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Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up

Robotic welding has really taken place in manufacturing companies.

By 2016 there were more than 250,000 welding robots around the world. The countries that use robotic welding the most are Japan, China and the United States of America, in that order.

But to get started with this topic, let’s define what is robotic welding.

What is robotic welding

To start, let’s define robotic welding. We can say that robotic welding is the use of mechanical tools capable of being programmed (robots) to perform welding processes in an automated way.

These processes should include both welding the pieces and moving them.

Using an example, let’s see how extensive robotic welding is. Of the approximately 120,000 robots in the United States by 2005, half were used for welding processes.

Ten years later, the trend is similar. This makes it clear that welding is by far the most used application by robotics.

When welding is robotic

When a human operator participates directly in the welding process, as sometimes happens with the GMAW, we cannot say that it is purely robotic welding.

If a human operator participates in operation with a robot, under established and controlled safety conditions, we are in the presence of a Collaborative System. These systems are called Collaborating Robots.

Now, spot welding and large-scale arc welding that is done in automobile manufacturing is in fact robotic welding.

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up
Many companies can benefit from robotic welding

Who uses robotic welding

Welding robots have been used mainly by large manufacturing companies, with the automotive being the main one.

Secondly, we can include large to medium-sized companies that manufacture products or spare parts, again, for the automotive company.

Medium to small companies rarely or never would use welding robots in their processes.

It is evident that the costs that welding robots would use to have had a lot of weight for the company.

However, the trend is changing. As always, technology gets a lower price as is established in the market.

In addition, more diverse welding robot systems, including portable ones, have been created that meet more particular needs.

Today, both medium and small industries can use welding robots with only a small investment.

The origin of robotics in welding

In the United States, they started making robots in the 60s of the 20th century. However, its application to welding began about 20 years later.

At that time the automobile industry began to use spot welding to manufacture vehicles, for which it employed robots.

At first, the use of robotic welding was very basic, but given its effectiveness, it soon began to be applied for more processes.

Today, only robotic arc welding takes 20% of industrial automated welding applications.

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Processes that can be done with robotic welding

With robotic welding, arc welding can now be done in GMAW, GTAW and Plasma, spot welding, sheave welding and laser welding.

The fact that robotic welding can be used for more processes or in different circumstances will motivate more companies to obtain some welding robots.

These improvements will only serve to increase the speed or quality with which they produce.

The shortage of operators

It is also true that it will be increasingly difficult to get operators who are properly trained for professional welding jobs.

The AWS (American Welding Society) has calculated that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 290,000 professional welders in the United States.

Similar scenarios can be expected in other countries.

On the other hand, the health and safety of operators is something that must also be taken into account.

When welding gases are emitted that are harmful to health. This issue will be explained later in this article.

Effectiveness and efficiency are also key factors whereby a company may need robotic welding.

In fact, they are essential to produce high-quality products and improve the price to the public.

Given these criteria, more and more companies should consider including robotic welding in their manufacturing processes.

When welding robots are necessary

A company should consider the possibility of including welding robots in its processes if one or more of the following points identify its operation:

  • They need to increase production
  • They need to reduce operating costs
  • There are jobs for which they don’t get staff
  • They need to improve the quality
  • They need to complete jobs consistently
  • Some jobs are very difficult to do manually
  • Some jobs are or can be dangerous or polluting for operators

With respect to these points, reducing operating costs is something constant in all companies, no matter where they are.

So all of them should use welding robots to improve their costs in the medium and long term.

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up
There are many reasons for having welding robots in the company

Equipment for robotic welding

When the matter about the equipment necessary for robotic welding is brought out, it immediately comes to the minds of those responsible in companies that are very expensive machines.

Although some are still expensive today, as has happened with computers and personal devices, technologies have dropped in price over time.

This has made it possible for smaller companies to have been able to obtain robotic welding equipment and are benefiting from having reduced their costs.

This trend, known as the “Moore’s Law” will continue. It is expected that manufacturers produce new models more specialized and at a lower price.

Another common idea is that they are very specialized equipment and it will be very difficult or unpayable to have trained personnel to handle it.

But in fact, welding robots are not usually that complex. The training required for the operation of a robot is divided into 2 parts.

A part of the training is for the operator who loads and unloads the material to be welded. Only a few minutes of training may be necessary.

The other part is the robot programmer training. This will take between a few hours or a few days depending on your welding experience and whether or not you will use virtual programming software.

An example of a welding robot

Ideally, the person in charge should have knowledge of welding processes, in order to confirm that the job has been well done.

It is also ideal that this person knows or has some idea of how to run a program. So logical thinking is ideal for this type of work.

Most robotic welding systems have several aspects in common, regardless of the application for which they will be used.

So, someone who has been trained to program a welding robot most likely will be able to handle a different one in a short time.

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Parts of a welding robot

Basically a welding robot is composed of 3 main parts and some other secondary parts.

The main part is a manipulator or “arm.”

This is the part of the machine that repeats movements with high precision in their respective 6 to 7 axes to bring the torch to a position to execute the welding.

The second component is the controller. This coordinates the movements of the axes of the arm and is the central computer of the system.

Some have PLC capabilities included being able to coordinate many alternate tasks to the robot’s movement.

