Junair has designed and installed a semi-automated paint finishing facility at Formaplex’s new 120 000 ft2 factory in Portsmouth, UK.
“Having previously worked with Junair I knew they would be able to help us with this major expansion project,” says Richard Field, Paint Technical Manager at Formaplex, a manufacturer of tooling and lightweight component solutions. “We had some pretty demanding requirements. Our new semi-automated paint facilities will ensure we have the additional capacity to continue to provide our services to the highest standard during this period of growth.”
At the beginning of the process an enclosed fully extracted and ventilated preparation area facilitates the trimming and abrading of parts prior to painting. A dedicated on-tool extract system linked to a high pressure dust turbine unit ensures that dust particles are removed from the process at source and do not contaminate the primer line area.
A high volume semi-automated primer paint application line has been installed to allow controlled application and processing of various primer paint finishes to automotive exterior trim. A floor-mounted automatic conveyor passes through a number of interlinked enclosures to allow a controlled environment throughout the process, with stable temperature and filtered airflow. A high level of lighting is maintained throughout the facility, utilising Junair’s Ultralux lighting technology.
The system comprises a well-ventilated manual cleaning area, a flaming cell for surface treatment of polypropylene products, two semi-automatic painting booths, a flash off area and integrated baking oven with separate product cooling post bake. The two spray booths are designed for robotic paint application. They are also fitted with a high efficiency dry filter paint overspray capture system comprising multi-stage box filters with additional secondary pocket filters. This allows the filter change frequency to be reduced to around ten changes per year, rather than twice weekly with other comparable systems, Junair reports. This promotes equipment uptime, reduces maintenance down time, and provides for far more stable booth operating conditions. Product rotation within the booths allows ergonomic access to all areas of the product, ensuring a consistent quality of finish.
The facility is designed for high volume efficient production. For example, the spray booth fan sets will continue to pull a good exhaust volume from the cabins even when the filters are loaded 400% further than would be expected with an industry standard fan set. The cure oven is maintained at a very stable temperature and features sliding doors interlocked to the conveyor movement for efficient heat retention and fully filtered recirculated airflow. The heat stability is monitored and captured on a data logging device for the client quality department.
The inverted semi-automatic floor conveyor allows an automatic timed dwell within the oven ensuring that the product is cured accordingly, whilst using an innovative accumulation system to reduce the oven footprint and energy costs.
A separate top coat line allows for complex multi-layer finishes, and comprises a pre-paint cleaning booth, four spray booths each with a dedicated flash off area, and a final clear coat cure oven. The conveyor is a semi-automated and the whole facility is designed for ultra-variable production needs and finishes, typical of the current high end automotive sector demands.
At the end of the 90 m long facility a standalone combination spray booth oven allows off-line development work comprising test pieces, short volume production and product development. The booth is typical of a Junair high specification automotive spray cabin and features the patented QADs auxiliary air movement system to allow high levels of production and quality.
The whole Junair facility is supplemented by an additional polishing enclosure, dedicated paint mixing rooms sized for the equipment necessary for the preparation of a huge variety of 2K paint systems, machinery platforms and a sophisticated PLC control system across the whole plant.
“We worked closely with the team at Formaplex, developing concepts in order to identify solutions to meet their particular requirements,” reports Angus Trenholme, Technical Director, Junair Spraybooths. “The entire installation is designed with the future growth and diversification of the client’s customer base in mind; we’ve even allowed upgrade capacity to many areas to further improve the facility at a later date.”
Image provided by Junair Spraybooths
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