Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Coating technology for robotic welding lines

Ceramishield RobotIQ is a system developed by Henkel specifically for fully automatic coating of contact tips and gas shrouds in welding robots. This combination of the dry-film coating Ceramishield LW-1 and fully automatic coating equipment offers long-term spatter protection in MIG/MAG robotic welding applications.

During metal welding processes, spatters of liquid metal reduce the service life of contact tips and gas shrouds as well as impairing the quality of the weld seams. Systems supplier Henkel has developed a reliable solution to this problem: Ceramishield RobotIQ combines a new application system with the related ceramic coating Ceramishield LW-1. All works steps are fully automatic so that consumables like contact tips and gas shrouds are effectively protected with a minimum of effort. With a height of 50 centimeters and weighing 22 kilograms, the coating system can easily be integrated into existing welding lines without any downtimes.

Automatic coating system promises continuous protection

With Ceramishield RobotIQ, the heat-resistant dry-film coating can be applied fully automatically within seconds. An integrated compressed air system ensures fast and reliable cure. The coating application rate can be individually adjusted to suit the welding process parameters. Continuous monitoring during the production process is assured by an electronic monitoring system. Settings can be easily checked on an LED panel. The LEDs also give instant information about the production status and any process errors. Ceramishield RobotIQ has an integrated water flushing circuit and is therefore self-cleaning, eliminating the need for any manual cleaning.

Ceramishield LW-1 meets the highest expectations

The Ceramishield LW-1 coating was developed specifically for the new Ceramishield RobotIQ application system. The coating is based on boron nitride particles shaped like platelets which align themselves parallel to the surface of the object being coated. The relatively dense coating is impenetrable to molten metal and resists heat up to 900 degrees Celsius. Ceramishield LW-1 is therefore ideally suitable for use in welding processes. Thanks to its exceptional durability, just one application is sufficient to protect contact tips and gas shrouds in all MIG/MAG welding processes for several hours. The ceramic shield thus formed effectively repels spatter.

Multiple competitive advantages

The use of Ceramishield RobotIQ has a positive impact on production costs and process speed: Since spatter build-up in the welding torch is significantly reduced, the welding process does not have to be interrupted so often to clean the welding equipment. This avoids costly downtime. Another advantage is that no oil-based cleaning chemicals are required – loose spatter can be easily and quickly removed. At the same time, consumable parts do not need to be replaced so often, since the physical and thermal protective coating increases their service life by an average of four to five times.

Furthermore, Ceramishield RobotIQ improves the quality of the weld seams and has a positive effect on environmental performance. The new coating prevents spatter from adhering to the gas shrouds and interrupting the flow of gas. This helps to avoid irregularities in the welding process. The result is precise and immaculate weld seams. Containing no greases, solvents or silicones, the Ceramishield LW-1 coating also complies with the most advanced health and safety standards and environmental regulations.

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