The operator sends instructions to the controller through a program that he creates in the command/teaching panel (also known as Teach Pendant).

The third basic component is the welding power source. It receives a configuration from the controller for each welding bead that the manipulator or “arm” performs.

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up
The tech pendant is one of the main parts of a welding robot

Some of the other common parts in welding robots are

  • Sensors
  • Cables
  • Communication devices
  • Interfaces
  • Nozzle cleaners with wire cutters
  • Positioning systems such as horizontal or vertical two-axis rotators

These positioners allow the piece to be adjusted in the best possible welding position.

The positioners can become medium or large structures that help improve the productivity of the robot and the operators for loading and unloading materials to be welded.

Choose the welding robot from the best brand

Although there are several brands that produce welding robots, we have proven that the ones from OTC Daihen are the best value on the field.

The companies that have implemented them have benefited from the total integration in a single native language of all its components (Manipulator, Control, Welding Source, and Positioners)

This has allowed the easiest programming of the robot in the arc welding processes of the market.

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up

We have successfully installed several of the welding robot models of the OTC Daihen to different clients in South America.

In the video, you can see this one of these robots in action. 

Of course, each manufacturing plant has its own needs and, based on that, we recommend which welding robot would be appropriate.

In any case, we invite you to contact us for advice.

The human side of automation

It is almost impossible, when it comes to automation in the company, that operators do not feel fear for their jobs.

It is common for some to feel contempt, and even try to sabotage the implementation of robotic welding in the company, in order to avoid losing their jobs.

However, the vast majority of companies that implement automated welding in their processes do not do so to fire personnel, but to expand their production.

Often the staff is transferred to other areas where their capabilities can be used.

In fact, automation generates new jobs, because, in every place where there is a welding robot, someone will need to program and control it.

But this factor is not evident for most operators. That is why they have a negative perspective.

For companies that are going to take the step to automation, they are recommended to provide information to their staff.

For many, it is important to know that a machine is not going to take away their job.

Perhaps the opportunity can be taken to promote productivity among plant personnel.

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About the health of the operators

It is evident that increasing productivity through welding robots will also increase the number of gases emitted during operation.

This increase in pollution can be prevented from affecting the health of employees by placing smoke extraction systems near the cells of welding robots.

Of course, the company that provides robotic welding equipment must be able to help you plan these matters.

When we install automated welding in a plant, we previously visited it to know its current situation and what they want to achieve.

This allows us to design a tailored solution that meets their needs.

The clamping device (JIG)

In most robot welding applications, the clamping device is considered the most important component for a successful implementation.

This auxiliary equipment receives the parts to be welded from the operator and adjusts them with high precision to ensure a position in the three coordinates consistently.

In this way, the welding robot will be able to accurately make the same welding bead from start and end, welding after welding.

The characteristics of the parts to be placed in the clamping device (JIG) must always be the same.

The length, height, thicknesses, angles, arcs, folds and other geometries must always be consistent to ensure that the JIG positions the set of parts to be welded correctly.

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up
The clamping device (JIG)

To successfully develop the clamping device (JIG) companies have 2 options: If they have an engineering department, they can design the shape and mechanism of this component.

Otherwise, the supplier of the welding robot, like our company, can provide the JIGS design and manufacturing service, according to the client’s application.

How to implement robotic welding in your company

Implementing automated welding processes in the company is not an activity that is done in one day.

On the contrary, even in plants where welding is an integral part of production processes, this change to automation can take up to a year.

The key to implementing robotic welding successfully in the company is to keep it as simple as possible and that this covers all or most of the repetitive processes of the operation.

To explain it better: Suppose that a production line is divided into 4 sections, of which 1 is very complicated and requires custom welding while the other 3 are constant and unchanged processes.

The section that can vary, due to the welding that must be customized can be done by an operator.

The other 3 sections, composed of repetitive processes, can be perfectly completed by a welding robot.

The welding performed by the robot is indicated through a program. To improve the efficiency of the robot, the idea is to run the same program for a long period of time, instead of constantly changing the program.

Some companies even prefer that a welding robot perform a single program and obtain another that performs another operation. That way they never stop them.

Another issue to take into account is the number of movements that the robot must make and the heat that the welding produces in the piece.

The welding robot operator

The ideal person to handle the robot must be someone who knows how to weld and has knowledge of how to program any CNC type machine.

Even if it is not going to program in G code, experience gives you the notion of step-by-step programming logic of welding operations.

Whether or not it has been a welding operator is important when it comes to seeing problems that have been caused in the parts welded by the robot.

If this person has no idea of ​​welding, he will not know what the problem may be.

An expert welder, meanwhile, seeing a wrong result of a welded part, can determine which of the many factors that may be affecting the robot.

However, the skilled welder may also have the tendency to always do manual welding and not use a machine that replaces his work.

This makes it a challenge for the company to find the right person to do this job.

Robotic Welding: What companies do need it and how to set it up
The welding robot operator must have welding knowledge

Having notions of how a device can be programmed to perform an action is of course very useful as well.

However, most of the time this particular training is provided by the company that advises and sells robotic welding equipment.

One of the most important skills that the selected person must have is the ability to remain focused, see details and recognize patterns.

