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Durr paint shop of the future

EcoProBooth combines up to three painting operations in one box.  Photo: Dürr Group

Dürr (Southfield, Mich.) is no stranger to innovative integrations — its ready2spray painting robot enabled WB Coatings (Schliersee, Germany) to test and develop new products. Now, Dürr is striving to address a number of pain points with its “paint shop of the future” concept, featuring the new EcoProBooth paint booth.

The booth is meant to cut downtime by enabling technicians to perform routine maintenance and cleaning on the application technology without stopping production. It’s also designed to reduce energy consumption and VOC emissions and increase efficiency by combining interior and exterior painting in a single workstation. This is achieved with a unique box layout, said to be an essential part of Dürr’s “paint shop of the future” concept with benefits for traditional line production.

Changing automotive finishing demands

In the automotive industry, the variety of models on which manufacturers work is growing, as is the manufacturing spectrum within which individual plants need to operate. Production must be flexible in order to accomodate the changing landscape. This inspired Dürr to develop the “paint shop of the future” concept, based on a layout made up of flexible boxes instead of the conventional rigid line.

The heart of every paint shop is the paint booth. The EcoProBooth represents a significant departure from previous booths and is precisely tailored to the box layout of Dürr’s “paint shop of the future.”

EcoProBooth paint booth is designed for a mix of bodies from compact cars up to medium-sized SUVs

The EcoProBooth paint booth is designed for a mix of bodies from compact cars up to medium-sized SUVs

EcoProBooth features

The EcoProBooth is designed to save resources, as it combines up to three painting processes — the interior and the two exterior applications — in a single booth. Up to eight painting robots, assisted by four SCARA robots for opening the doors, apply the paint to the inside and outside of the body. This is meant to save process time. Two of the previous three conveying operations are eliminated since the bodies stay in the booth and do not have to be conveyed from one booth to the next between the application processes. The robots for the exterior painting can be cleaned while the other robots are applying the interior paint, and vice versa. The system of task distribution enables different, optimally coordinated application technology to be used in one booth for the exterior and interior painting.

The EcoProBooth paint booth provides a service cubicles at each corner of the paint booth. They are continuously flushed with fresh air and can be entered at any time. If a robot needs to be cleaned or maintained, it moves to the service cubicle and stretches its arm through a connecting window into the service area, where a worker can reach it. These cubicles comply with the limit values for safe workplaces. The paint booth is designed to allow workers to clean atomizers or replace bell disks during production without having to enter the application area in the paint booth, increasing plant availability.

The EcoProBooth maximizes the air recirculation rate in order to minimize the energy needed and resulting CO2 emissions. It has a recirculated air to fresh air ratio of 95:5. Five percent fresh air is added to the process air to adhere to a safe margin to the lower explosion limit. In the associated EcoDryScrubber dry separation system, the air is first purified to remove the paint particles and then reconditioned in a recirculating air unit assigned directly to the paint booth. The energy required to recondition the recirculating air is said to be lower than for conditioning fresh air from the outside, which may differ greatly from the conditions in the booth. As a result, the maximum air recirculation rate keeps the energy consumption and the CO2 emissions low.

Designed for flexibility

Flexible box design instead of a rigid line.  Photo: Dürr Group

Flexible box design instead of a rigid line.  Photo: Dürr Group

The modular concept paint booth is designed to be flexible in order to accomodate changing production needs. It is designed for twelve jobs per hour and a mix of bodies from compact cars to medium-sized SUVs, allowing scaling according to changing quantities. The size and design of the box are standardized so straightforward conversions and extensions are possible without a knock-on effect on production in other box sections. The box layout is also designed to reduce material consumption due to smaller losses when changing color. Dividing the line into shorter sections makes it possible to distribute the painting jobs so color changes are minimized. 

The new paint booths can also complement a production line setup. According to Dürr, the EcoProBooth increases plant availability by integrating the service work into the process steps without having to interrupt production. The booth is designed to have a lower energy requirement, making the entire painting process more sustainable. Learn more here: