AUTOMATIC SYSTEMS FOR THE APPLICATION OF PRODUCTS AND CLEANING
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slide3Geico is a market leader when it comes to systems for applying mastics, spray soundproofing and different types of protection. Geico works in partnership with leading suppliers of robots, machinery and materials to be applied to the body, meaning that it is well placed to develop new technology that will improve the qualitative performances of the processes and quickly provide solutions for automatic application thanks to state-of-the-art products and technologies which extend the plant’s working life considerably.

Less consumption and waste and the reduction of imperfections that Geico’s painting systems guarantee translate into significant savings both in time and raw materials, and the drastic drop in the number of manual retouches on the bypass lines, all make a major contribution to the entire production economy.

slide124Geico is considered a market leader in terms of everything concerning the various solutions for painting the interior and exterior of bodies.

It is in a position of meeting its clients’ specific needs by supplying totally automatic systems based on the type of application process for treating the surfaces with water-based, mono solvent or even bi-component paints. But there’s more: thanks to its vast expertise in the painting sector, Geico is capable of ensuring the best possible solutions (above all at a plant level) for minimising energy consumption and costs for the bodies produced.

The applications can be carried out with different types of applicators. Preferably internally loaded electrostatic atomisers are recommended because they significantly reduce paint consumption. What is more the automatic cleaning devices result in a significant reduction in the number of manual activities and in the production line’s efficiency being increased.

Every robot has its own its own integrated application control system, which makes it possible to optimally adjust the painting parameters on the basis of the characteristics of the surfaces to be treated. All of the application’s operating systems are integrated into the manipulator’s horizontal arm and therefore very close to the atomiser. This results in considerable savings in times and consumption in the colour change phases between the processed body and the subsequent one.

Housed inside the arm are the volumetric pumps that guarantee the perfect dosage of products and the colour change ramps where all the pipes that come from the main product’s distribution circulators are connected. The recirculation of the paint is guaranteed by specific connections in order to ensure that the product is always moving as well as to avoid sedimentation that can create problems with quality on the body’s surfaces.

Robotic painting of the body’s interior

The area dedicated to the interior of the body is located after the dust removal section and before that envisaged for the painting of the exterior parts.

The station for treating the interiors normally includes the painting of the following parts of the body: door contour and opening, boot, engine compartment and bonnet interior; the cycle can be created either with stop & go conveyor systems or with continuous forward movement of the conveyor.

The opening and closing of the moveable parts, which allow the robots arm to access the internal parts, can occur through manipulators designed for this purpose or by the painting robot itself, which can have either 6 or 7 axis. In this last case, the manipulator’s movement trailer is normally installed on the exterior of the painting booth in a “clean wall” version, noticeably improving the internal appearance of the booth wall.

Robotic painting of the body’s exterior

The area dedicated to painting the exterior of the body is located between the interior stations and the control area.

The application cycle envisages the painting of the body’s exterior by robots with either 6 or 7 axis and they normally have an electrostatic turbine atomiser integrated into the wrist. The atomisers proposed by Geico are state-of-the-art items and allow the highest values in terms of quality and performance to be achieved.

Different types of equipment are used for the painting of the exterior surfaces. The application of solvent-based products entails the use of internally loaded atomisers with which the highest levels of efficiency are achieved when transferring the product, resulting in much less product wastage. When using water-based products, it is possible to use either electrostatic externally loaded atomisers or separation devices that can in turn be divided into three different types and that will allow electrostatic painting with conductive or water-based paints.

slide121Geico’s Innovation Division has launched a project called J-Hive that consists in the development of an eight-sided cell designed for painting both the interior and exterior of a body in one single station. The structure of the cell – which takes up significantly less space than a traditional painting booth – makes it possible to adapt the painting line with a tailor-made layout in as much as the body can enter the booth from one side of the octagon and can leave with different angles.

This project is geared towards low production lines, niche models or retouch lines where the body is painted totally with the installation of one robot. This produces considerable savings both in terms of investment and operating costs.

J-Hive also allows for the elimination of the painting area of the trolley 7th axis for moving the robot: this leads to greater efficiency and cleaning of the cell.

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The automatic cleaning systems allow any dust particles present on the body’s internal and external surfaces to be removed.

Geico offers the possibility of creating this treatment either with the De-Dust compact system or with flexible automation. So the cleaning of the bodies can also be achieved through the use of robotic systems specifically developed to make the following treatments possible: the cleaning of the body’s interior and exterior with emu feathers and of the body’s interior/exterior with a system of rotating brushes.

Cleaning of the body’s interior/exterior surfaces can be carried out with an anthropomorphic robot at a station that can be installed ahead of the painting booths. If the body moves on a continuous conveyor, then manipulators with 6 axis are used, or 7 where the type of conveyor is of the stop&go type.

Depending on the client’s specific requirements and the vast range of options offered by Geico, it will be possible to combine the use of a part of the De-Dust system with the robotic dust removal station using rollers with emu feathers.

slide32The treatment of the interior of box sections with wax oil or wax is the last phase of processing within the paint workshop, before the body is sent to the assembly line.

This final treatment phase allows an additional protection against rust to be added to those areas inside the box sections or the body’s cavities that cannot otherwise be reached by the spray painting treatment.

Automatic application of wax oil

 The automatic application of wax oil is a very delicate operation and one on which Geico focuses a great deal of attention in order achieve the best possible results. This is precisely why the system is set up with all the checks that will allow those parameters that may affect the application to be maintained.

The automatic area is followed by the manual area where operators carry out the application to those areas that could be reached automatically and where any manual repetitions are carried out that have been pointed out and automatically checked by the line’s operating system, thus ensuring application takes place to all the required sections.

The nozzles, the job of which is to distribute the wax accurately inside the box sections, are only produced once a detailed study of the cavities to be treated has been conducted.