For example, if one of the pieces was not well welded, even a small detail, it could be because it was not well placed in the position where it should go.

But if the next one is also bad, it may be something else.

In cases like these it is better to momentarily stop the operation and correct the error.

Finally, the designated operator must also be able to carry out a preventive maintenance program for the welding robot.

This will help prevent major arrests and expenses for unforeseen repairs.

Robot welding has many advantages

If well implemented, robotic welding can exponentially increase the productive capacity of any company.

This could mean a greater quantity of products for sale, with possibly the same number of personnel.

Although there is no standard, the return on investment by a welding robot is usually 12 to 15 months.

But the life of robotic welding equipment is much longer. This could increase the company’s income or lower product prices.

So, in general, robotic welding leads companies to be more competitive, cover more markets and improve their revenues. More than enough reasons to implement it in your company.

We want and can help you define what is the robotic welding equipment you need for your operation. Contact us at any time to receive more information.

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Reducing welding costs: 5 effective methods for companies

Reducing welding costs: 5 effective methods for companies and contractors

Reducing welding costs is a formidable way to improve companies revenues. This could allow to give better prices and getting more customers. As well, companies could be able to improve their employees benefits. So, reduce costs could make a difference in companies growth and expansion plans.

In this article we are going to explain 5 ways to reach it. 3 of them are related to planning carefully your work. The fourth is about the job execution. Finally, there is an explanation about a constant activity every company ought to be doing.

So, let’s get started.

1) Choose the appropriate welding equipment

Although there may be great similarities, there are no 2 factories alike. For this reason, the equipment used for the processes of welding can vary according to the needs that each one has, even within the same group of products.

For example, more than 5,000 welding points are required to manufacture a vehicle. In these cases, automation, by means of welding robots is imperative. In very general figures it could be said that 80% of this welding is by means of robots.

However, for the construction of ships, the process is almost the reverse. Manual welding occupies almost 80% of the job.

In both cases, companies must ensure that they have the best equipment for the type of welding they need, be manual or automated by robots.

Many manufacturers of welding equipment and consumables are constantly developing systems and technologies in order to make equipments more effective and efficient, resulting in lower manufacturing costs.

It is a good idea for companies to include in their costs the periodic updating of welding equipment, for these new technologies soon benefit the company.

Miller offers a new technology called Arc Reach, applicable in sectors of construction, assembly of structures, shipyards, among others.

Miller Arc Reach technology

Miller has recently included Arc Reach technology in most of his welding equipment. With this system the operators can remotely adjust the welding parameters without a control cable.

This saves many comings and goings to and from the power source, which can be done several times a day and take many minutes.

It is estimated that the ArcReach technology prevents the loss of about 250 hours/year per welding operator (time saving).

In some countries, such as the United States, labor payment to welding operators can represent 80% of the work costs. In places like these, it is particularly important to apply these new technologies.

Miller Arc Reach technology
Miller Arc Reach Technology

In other countries, labor may not represent so much of the work costs, but still, increase operators production through, for example, Arc Reach technology, can make the works come to an end sooner and more jobs or products could be made in a year period, increasing billing.

Of course, if the welding equipment of the company is more than 5 years old, they are not enjoying these improvements. That is why periodic investment in welding equipment is an excellent way to reduce costs.

These welding equipment become assets for the company, which help them achieve more or better in less time.

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2) Choose the right welding consumables

Just as it is necessary to constantly invest in state-of-the-art welding equipment, the consumables that are going to be used must be of good quality.

This is an issue in which many companies choose to save money. “After all, the consumable is something that should be consumed”, some reason.

Although this idea is clear true, the manner and time it takes to consume can reduce welding costs or do not.

It is important that these parts are able to withstand excessive heat or long duration. Generally, the heat of the welding application shortens the life of consumables.

In some countries welding accessories and consumables can represent 80% of the total cost of work or production.

When buying consumables, it is especially important to take care of the quality of:

  • Contact Points
  • Nozzles
  • Gas diffusers

Contact tips: The ones of good quality resist better wear due to electrical erosion, high temperatures, abrasion and slag accumulation.

Choose the right welding consumables
Choose the right welding consumables

Tregaskiss offers some technologies that help reduce costs in consumables.

Tregaskiss TOUGH LOCK contact tips are precision machined to ensure exact tolerances and a finish of the upper hole resulting in constant welding quality and performance.

With a double conductor thread design, the tips can be rotated 180 degrees to create a new wear position and prolong the life of the tip.

TOUGH LOCK contact tips also work at cooler temperatures than many others, which reduces wear and minimizes downtime for the change.

Nozzles: It is ideal to buy those that have a surface as smooth as possible, to be sure that they have gone through rigorous quality controls.

Gas diffusers: Avoid buying gas diffusers with gaps outside the circumference, as these could alter the way of how the shielding gas comes out, causing a negative impact on the quality of the weld.

All consumables can be affected by splash. Although we will talk about the splash later, it is good to leave clear that the consumables of low quality usually produce more splash than the others.

Quality consumables help reduce welding costs, because they have a longer duration, which minimizes the consecutive purchase of pieces and the time lost in changing them.

At the same time, good quality welding consumables come clean and free of factory grease, which increases their useful life.

