Painting Processes Today and the Benefits of Automated Painting

How Manual Painting Impacts a Company and How an Automated Painting System Improve Processes

The way that parts and products are painted today in general industry typically involves a process that is a very manual in nature. It includes operators prepping parts, loading parts, painting parts, and management of part quality through visual inspection. Manual painting processes also require many people to be trained in order to produce good parts.

Replacing this manual process with an automated paint process could seem like a huge effort, but technology today has come a long way and there is more off the shelf solutions than people realize that can help manufacturers transition from a manual paint process to an automated paint process.

Below are some specific examples of typical manual process we see, and how they can be replaced with an automated painting system.

The cost of labor calls for automated painting

Manual painting is very expensive. Not just in the cost of labor, but the cost of human error, which is measured in paint waste from over-spray, lost production from quality issues, and waste from quality issues.

In addition, there is a current shortage of labor in manufacturing. The training necessary to add people that are proficient to a level where they can become an effective and efficient painter takes a lot of time and investment. All of this to say that the current manual process leads to a lot of variation in quality and repeatability in a process.

In order to combat this there are several quality inspections that take place throughout the process and in most cases there is hand finishing involved in order to meet the customer’s requirements. These things lead to lower productivity and a process that is not very efficient, having a significant impact on your bottom line.

Health and Safety

here are also environmental, health and safety considerations to take into account with a manual paint process. area paint booth is typically considered a hazardous environment due to paint fumes and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), as well as most of the paints being used are flammable, and create a Class 1 Division 1 hazardous environment due to the high risk of explosion and flammability.

For painters, there is also a high amount of repetitive hand motion which can lead to carpal tunnel and other strain on joints injuries. This level of environmental health and safety concern all add up to risk for the company. Which creates a process that is hard to staff, harder to keep staffed with qualified people, and ultimately is a high turnover position that impacts process reliability and throughput.

Hidden Painting Costs

Paint is an expensive raw material in the production process. It is a delicate balance for a painter to maintain coverage quality, but not wasting paint. Seasoned painters get this right more often than not, but we have had customers report up to a 30% reduction in paint usage due to minimizing over-spray with automation.

The number one benefit of a robot in the manufacturing environment is its repeatability. The fact that it does not get tired. Imagine being able to hit quality standards on the nose, every time, without the cost excess over-spray. Less paint cost and reduced waste from eliminating quality issues is a win-win.

Automated painting technology

In the last decade, the technology being applied to the paint process has improved dramatically. A lot of the advancements that are enabling a process to use robotics come from research & development being done in many different Industries.

Machine Vision, deep learning, advanced kinematics and improved motion control, advanced user interfaces, and new paint applicators all allow a company to implement an automated painting system at a lower cost, with ease and reliability.

Revolutionizing Painting in Manufacturing

Concept Systems has designed a product, OnRobotics Paint, that allows a company to scale with their needs. The latest automated paint system offering gives the ability to introduce low volume parts to a system, and expanding on that capability, build an entire material delivery system around the low volume system that allows you to introduce a high volume of parts to the system.

OnRobotics Paint is a revolutionary product that can be retrofitted to existing booths and/or conveyance equipment. The system allows you to start small and develop a process around an automated paint system.

When the time is right, easily expand the capabilities of your facility to a high volume production line, all while improving your quality, throughout, and bottom line.