Automation in coatings production
Efficiency through automation
We tend to associate automation with machines or robots that take on programmable processes which enable us to accomplish tasks more efficiently and safely. Cars are already fitted out with automated features that assist with parking and keeping a clear distance from the vehicle in front. Meanwhile our houses are evolving more and more into " smart homes .
But what about the coatings industry? What is already automatable and what can we learn from other branches of industry that will help make our working days both more efficient and future-ready? Peter van den Berg and his team have already embraced this aspect of automation by using not only a 3D printer to make disposable applicators but also a robotic interface to automate the inspection process in the paint production and so substantially reduce its carbon footprint.
In the opening chapter, Klaus West examines whether the digital transformation and simultaneous automation in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are threatening jobs and how these are changing. He also examines the skills we need to acquire today to safeguard future careers.
The important role that planning plays in the development of new paint-making systems is addressed by Christoph Fleischer-Trebes, who explains innovative line concepts and how swappable, standardised functional units can be used in coatings production to respond quickly and flexibly to the latest market requirements. For her part, Natalie Schwerdtfeger focuses on more consistent product quality, highlighting the benefits of fully automated, continuous coatings production. The centre-piece of any paint production process is the dispersion of pigments and fillers - Hans-Joachim Jacob explains how these coatings raw materials can be dispersed more efficiently through process adjustments.
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