On the other hand, even when all are of good quality, it is necessary to choose the appropriate consumable for each operation. If there is a person or purchasing team, they must be able to plan the consumables required to not stop the work or production.

Buying based on quality and not on price can be a considerable way to reduce the medium and long term welding costs.

What is an inverter welding machine?

They are welding equipment that uses an electronic board or chip instead of a transformer to convert the alternating current into direct current.

The operating principle of the inverter for welding is that the frequency of 50-60 Hz of the alternating current that comes from the electrical network increases considerably, between 20,000 Hz and 50,000 Hz.

A higher frequency implies the use of a smaller transformer, which allows the manufacture of smaller and lighter energy sources.

What are the advantages of using an inverter welding machine?

Due to the change in their internal components, inverting welding machines are, on average, 3 times lighter and smaller than traditional machines. This allows the operators to work in heights or places of difficult access.

Since they provide continuous current, inverting welding machines can use any type of electrodes. They can be used for all types of arc welding. In addition, there are single-phase and three-phase models.

Good penetration and stability of the arch is guaranteed with the use of inverting welding machines. This is due to the continuous control of the properties of the arc, even when the voltage is unstable or weak.

They also consume less energy than their peers with transformer-only technology. Lower amount of energy represents savings in operating costs.

What is an inverter welding machine

3) Teach and train operators

Henry Ford, who started the company that bears his last name and had to deal with welding issues, once said: “There is only one thing more expensive than training a worker and let him go: do not train him and let him stay.”

Certainly, if operators are not experts in what they do, they can make mistakes that, at less, increase the production cost of the companies.

Teaching (giving theoretical instruction) helps an operator adapt more quickly to a new technology. Training (giving practical instruction) develops your ability to do it.

When the personnel is not well trained, they may even have accidents that could end up in the detention of the work or the factory, demands, huge losses, etc.

Training staff can make them more experts in certain welding processes. This could be good for the company, because an expert in a certain welding process could do much faster those jobs that he masters perfectly than any other operator.

If the company has well-trained personnel, each in different welding processes, it could make the production line more efficient.

Of course, something in which all operators -and all the company’s staff- should receive training is about safety standards.

Teach and train operators

4) Prepare the surfaces and weld with precision

Alexander Graham Bell, an English scientist, used to say: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”. This is certainly necessary to reduce welding costs.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to optimize the preparation of the pieces to be welded. In some cases, depending on the thickness of the material, although it may take slightly more time, it is advisable to make a double beveling to the pieces to be welded. That way you could save on welding consumables.

 

Cleaning the parts thoroughly, eliminating oxidation, paint residues, grease, oil, and moisture, can help the resulting weld to be free of pores and welded at an ideal speed for the process.

Part of the preparation may include taking care of consumables such as wires and electrodes. If some of these are left at the end of the workday, they should be carefully stored to prevent them from getting wet or filled with grease or other contaminants.

There is a lot to be said when it comes to improving welding operations. Here we only list some points:

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success"

Consider including welding automation processes

A welding robot can spend 85% of the time welding while an operator usually spends only 20%. Only this figure manages to reduce welding costs considerably in a short time.

It is clear that, however advanced they are, welding robots need humans to program and assist them. There are consumables to replace and situations to attend to.

In addition to the time and money saved with automated welding, it is also possible to improve the quality of processes and minimize the time that work is stopped.

Welding robots usually complete the processes so that reworking is not necessary. This is another saving in time and money.

When welding robots are used, it is necessary to carefully monitor these issues:

  • Add accessories and peripherals that improve work
  • Manage consumables properly and take care of them
  • Do preventive maintenance (PM)
  • Use optimal welding consumables and calculate their duration

However, installing welding robots in a company can mean a large investment. In the long run, however, savings can be seen in times of production and quality of the pieces produced.

To automate some of the welding work, companies require experts to advise them on which equipment to buy and how to use them. Our experts can help you install the welding robots that your particular production needs, with the best cost-benefit ratio.

Of course, not all operations can have automated welding. Some companies carry out field work where manual welding is essential.

We have offices in the United States, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. We sell and ship to more than 90 countries, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname , Uruguay, Venezuela and the Caribbean.

The splash

In particular with manual welding it is necessary to avoid splashing. Although some spatters may not affect the strength of the weld, they increase cleaning costs.

It is possible that the splash is caused by:

  • Having a very high current
  • Having a not appropriate current for the size or type of electrode in use
  • The correct polarity is not being used
  • The arch is very wide
  • The correct angle is not being used
  • The electrode is wet

To reduce splash, try to correct any of these possible errors.

Speed up taking care of quality

Examine the welding processes that are carried out in order to see if they can be improved. Issues such as the diameter of the wire or electrode, the speed of the feeder, the type of gas can affect the final cost of work.

Another way to accelerate the speed of work can be by arranging the workstations so that they are more efficient. The idea would be to avoid unnecessary movements of the operators.

Also the operators could have around them some items necessary for welding, such as gas, electrodes, wires, etc. so as to avoid wasting time in obtaining them.

You can have them regularly provide supplies or be given in the morning what they need for the entire day.

Many companies monitor welding jobs through specialized software. This allows them to see how efficiently they are working and saving on energy. In turn, this allows them to know the condition of the equipment of welding.

