KIA Zilina in Slovakia recently converted eight ABB painting robots in its water-based primer line to Dürr's atomizer technology—EcoBell2 ICC—with external charging. With the previous technology, KIA said the eight ABB painting robots were equipped with rotating atomizers and electrostatic voltage block with canister technology that led to problems in operation. On the one hand, the handling of the canister technology was complicated and the installation uptime was thus limited, and on the other hand, maintenance expenditure increased and there were high paint losses in cartridge purging before the refill.
After the conversion from the robots to Dürr's new atomizer technology, KIA said good painting results were achieved over several weeks, which prompted the car maker to convert its remaining seven robots at its plant. Over a 15-week period, Dürr's service specialists gradually adapted the painting robots to the Dürr atomizer EcoBell2 ICC and the dosing pump EcoPump MP.
With this technology, Dürr said color change occurs directly in the atomizer, paint losses during color change are less than two mililiters and expenditure for complex cartridge handling can be omitted. Dürr said the main challenge during this conversion was the fact that there were only short production-free periods available for the integration of the atomizers, high tension cascades, dosing pump and solenoid valves.
Operating since February 2011, KIA reported paint savings of 0.3 kilograms per car body, and in critical areas it said a more homogeneous and higher film thickness is achieved than before. In addition equipment downtimes were halved, and for maintenance every second night shift for cleaning could be omitted.
Dürr is a mechanical and plant engineering group that generates approximately 80 percent of its sales in business with the automotive industry and operates with three divisions. The Paint and Assembly Systems division supplies production and painting technology, especially for car bodies. Machinery and systems from the Measuring and Process Systems division are used in engine and transmission manufacturing and in final vehicle assembly. The third division, Clean Technology Systems, is focused on processes to improve energy efficiency and on exhaust air purification. Dürr has 48 business locations in 21 countries worldwide and achieved sales of €1.26 billion in 2010.