Due to numerous factors, companies with in-house painting operations and coating job-shops are facing new challenges where the painting of plastic surfaces is concerned: immaculate appearance and haptics, greater durability, smaller lot quantities and a growing multitude of colours resulting from advancing individualisation, new and further developed materials required for lightweight design and electromobility, integration of the painting process into networked manufacturing, improved sustainability and energy efficiency to mention just a few. And all of this has to be accomplished in the face of rising cost pressure within an increasingly globalised market.
And thus solutions for painting plastic parts in various industry sectors and applications represent a significant exhibition segment at PaintExpo 2018, for which 410 companies had already made firm bookings at the end of August 2017. Optimisation potential begins already during pre-treatment. Traditional power-wash systems are being replaced in this area more and more frequently with space-saving, more ecological cleaning technologies with low operating costs such as plasma and CO2 snow-jet cleaning. These are being used to an ever greater extent in flatbed coating lines, into which subsequent integration is also possible.
Other approaches to streamlining the painting process and implementing high levels of material efficiency also involve the eradication of possible causes of loss such as atomiser over-spray, as well as losses due to colour changeovers, during application and in the paint supply lines. This can be accomplished, for example, through the use of electrostatically supported paint guns and high-speed rotary atomizers. Transfer efficiencies of greater than 90% can be achieved in this way. Application systems which permit minimised use of rinsing agents and shortened colour changeover times also assure improved efficiency.
Where the paints themselves are concerned, new developments resulting from so-called single-coat systems are making it possible to reduce the number of required painting steps, at the same time achieving strong resistance to external influences for painted surfaces. Innovative water and solvent-based paints are also available for an attractive chrome-look which, amongst others requirements, fulfil the exacting demands of the automotive Industry for interior parts. New paint solutions are also being developed which, in addition to their protective and decorative features, fulfil other functions as well. These include, for example, self-healing, self-cleaning, antimicrobial paint layers. The trend towards fast-curing UV paints with high levels of resistance to outside influences remains unbroken as well. In this respect, new and further developed paints and drying technologies are ensuring a continuously expanding range of applications.
Where reduced energy consumption is concerned, new developments in the fields of drying technology and conveyor systems are contributing to the minimisation of losses involving conditioned air and heat. The use of painting robots and automation solutions makes it possible to reduce costs thanks to targeted application and lower scrap rates.
The 7th world’s leading trade fair for industrial coating technology will take place at the Karlsruhe Exhibition Centre from the 17th through 20th of April, 2018. The exhibition portfolio includes systems and equipment for liquid painting, powder coating and coil coating, application systems and spray guns, liquid paints and powdered enamels, automation and conveyor technology, compressed air technology, cleaning and pre-treatment, drying and curing, environmental technology, air supply and exhaust purification, water treatment, recycling and disposal, accessories such as covering materials and systems, painting hangers, filters and pumps, measuring and test technology, quality assurance, paint stripping, job-shop coating, packaging, identification, services, basic and further training, research and technical literature.
Further information and a preliminary exhibitor list can be accessed at www.paintexpo.com.
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