Any repetitive activity that takes place in the production line should be reviewed to confirm that it is done in the most efficient way possible.

Likewise, it is necessary to take care that the consumables are stored in the correct way, preventing them from getting wet. It should also be checked that there are no gas leaks and take care that other safety standards are met.

How to clean the pieces to be welded?

The best welds come from the pure contact of clean metal with metal. Any foreign material in the welding area can cause imperfections in the weld. Depending on the material, the size and shape of the piece, you can consider some mechanical techniques such as:

The use of the polisher or emery: An angular polisher with an abrasive or wire disc (pleasant) is ideal for preparing steel for MIG or TIG welding. It is not recommended in very thin sheets since it can compromise the resistance of metals.

Orbital polisher: This type of polishers can be useful to clean smooth or flat pieces.

The use of sandpaper or wire brush: It is a manual operation that works very well in cleaning steel parts for MIG and TIG welding or stainless steel, but it can take much longer and does not always eliminate all the oxides or impurities in the metal.

Abrasive blasting: If the metal to be welded is very oxidized and is not suitable for sanding or removing with a polishing machine, another option for preparing the metal is to do it with abrasive blasting.

Traditionally sand has been used, but today there are other materials available.

How to clean the pieces to be welded

Avoid the overwelding

When planning work, determine how much welding certain parts may need. Some companies develop plans to indicate to the operators how much welding they require certain jobs or products and thus avoid that they reinforce more.

Make sure the welds are the right size. If required, for example a 3/16 “fillet and you deposit a 1/4” fillet, it will be oversized by 78% in the amount of welding applied.

By avoiding excessive welding, it reduces waste, reduces application time and reduces the cost of manufacturing.

Also, by better planning the pieces, you can reduce the empty spaces, which end up being covered with solder.

Another way to avoid excess welding is by using the correct process for the application that is occurring. How to choose the appropriate process between TIG, MIG, etc? One of our experts can help you in that. Contact us to advise you in this matter.

The position when welding

It is also necessary to pay attention to the position used for welding. The most recommended is to weld pieces in horizontal position. When that is not the possible position, some operators do not feel so comfortable and the weld bead is deficient.

Welding out of position (for example vertical, or over head) reduces the speed of deposition because gravity acts against us and forces us to work with lower amperages.

The horizontal position allows the operator to use thicker electrodes and execute their work easier and faster.

Keeping the arc in the proper length decreases splashes and concentrates the current in the joint to be welded.

At the moment of welding, the operator does well to check that all the cables are well connected and in good condition. By the way, the appropriate cables should not be too short, so they do not get too hot, nor too long, so they do not waste energy.

The position when welding
The position when welding

What other activities affect the cost of welding?

There are many activities that are necessary and some are more difficult to take into account, but they affect the cost of welding. We can see some before welding and when welding.

Before welding

Preparation of the solder joint: This may include placing a bevel on a plate or simply cleaning the joint to free it from scale, rust, oil or other contaminants.

Assembly: This is to assemble all the parts in an accessory or simply take them to a welding station where the welder can easily take all the necessary components.

Positioning of the piece: In some cases, we can not locate the piece, but when we can, we will move it to weld it more easily.

When welding

Change the filler metal and / or the shielding gas: The wire spools, the bar electrodes and the protection gas bottles when they are finished. We need to account for this time of change.

Breaks and meetings: most companies allow breaks. This can be as little as a 10-minute break in the morning and another 10-minute break in the afternoon. This may also include time for production and safety meetings.

Cleaning: The cleaning that must be done at the end of the day, between shifts, or even between the assembly of each product.

Move the assembly once completed: Once the assembly is completely welded, it must move to another place.

Time for post-welding heat treatment: If necessary, the time for heat treatment after welding should be taken into account.

As can be seen, there are many necessary activities without welding. Some of these can not be eliminated.

Tacking can be eliminated with elaborate accessories. The change of the protection gas bottle can be eliminated by the use of a bulk gas supply system. However, in general all these activities will always be present.

5) Make a Preventive Maintenance (PM) plan

On the other hand, even the best welding equipment will fail if maintenance is not done. That is why preventive maintenance (PM) should be a recurring task in welding workshops.

Without preventive maintenance, equipment will fail at any time, which may mean stopping the entire operation, in some cases.

Many times, after a failure, you have to invest time and staff to find out what the failure might be, and then buy the necessary spare parts to solve it.

Although it can not be avoided that from time to time there are unforeseen events, these can be reduced with a good program of preventive maintenance, which would reduce costs in welding.

Apply management methodologies

Some companies apply the 5S methodology, created by Toyota to increase the productivity of its workers.

With this method work environments are better configured for employees to perform their tasks faster and with fewer risks.

Some of the practices of this methodology is to have closer the equipment and materials that are used more frequently.

The 5S methodology also advocates cleaner and better-groomed workplaces, which helps improve worker motivation and prevents accidents.

Other companies use the Kaizen management method to continuously improve their processes and how they are executed.

Whatever method the company decides to apply, analyzing how it is being worked and the results obtained can help to make decisions that help reduce welding costs.

