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Sames Kremlin’s Christophe Denis-Bosio discusses automotive paintshop solutions that offer the optimal return on investment

Budget constraints, risk mitigation, proven technology, Return On Investment… every purchaser faces these questions when it comes to making an investment decision, whether in greenfield or brownfield. Regardless of the degree of investment, there are many parameters to consider and some seem to be more important than others. Paradoxically, they are not necessarily the triggering parameters. So, how do you manage this?

The automotive industry requires high quality, reliable products and solutions. It also demands constant process improvements. Trending today is an ever-increasing personalisation of vehicles, which is accomplished by paying more attention to details both inside and outside car bodies. Robotic applications deliver a quality finish and allow flexibility in applying various materials on any type of vehicles.

sames kremlinSames Kremlin has long-term and global experience in automotive paintshops. We are present at some of the largest car manufacturers in the world. These car manufacturers use our products because we have been leading by technology in the marketplace for painting and PVC application in various paintshops. Sames Kremlin brings knowledge, understanding and process expertise to make customers more competitive.

Looking at the investment value itself is not the only valid metric, one has to consider the impact on cost per unit (CPU) produced, and the running costs to maintain the installation.

In the case of new process implementation, with higher production capacity or new models and colours, but with lower running costs, Sames Kremlin experts will help to design the correct system for delivering the best performance and capacity possible. The choice will be based on the client’s project. The knowledge and expertise of Sames Kremlin rests in finding the perfect balance between the complexity of the installation and the real need of the production. The wide range of products from Sames Kremlin dedicated to the automotive market provides answers to all customers’ problems: from the pump to the applicator.In order to visualise what is meant by knowledge and expertise, let’s listen to the Sames Kremlin automotive experts.

One case study given by Dov Chemouny (Business Development Manager) is to make this comparison of an application painting in electrostatic bell sprayer internal charge or external charge: “The internal electrostatic charge bell atomisers are more powerful and allow applying at higher robot speed – about 800mm/s – while the external electrostatic charge bell atomisers apply at maximum speed of 500mm/s in reasonable conditions. This makes it possible to limit the number of application robots to four instead of six and to limit the length of the cabin thus the robots and cabins investments”.

Energy is very costly and the more the size of the cabin is optimised, the higher will be the cost savings for the customer in terms of heating source or air ventilation.

It means that an efficient internal charge process will allow to cut by 25 to 30% the length of the booth, and so the air flow, and therefore the energy used for conditioning, filtering and blowing air through the booth.

The paint lost during cleaning the atomiser and its supply hose for each colour change phase is a very critical variable of the paint process performance just as it is valuable for the global running cost of the paint process.

On this point, every cc effectively saved of paint or solvent during the process of colour changing, has an importance. And taking a marketing figure from a product leaflet as a solid data in your cost structure is a frequent mistake that can be found. Only a site proven material consumption will provide the true figures that will be integrated in the CPU of the part produced.

“Internal charge technology like Accubell EVO atomiser is saving paint during the colour change. With EVO technology, the paint saving is in average 17 cc per colour change compared to a conventional gear pump installed on a process arm with an average of 50 cc paint losses per colour change. The higher and more frequent colour changes result in quicker pay backs.”

It is also a mistake to consider only the process losses when the main part of the performance is coming from an optimum paint application. Having the right settings, the best transfer efficiency possible, and a sharp triggering of the applicator to reduce overspray out of the part will affect by far the paint consumption.

Usually we forget the last but not least parameter which is the paint flow control. A gear pump system has efficiently replaced the old pressure regulators with closed loop system, improving the flow control tolerance from +/-10% to +/-5% to 3% in the best conditions when the pump is new and well pressure balanced to minimise the internal leakage. Now if you consider a volumetric system, like the Accubell canister and dosing servomotor that can control below +/-1% the flow of the paint, it is tons of material savings per year.

High voltageAnother benefit of our concept which remains unknown to the large public, is the way Sames Kremlin manages the high voltage charging. We maintain a constant level of high voltage no matter the current level is, up to the limit of the system. It will lead to a constant thickness of the paint film on the part, in every condition of the atomiser body. Others tend to reduce the high voltage when the current increases due to the atomisers being dirty and covered with overspray after few hours of production, which will automatically reduce the paint thickness.

Taking this into account, it is again tons of paint lost at the end of the year while increasing the average thickness applied to make sure that the minimum is not reached when conditions are getting severe, current high and voltage lower. Sames Kremlin keeps constant high voltage, means constant thickness, and allows adjusting the thickness settings and painting flow to the right level within a very thin tolerance.

The final choice will belong to the manufacturer on the reading of comparisons between the two proposed technologies: Low investment, simple technology, but complex paint process adjustments, lower performances and tough production management (booth stable conditions, cleaning operations) will come with external charge technology for waterborne paint, when higher investment, complex system, but high performances, stable process and best ROI will be given by the Accubell internal charge system.

Regardless of engineering capabilities or qualities of the products offered, the automotive customer must rely on a partner capable of providing high level of service and proximity to its global dimension. This reduces the risk of investment and production. Sames Kremlin constantly demonstrates its ability to meet both criteria in a comprehensive way.

Another case study with Sames Kremlin expertise in automotive engineering can be found in the VW plant in Poznan (Poland) installation.

“VW produces various variants of the Caddy and the 48 cm longer Caddy Maxi are made from the production line. The VW Bus T6 is also being built, which requires a considerable flexibility in interior painting. In addition, all models can be configured individually for the rear and sliding doors – so sliding doors can only be ordered on the right or left or on both sides. In the rear area too, the customer can choose between a tailgate or wing doors. In addition, the T6 is still running as a flatbed or for special-purpose vehicle construction.”

Only Sames Kremlin had the engineering capacity to propose more throughput and quality with less paint consumption as the interior paint was automated by line tracking – a masterpiece of control engineering.

Premium products must come along with premium engineering solutions, provided by Sames Kremlin and their strong worldwide network of partners, and finally with premium services to maintain the production tool at its best during all the installation lifetime, protecting your investments, your production output, and therefore your return on investment. Long live the ROI!