PREPARATION, DISTRIBUTION AND APPLICATION OF MANUAL PRODUCTS
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slide132The correct application of sealing and sound proofing materials plays an important part in the production process and has a bearing on the final quality of the painted product.

Products

Adhesives

  • Structural or semi-structural adhesives are used for mechanically bonding all types of steel at the flanges and hems
  • Anti-flutter adhesives are thermoplastic materials for bonding materials or, in their expanded state, for filling the spaces between the panels during the baking process.

Sealants

  • These are used both on the body’s interior and its exterior because of their highly protective properties, their resistance to water and also to provide the panels with aesthetic continuity.

Sub-body PVC

  • This is used first and foremost for protecting the interior surface and the lower sides of the vehicle against corrosion and to provide mechanical protection against impact by objects on the ground.

The sealing line

The sealant line is where the sealing – which is used for filling all the voids, inserts and housings between the body’s panels – is applied in order to prevent water, dust and fumes from infiltrating into the passenger compartment, and to guarantee that the actual panels are protected against corrosion.

The pumping systems can be located close to the lines or within the mastics unit, in compliance with health and safety at work requirements. Where necessary the RAM units (supply pumps) are integrated or equipped with systems to reduce noise levels or guarantee the safety of operators in confined spaces. The product is sent to the manual and automatic work stations where control systems distribute it at the correct application pressures which range from 20 bar to 160 bar and beyond, if required.

The application guns and the extrusion or spray nozzles are designed in conjunction with the client and the products’ suppliers in order to guarantee compliance with the range of work indicated by the production process (extrusion, flat stream, swirl and other).

This sealing line, created by Geico, has a great many strong points: these include the workstations that can be equipped with tool-carrying systems that run along rails, and pipe-carrying systems that make the operator’s work area easy to work in and clean; in this way the ergonomic requirements are met and the operator’s work is made easier. Even the lighting can be specifically designed to suit the different areas of application. Where possible it must remain flexible in order to adapt to the production requirements.

slide151Thanks to some important working partnerships with major paint producers and suppliers of robots and application machinery, Geico is now one of the key players when it comes to systems for applying paints, mastics and different protections.

Products

Working in partnership with the major paint producers, Geico is constantly developing new application technologies that improve the qualitative performances of the painting processes.

Pigments

These are the powders that provide paints with their colour and consistency. They are neither water nor solvent soluble. They can be organic, inorganic, metallic or micaceous.

Resin

This is the transparent part of a paint that binds the pigment and gives it its brilliance, hardness, adherence and other  characteristics. They can be either natural or synthetic.

Solvents

Their purpose is to dissolve the resin, to allow the resin and pigment to mix better and to provide the right viscosity for application.

Additives

These are chemical compounds that give the paint its special characteristics.

Preparation and distribution of paints 

The systems for storing and preparing the paints must guarantee the preservation of the products at the correct temperature, the dilution of the products in solvents, co-solvents and other additives where necessary, their distribution to the application booths whilst maintaining unaltered those characteristics that determine their quality. All of this without stressing the paint and complying the time limits recommended by the products’ major suppliers and agreed upon with the client. The paint unit and the distribution systems are specifically designed for solvent or water-based paints. The latter of these presents different features and must be treated in a manner that is appropriate to each individual situation.

Geico has developed the skills required for responding extensively to the demands of the major paint suppliers, in order to guarantee the shelf life of the products as well as their performance.

If the client requests it, the paint unit can be equipped with a wide range of fixtures, and systems for the handling and shaking the drums.

Water-based paints arrive from the supplier in a ready-to-use form, but they must nevertheless be checked and corrected where necessary. Solvent paints, on the other hand, must be diluted in order for them to reach the required viscosity. This is made possible by using the systems supplied by Geico, including the pumps, which guarantee very high performance levels.

The distribution of the paint and the conditioning are designed to adapt to the booths’ layouts, guaranteeing accessibility and ergonomics when intervention is necessary.

Manual application 

Having arrived in the booth the products are applied by spray guns that may or may not be electrostatic.

The manual stations have been designed and integrated into Geico’s painting booths in accordance with the client’s different requirements.

It is possible to choose an automatic colour change system which will avoid the need for operators having to undertake any cleaning work during the actual change, but the gun will always be ready and loaded with the pre-set colour. Warning systems such as touch panels or coloured lights will provide information about which of the automatic operations is under way.

These systems that can be set with a broad range of flexibility allow lengthy down times, when the machine is not using a colour, to be managed automatically through the use of specific wash cycles.

An alternative to automatic systems are those where operators have one or more pipes at their disposal so that they can change the connection using quick release fittings, and then proceed – if necessary – with the washing of the pipes using a solvent.

These washing operations require the use of discrete quantities of solvent.

Geico has devised systems specifically for the recovery of the washing solvent that is sent to the paint unit and placed back into cisterns where it can be easily disposed of and treated.

The guns employed are produced by major manufacturers and are chosen in accordance with the client’s requirements, allowing the widest range and diversity of applications.

The stations within the booth are designed in such a way that they guarantee the station’s ergonomic requirement integrating it with the structure of the painting booth itself.