Codinter have over 40 years supplying the best products for industries. We are expanding in products and markets. We not only are mean to sell products, but also offer services you need to improve your workshop efficiency. Our team is specialized in industrial finishing solutions. Save time and money with us.

In a few words

Reducing costs in welding is a must for any company that performs production processes in metal or whose main objective is the treatment of metals.

You are most welcome to ask whatever you need to know to reduce costs in welding. Our experts not only can help you to define the equipment you would need, but also techniques for the operation execution.

We regularly publish useful information for the industrial finishing industry. Subscribe here to our monthly newsletter to stay informed.

As a summary, we have done this infographic where you can easily see what is explained in this article.

Did you like this article? We invite you to comment. Do you have questions? Contact us or make them in the comments section and very soon we will be answering.

Reducing welding costs: 5 effective methods for companies and contractors

Paint Pumps: types and uses in industrial finishing

Paint Pumps: types and uses in industrial finishing

Paint pumps are widely used in industrial finishing. In a lot of applications, without the help of the pumps to paint, it would be almost impossible to carry out some projects, given the time it would take and the cost it would have.

Paint pumps: Types and use in industrial finishing

There is a lot of pumps, each one of these have been proved specially suitable for a range of applications.

In this article we are going to focus more in what can be achieved using both piston and diaphragm pumps for industrial finishing applications.

Of course, pumps can be used for many different applications, not just for painting.

The advantage of using Binks paint pumps is that they are specifically developed for industrial finishing applications. That is why it can be said that they are made to last.

Just as the coatings vary according to the wide range of industrial finishing needs that companies may have, it also changes the appropriate pump to use.

But you can be sure your company need a paint pump when one or some of the following conditions are true:

  • Coating flow rates vary from one gallon per minute to several hundred gallons per minute
  • Pressure is 100 PSI or less, in most cases
  • Viscosity varies from medium to higher
  • Application duty cycles range from some occasional transfer to 24 hours per day recirculation
There are several types of paint pumps used in industrial finishing
There are several types of paint pumps used in industrial finishing

In short, paint pumps can be divided by what generates its power, by mechanism, by the pressure they can develop and by suitable application

Paint pumps by driven power:

  1. Pneumatic pumps
  2. Electrical pumps
  3. Hydraulic pumps

Paint pumps by mechanism:

  1. Piston pumps
  2. Diaphragm pumps
  3. Positive displacement pumps

Paint pumps by pressure:

  1. High ( 3000 psi up to 8500 psi)
  2. Medium (500 psi up to 3000 psi)
  3. Low (0 to 500 psi)

Paint pumps by application:

  1. Atomization
  2. Paint Circulation
  3. Fluid Transfer

Let’s take a further look at some of them.

Codinter is the ideal supplier of industrial finishing equipment, products, accessories and consumables. We are distributors of Binks, Devilbiss, Ransburg, MS, and BGK. We distribute spray guns, electrostatic spray guns, automotive spray guns, industrial paint pumps, and everything you need for industrial finishing application.

Binks Piston Pumps
Binks Piston Pumps

Piston pumps: How they work and what applications are they suitable for?

Piston pumps are used especially to move very viscous or high pressure fluids.

Piston pumps are pneumatic pumps that can be of low, medium and high pressure, as required by the application to be used.

They are also known as positive displacement pumps. They are the right pumps to move liquids remotely and strongly.

Piston pumps are volumetric. Its volumetric efficiency can reach 98%.

They generate their movement through a piston that moves with an air motor to allow the entry and exit of fluids.

The higher the viscosity of the material being pumped, the greater the piston diameter of the air motor must be.

Because piston pumps have the ability to generate more pressure than diaphragm pumps, they are especially used for the following applications:

  • Aerospace industry
  • Marine and naval industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Wood industry
  • Steel structures and manufactures
  • Manufacture of trailers and chassis
  • Tanks for pipes and storage

Piston pumps can also be subdivided into:

  • Radial piston pumps
  • Axial piston pumps
  • Angled barrel piston pumps (Vickers)
  • Angular push plate piston pumps (Denison)

How exactly piston pumps works?

Piston pumps are basically composed of an air motor, a piston and a group of valves.

Although they vary in their particular way of working, they all share the same principle of operation: With each movement the pump moves the stick or piston, creating a vacuum and pushing the fluids according to the volumetric capacity that it has.

The flow rate of a piston pump will be precisely defined by the volumetric capacity of the pump.

Piston pumps are ideal for industrial finishing applications. However, each piston pump can be designed for a specific application.

The Binks MX Series pump, with AA1600M and AA4400M guns, for example, has been designed for air-assisted Airless equipment.

1 or 2 paint guns can be connected to this pump. It is ideal for low or medium viscosities.

The recommendation is to use piston pumps mainly for movement of epoxies, high solids paints and immediate drying paints.

Piston pumps are frequently used for these materials:

  • Immediate drying paints
  • High solids paints
  • Epoxies and urethanes with high solids content
  • Tar epoxy resins
  • Coatings for Wood (wood sealers and catalyzed lacquers)
  • Solvent and water-based coatings
  • Primers, sealers and paints rich in zinc
  • Enamels of plural components and polyurethanes

How Horizontal Piston Pumps works?

