ensure a very consistent layer thickness and transfer efficiency. The spray pattern can be controlled from a circular spray fan to an elliptical shape. This (in situ) change in the spray fan geometry is very usable to avoid excessive masking of areas that do not need zinc coating. The performance of the equipment varies from 800 Amps to 1500 Amps and can handle zinc/alu metallizing wires from 2,5 mm to 4,0 mm in diameter. It is possible to achieve a coating performance of up to 120 m2 pr. hour depending on the current strength and the layer thickness needed.
Spray programs can easily be copied, duplicated and transferred to other robotic programs and it is also possible to define separate spray parameters for start and stop of the spray process to perform a perfect zinc layer structure.
High capacity 1.500 Amp power source with build-in operation panel
For programming the advanced units we recommend the build-in operation unit (right). You can store and access up to 99 customer specific programs and up to 99 robot programs at the same time. Every spraying program has its own ignition program. The spraying performance is configured via synergy control i.e. the different spraying parameters are all controlled at the same time by a continuously adjustable control.
Rotation cycle 50μs (20kHz)
Continuous working virtual machine
Physical orientated high-level language/minimal instruction code
Segment and disc structure for fast technology adaption
Database orientation of all process parameters
Cyclic working E/A dealer, complete E/A-field with each rotation
Debugger for actual field
Work station on industrial pc base
Demountable control unit
Program syntax and database in EXCEL format
Highest technology protection by specific compiler
Programming the robot for your special needs
To get to the point, where the robotic solution is up and running, usually takes some programmning hours. Clemco Denmark has some very skilled people to do the programming and our technical department is far ahead of their time. For what concerns development and technical intelligence our technicians have been into automation solutions and robotic systems within surface treatment for more than a decade, so they know what they talk about.
When the robot is installed the programming team shows up, and make the robot do, what the robot has to do.
Metallizing wire feeding
For optimizing the wire feeding line we have developed a special low friction wire transferring system with the use of extremely low friction liners and ball bearing rollers to reduce the friction as much as possible. The wire can be fed with a pneumatic driven wire feeder to reduce the service time when a new metallization wire needs to be replaced.
The fastening of the wire feeder lines, power source and air hose requires a stable and durable system to avoid service breakdowns and excessive maintenance attention. Therefore, we use special solutions for cable attachment to the robot arm and a thorough test simulation of the robotic movements before the high-flexible cables is attached to the robot.