BASF has launched M-ROB, its application robot, at its Würzburg, Germany site. The multifunction application robot allows application that simulates conditions at the paintline and as such, meets the requirements of the automotive industry. Starting in 2012, BASF will be launching M-ROB in other countries as well.
M-ROB permits BASF to develop new colors for automotive customers and to design solutions for OEM products and new developments even more specifically. The M-ROB application unit consists of control software developed by BASF itself, as well as a large state-of-the-art booth and oven room.
“We adjust the application at the customer’s paintline precisely and individually. M-ROB simulates nearly any situation at paintlines all over the world, which means we can optimize our processes and products,” said Dr. Walter Jouck, head of coatings technology management at BASF. “The M-ROB stands for our research and development strength. In addition, it permits us to raise our service and quality standards for our customers. It helps us reinforce our position as a reliable partner of automotive manufacturers.”
BASF will also introduce the robot at other sites in order to meet the globally uniform standards for high quality in the application process and fulfill customer requirements in all regions. At BASF Coatings’ headquarters in Münster, Germany, it will be introduced this spring. Plans for start-ups at the sites in Totsuka, Japan, in 2012 and Guadalajara, Spain, in 2013 are in place. Other robots are to follow in the coming years at sites including Shanghai, China, Clermont, France, and Sao Bernardo, Brazil.
M-ROB can simulate and apply the primer, basecoat and clearcoat layers, as well as all of the integrated processes. It is able to apply the coating not only vertically and horizontally, but also three-dimensionally, for instance, for mirror housings. The robot offers users the possibility to change between various types of atomizers quickly and easily. The software specially developed for the robot also offers particularly efficient paint application. Its visualization technology is user friendly and straightforward. Since the M-ROB robot operates independent of production, complex processing windows can be established efficiently. As a result, the limits and influences of the application process are visualized in an easy-to-understand manner.