Horizontal piston pumps work in the same way as ordinary piston pumps, but because the piston is horizontal, they have 4 advantages:

1.- They work better for difficult coatings
2.- Its operation, independently of the coating, is more reliable
3.- The maintenance is simpler
4.- Energy consumption is efficient

Binks has a horizontal piston pump model called Maple. It comes in 6 versions to fit the particular needs of the application for which it is required.

Binks Diaphragm Pump
Binks Diaphragm Pump

Diaphragm pumps: how they work and what applications are them suitable for?

Diaphragm pumps owe their name to the way they operate. Inside they have 1 or 2 diaphragms that have elastic walls that are pushed by a central axis. With each stroke the increase in pressure pushes the contents outwards.

The pressure exerted can be adjusted by means of check valves, which are often elastomer balls.

Diaphragm pumps can also be known as positive displacement pumps. Another name that they usually receive is membrane pumps.

The membranes are manufactured with a resistant and flexible material. It has a limited shelf life, so depending on the material being pumped its useful life can be longer or shorter.

Diaphragm pumps are usually low priced and maintenance is also economical.

Experts agree that diaphragm pumps are especially suitable for automotive paint and single-component industrial paints, such as varnishes, foundations and primers.

It is especially important that the diaphragm pumps are used in small installations, smaller than 20 meters, with heights less than 8 meters and as flat as possible. When there are elevations in the facilities, the pumps usually reduce their efficiency.

So, what differentiates diaphragm pumps is that they are ideal for transferring materials at low pressure and short distances.

All diaphragm pumps share the following characteristics:

  • They can have a very versatile use
  • They do not have seals or gaskets, so they will not leak
  • Its maintenance is simple and economical
  • Can move critical or dangerous fluids
  • It is not necessary to prime them to work
  • They are resistant to corrosion
  • There are submersible and other non-submersible models
  • They can work oil free and dry
  • Both the lifting height and the flow are adjustable
  • Speed and pressure can be adjusted

Diaphragm pumps can be subdivided into:

  • Mechanical diaphragm pumps
  • Electric diaphragm pumps
  • Hydraulic diaphragm pumps
  • Pneumatic diaphragm pumps

Double diaphragm pumps, like the Binks Gemini II series, DX70 and DX200, are specially designed for industrial finishing applications. Such applications may be transferring, circulating and spraying materials like:

  • Paints
  • Coatings
  • Catalyzed varnish
  • Resins
  • Solvents

We have offices in the United States, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. We sell and ship to more than 90 countries, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname , Uruguay, Venezuela and the Caribbean.

Additional equipment and accessories when using paint pumps

When using pumps for industrial finishing applications there is a number of other equipment needed. In many cases you will need hoses, both fluid and air filters, regulators, tanks and, of course, spray guns.

Some brands, like Binks, have all the equipment you could need for your operation in one single package: an outfit.

For example, the MX3560 / MX3070 / MX35AA is an Airless spray outfit that includes a Binks MX piston pump, plus the extra equipment required for some specifical application.

So, the first step is to define what the pump is required to. With that information one of our experts can help to to determine which one is the pump or outfit suitable for what you need.

Conditions to choose the right pump for your job

There are 3 basic conditions when choosing which one is the right pump for the job. These 3 are:

  1. Coating type
  2. Application type
  3. Flow required

Let’s dig a bit around this.

Coating type

Paints can range from epoxies and urethanes with high solids content to water-based solvents. In this huge range, viscosity is normally the main variation.

The right coating for the application is usually determined by the object or surface to be painted.

Application type

Clearly, is different the equipment necessary for a small operation in a wood shop than the required for a naval manufacturing company.

The frecuency your are going to perform industrial finishing tasks is also an important factor to decide what paint pump to choose. Clearly, to more frecuency, more capacity should be needed.

Flow required

This is pretty much defined for the coating chose. But also is needed to define how far is the paint deposit from the application point. And how much pressure is needed for the paint when being applied.

Codinter have over 40 years supplying the best products for industries. We are expanding in products and markets. We not only are mean to sell products, but also offer services you need to improve your workshop efficiency. Our team is specialized in industrial finishing solutions. Save time and money with us.

In a few words

Define all your industrial finishing related equipment could be a long-term investment for your company, so, the decision should be taken carefully having thought all the details and possibilities.

You are most welcome to ask whatever you need to know to decide your purchase. Our experts not only can help you to define the equipment you would need, but also design how they can be assembled.

We regularly publish useful information for the industrial finishing industry. Subscribe here to our monthly newsletter to stay informed.

As a summary, we have done this infographic where you can easily see what is explained in this article.

Did you like this article? We invite you to comment. Do you have questions? Contact us or make them in the comments section and very soon we will be answering.

Paint pumps

Electrostatic atomization: What is it and what equipment is needed

Electrostatic atomization: What is it, whom is suitable for and what equipment is needed

Although electrostatic atomization is not a novel technique for painting, lately it has increased its implementation among industrial finishing companies, due to the most recently developed technologies. This article seeks to explain the concept, to which companies can help the most and how to implement it safely.

What is electrostatic atomization?

Electrostatic atomization is an industrial finishing process in which the paint jet or coating is applied by the action of an electric field. With this, the necessary forces are obtained for spraying the surface charges or the polarization of the liquid is achieved.

