The requirements for a painting robot are clear: it must function without problems under all operating conditions. Time is money, and accordingly low downtime and set-up times should also be encountered in day-to-day operations. Since its installation more than two years ago, a multi-dimensional energy supply system has ensured error-free painting and round-the-clock availability of the robot.
A good two years ago, a painting robot was equipped with an igus energy supply system in the course of replacing the existing solution. The multi-dimensional e-chain triflex R is used in the so-called Easy version (TRE). Besides their safety during the fast movements, the focus is on easy filling. The product series has been specifically developed for robotic applications.
"We were constantly having problems with the original solution, a ribbed hose. It kept tearing off. In addition, there were no proper brackets, so the cables were very stressed during the complex movements. Since the conversion, the painting robot has been running completely error-free", confirms Uwe Weißhoff, the employee in charge of process development.
"We produce about 2,000 parts per shift in three shifts. This amounts to about 600,000 parts a year. In plain language, this means that the robot with the replaced energy supply system has already painted around 1.2 million seals - and without a single failure", Uwe Weißhoff sums up. At an acceleration of 800mm/s, the energy supply system and the inner cables are heavily stressed. "The high volumes mean we can't compromise on speed."
Then there are the conditions in the paint cabin. The paint mist leads to heavy soiling. It settles everywhere and leads to the related adhesions. "The conditions of use are already quite extreme. We paint in the high-tech sector. That is the capital of our company!"
The painting robot has meanwhile been equipped with a second TRE energy supply system, also with a minimum bend radius of 87mm. With this additional system, a paint atomiser is operated for even finer application. "With the second completely separate solution, we have become even more flexible. It is easy to handle during replacement and is simply installed on the adapter of the robot and is immediately ready for use", says Uwe Weißhoff.
The mounting brackets for quick replacement and fixing on the robot arm are easy to open thanks to the bayonet-type connection. "And if we have to change a dirty media hose or cable, there are no problems at all either. They are simply pressed in from the outside", confirms Uwe Weißhoff. "The so-called Easy principle is responsible for easy filling", explains Jochen Weber, Product Manager at igus. "The cables or hoses do not have to be guided through the chain. This has the further great advantage that fittings or plug-in connectors do not have to be dismantled for filling."
Due to the simple connection and the sophisticated accessories, the set-up times are considerably reduced. It takes a maximum of 15 minutes to change the two systems on the painting robot. Another advantage in on-site use is the strong outer contour. The painting robot can move without restriction. The energy supply system is simply tracked and follows all movements - including torsion and bend radii.
When shortening or lengthening, the TRE energy supply system demonstrates its full strength. Even in the event of damage, for example at particularly stressed points, the individual chain links can be quickly replaced. The 'ball and socket' principle allows uncomplicated joining and separating. A screwdriver is all that is needed. This principle also enables smooth movements in all axes with a tested tensile force of up to 2,340N.
"And we're so satisfied with this solution that we have equipped a further robot immediately with an igus energy supply system. Here water-based paint is used, which has completely different requirements for applications. We basically cannot afford to use interfering accessories. Our experiences have been so positive over the last couple of years that we don't want to try anything else out," reports Uwe Weißhoff in conclusion. "The high holding times and low changeover times have convinced us. “