Case Studies / Painting Complex Weldments


Motoman Robots Painting Heavy Equipment WeldmentsRobot system meets or exceeds project objectives, significantly improving productivity and eliminating a production bottleneck. Flexible robot painting system accommodates variety of part sizes which are loaded/unloaded using a forklift truck. Robots paint parts 50%-60% faster than manual methods, and use same spray equipment for two-component zinc primer and epoxy top coat. Robotic spraying improves consistency of coating thickness and finish compared to manual process and significantly reduces paint usage and overspray, resulting in cleaner, safer environment.

Project Challenges

  • Significantly improve productivity to eliminate production bottleneck.
  • Provide flexible robotic painting system capable of accommodating a variety of part sizes, including complex weldments approximately 2,286-3,683 mm (90-145") L and 1219.2 (48") D that weigh 454-817 kg (1,000-1,800 lbs).
  • Design of fixturing and tooling for use in a Class 1, Division 1 (explosion hazard) painting environment.
  • Provide capability to load/unload parts using forklift truck.
  • Enable spraying of a two-component zinc primer as well as meter, mixing and spraying of a two-component epoxy topcoat through the same spray guns.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a custom PX2850 painting system, including:

  • (2) PX2850 robots with three-roll wrists.
  • (2) XRC 2001-FM robot controllers.
  • Modified MHT-1600 headstock/tailstock positioner with 3,200 kg (7,056 lb) maximum payload and manual slide to accommodate different part sizes. Modified for use in a hazardous environment. Headstock is remote-driven using a drive shaft to place motor outside hazardous area.
  • Custom fixturing package for one part family with six models.
  • Pneumatics package for control of spraying operations. Includes transducers for atomizing air and valves for color change capability.
  • Operator station with thumbwheel switch for program selection.
  • ITW paint package, including conventional spray guns, extension touch-up spray guns, color stack, and two-component meter mixing system for top coat.
  • (2) Custom robot covers – disposable.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard, includes customer-supplied enclosure and Motoman-supplied access gate with positive-break safety switch and dual-channel safety hardware.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided custom fixtures and associated tooling to deliver a flexible solution within a painting environment for one family of parts, including any inconsistencies/warping in the complex weldment. Fixtures are designed to allow loading/unloading using a forklift truck. Clamshell-type headstock tooling with manual latches provides positive, repeatable part loading/unloading and can hold the maximum load while the part is rotated upside down. No sensors are used.

Ref: ACS-112

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