New Generation of Robots Offer Greater Mobility for Paint Application

The fully automated Ecopaint robot from Dürr incorporates a seventh axis and smart controls.

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The Ecopaint Robot generation of painting systems from Dürr offers a world-first for fully automated painting applications. While paint robots usually equip six axes, the EcoRP E043i model features a seven-axis kinematic system designed to enlarge the work zone and eliminate the need for a linear displacement rail. 

According to Dürr, this seventh axis can significantly reduce investment and maintenance costs in the paint booth, offering greater mobility. A displacement rail in the booth wall ensures that the robot can move parallel with the car body in the paint booth, for example, and thereby reach all car body areas. 
 “The new EcoRP E043i from our third robot generation has been equipped with a seventh rotatory axis. This significantly increases flexibility and versatility,” says Dr. Hans Schumacher, president and CEO of Dürr Systems AG. “Particularly in interior painting, this improves access to more areas and avoids collisions with the vehicle.”

 In most stop-and-go applications and in many line-tracking applications, Dr. Schumacher explains, it is possible to dispense with the displacement axis now in use. “Omitting the displacement axis produces clear advantages for our customers in terms of investment costs or space consumption, particularly when converting existing paint shops, but this also reduces maintenance and operating costs later on,” he says.

 The six-axis systems are still available from Dürr alongside the new models. Aside from the seventh axis, the company says these are all identical and are used with or without displacement axis. The EcoRP E/L133i robots operate either on a top- or bottom-mounted rail. In addition to painting, they can also serve as lid openers in interior painting. 

The Dürr robotic line places heavy emphasis on its modular design in both production and maintenance. All equipment variants can be built based on a basic manipulator. Identical components are supplemented with a few type-specific components. For example, the six- and seven-axis models differ only in the design of lower robot arm 1. This uniform component design aims to minimize warehousing costs and simplify maintenance work. 

Another newly developed product, the EcoRCMP2 robot control, is a key feature of the third-generation robots. Features of the control system include smaller control panels with modular control and drive components, new motors, a digital encoder interface and an integrated safety control system for safe monitoring. 

Dürr says that these new features represent the company’s “Smart Factory concept”, incorporating integrated platforms making the robot “cloud ready.” The robots and combined control platforms are designed as data-centric in an effort to meet the demands of Industry 4.0 trends. 

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Originally published in the April 2017 issue.


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