21. Jul 2020
Investment in innovative paint shop at the Solingen site
With the investment in an innovative painting system, the Solingen automotive supplier BIA can now also offer in-house painted surface finishes.
After intensive planning and investment of around 3.5 million euros, the customised and compact system is now in operation.
"By entering the field of painted surface finishes, we are responding to the demand of the automotive market, which in addition to our electroplated “real metal” surface finishes also requires painted plastic components," explains Dr Felix Heinzler, Head of BIA Development and Process Technology.
Great flexibility was particularly important to the BIA developers when planning the paint shop. "We have succeeded in building a flexible and compact system that also enables efficient series production," emphasises Dr Heinzler. Thanks to the diverse capabilities of the Solingen location, BIA can now expand its know-how and thus open new market segments as a provider of both electroplated and lacquered surface finishes.
BIA employs particularly innovative, resource-conserving and environmentally friendly technologies for the system. Process developer and Deputy Head of Development and Process Technology, Ullrich Gutgar emphasizes that the plant works completely free of wastewater and is almost pollutant-free with air recirculation and regenerative afterburning.
In the production process, the surface is first freed of the finest impurities with a CO 2 snow jet before the painting process and then statically discharged in an “ionizing lock”. In addition, the ingress of foreign particles is significantly reduced by the absence of traditional conveyor technology. The latest multi-axis robot technology in the paint shop results in a very high degree of flexibility of the application technology, combining flexible paint direction orientation with simultaneous component alignment so that, for example, coating of the rear of components can be easily accomplished. Overspray, i.e. excess paint particles, is directed downwards and dry deposited in special brushes. "A complex process with recirculating air and filter technology as well as regenerative afterburning guarantees pollutant-free exhaust air," explains Gutgar with satisfaction.
Energy efficiency through resource-conserving technology is also the focus when drying the components. The plant building company Rippert has succeeded in creating an energy-efficient, compact solution with the construction of a technologically new, temperature controlled rotary dryer.
The plant has a capacity of up to 30 square meters of painted surface per hour. "We also prioritised simplicity and flexibility of paint switch-over. This is because in addition to series production, our first system will also function as the test bed for our diverse process development, ” concludes Ullrich Gutgar.