Vol. 23
March Issue
Year 2022


in Vol. 23 - March Issue - Year 2022
Pre-treatment 4.0

Fig. 1: The new blasting robots are characterized by particularly wear-resistant materials and powerful servo drives

Fig. 2: The new control system has an automatic program generation and a visual representation

Fig. 3: The process parameters can be kept constant at the desired level through the automatic monitoring of the blasting chamber. Digital networking with the manufacturing execution system is also possible

Increasing demands on efficiency and quality in surface pre-treatment require new needs-based systems and concepts. Blasting robots offer an efficient way of automating and digitizing pre-treatment processes.

According to studies, over 80 percent of all coating defects can be traced back to poor substrate preparation. Surface pre-treatment is responsible for around a third of the total coating costs. Users should therefore not regard pre-treatment as a “necessary evil,” but rather use it as a value-adding factor. Only a reproducible substrate preparation with the necessary degree of preparation guarantees a reliable, long-lasting coating.

Fourth generation blasting robot

At the end of last year, Blastman Robotics introduced the fourth generation of its blasting robots, which are characterized using high-quality, particularly wear-resistant materials and new, powerful and compact servo drives. In addition, an improved control system was developed especially for blast cleaning robots, which enables intuitive operation with a modern user interface. The control contains all the necessary functions for operators and service employees and allows digital networking with the customer's manufacturing execution system (MES).

To avoid operating errors, machine vision systems for product recognition and localization can also be integrated as an option. These identify the workpieces entering the blasting chamber using a camera-based CCD system and automatically call up the corresponding blasting program. Since the machine vision system localizes the workpiece and automatically adapts the blasting program, no exact positioning of the workpiece in the blasting chamber is required.
All blasting robots contain new offline programming software specially developed for blasting robots that has automatic program generation from the 3D data of the component. This makes it easy to implement the blasting robots and ensure optimal blast-cleaning performance. With the integrated simulation tool for the visual representation of the blasting process, possible collisions can also be identified, and the blasting programs further optimized.

All parameters always in view

The automatic monitoring of the blasting chamber means that the process parameters can be kept constant at the desired level, thus guaranteeing reproducible high quality at low costs. This is achieved, for example, by analysing and controlling the composition of the blasting media as well as the blasting media preparation and the blasting pressure. With the help of targeted wear measurements of system-specific components and the creation of appropriate routines for preventive, needs-based maintenance, system availability and service life of the blasting chamber equipment are also extended.
A detailed reporting of the operating parameters and protocols of the blasting chamber to the connected production control system creates transparency and enables the customer to make production-relevant decisions at any time based on detailed information. In addition, demand-based control of the ventilation and lighting can save energy and thus further improve the efficiency of the system. The entire coating process benefits from the automation and digitization of surface pre-treatment, as productivity, costs and quality are optimized.

For Information: 
Blastman Robotics Ltd
Heiko Reski
Schinkelstr. 55, 40211 Düsseldorf
Tel. +49.211.490 890
E-mail: heiko.reski@blastman.com