This method is based on the principle that negatively charged objects are attracted to positively charged objects.

An electric charge, generally negative, is applied to the coating material. The drops, negatively charged, are charged to the end of the spray gun by means of a charged electrode. Thus, they are pulverized and attracted to any grounded surface. Each particle receives a negative charge of 30-140 kV and 0-200 mA.

With electrostatic atomization, the enveloping effect can be achieved. In this one, the atomized paint surpasses the grounded piece and takes the opposite direction, managing to cover the back of the piece, as well as its edges.

Electrostatic atomization is an industrial finishing process
Electrostatic atomization is an industrial finishing process

With this effect the transfer efficiency is increased, which in some cases of electrostatic atomization reaches 98%. This results in lower paint costs, faster production, less cleaning and less VOCs.

Due the electrostatic charge, the paint particles, once sprayed, are less likely to stay in the air.

To achieve this, it is necessary that the difference of the charges is enough. In some pieces it can be seen how the paint mist envelops the object to be coated.

The pieces to be coated should be or be made conductive. To achieve this, the object can be sprayed with a conductive primer or a metal object may need to be placed behind the object to create a ground.

The electrostatic atomization can be added to any of the atomization techniques that exist, in order to improve the rate of product transfer.

For all electrostatic effect to happen, there must be always the presence of ground.

Codinter is the ideal supplier of industrial finishing equipment, products, accessories and consumables. We are distributors of Binks, Devilbiss, Ransburg, MS, and BGK. We distribute spray guns, electrostatic spray guns, automotive spray guns, industrial paint pumps, and everything you need for industrial finishing application.

Advantages of Electrostatic Atomization

There is a lot of advantages when it comes to electrostatic atomization. Let’s number some of them:

  • Covers a three dimensional objet, like tubular products, more evenly than any other atomization technology, because of the “wrap around” effect
  • Also due the “wrap around” effect, save time because back sides can be atomized as front sides in a single movement
  • Ensure the most even coat possible in the industry
  • Saves painting because it have a higher transfer efficiency and material can be collected and reused
  • Saves money by saving materials and time
  • Can be use for spray pieces with complicated shapes
  • Thickness of the coating can be adjusted to the desired finish
  • Automatic operation can be used for high production speeds
  • Is quick and easy to make color changes
  • No preheating of the work pieces is required
  • Thin substrates, such as metal sheets, can be coated easily
  • Oven curing process, available in industrial finishing applications, results in a harder to remove and more durable painting
  • Better finish look, due a very uniform paint thickness

Disadvantages of Electrostatic Atomization

Despite all the benefits electrostatic atomization have, some disadvantages should be mentioned, such as:

  • Higher film build on outside corners, due increased electrostatic attraction in that sectors
  • Lower film build on inside corners, due limited electrostatic attraction in that sectors
  • Material to be sprayed should be conductive o made conductive in order to fitting bonding
  • Is very important objects to be sprayed are connected to ground, to avoiding safety or fire hazards
  • Spray guns can be more delicate than regular ones, so they will need proper care

Can electrostatic atomization be used for wood and plastics?

Absolutely yes! However, a primer must be placed or make parts conductive in some way so that the electrostatic effect can work.

In a nutshell, in order for electrostatic effect to take place in wood, plastic, as well as in any other surface, 2 conditions must be met:

  1. The pieces have to be conductive (or have a way of transport electrons in its surface) with really low resistance to flow electrons
  2. The pieces have to have a ground potencial or stay connected to ground, for the pulling force to occur. So, for the part to spread, a pulling force has to be conductive

Is important remmember the basic principle of electrostatic which is: In order to paint an object with a coating charged negatively with an electrostatic field, the part has to have a conductive surface to allow its electrons to flow in search for ground, and the part has to be physically attached to a ground potential.

How electrostatic atomization works?

Although the name “electrostatic atomization” makes it seem a very complicated process, it is actually simple to apply it in most industrial finishing companies.

Actually, this atomization technology can be applied to many of the others, like Airless, Airless Assited, etc, to obtain a better finishing and save both material and time.

Let’s put it in 5 simple steps:

Step 1: Prepare the place and the operator

 The area where is going to take place the painting operation should be clean and free of any distrubing element that could disturb your application. A closed cabine would be ideal for this kind of industrial finishing applications.

If the painting job in not going to be done in a cabine, just choose a ventilated area to work and double check that the heaters have been turned off.

If certain areas of the pieces should not be painted, drop cloths or put tape to protect them from painting.

The operator should be protected with special clothing to cover his/her skin. Most industrial finishing products brands have developed protection outfits for operators. Eye and ear protection must be worn as well.

A word of warning for operators: never point the spray gun to any person. The high pressure of the jet could hurt to the people.

Step 2: Select the right paint

 When it comes to electrostatic atomization there are two possible paintings: powder and liquid. The material to be sprayed and the appearance you are looking for is decisive to choose which one to use.

Powder coating is named this process when you use powder as your painting of choice. After choosing the painting, load it in the tank or deposit you are going to use.

We have offices in the United States, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. We sell and ship to more than 90 countries, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname , Uruguay, Venezuela and the Caribbean.

Step 3: Test the spray gun

No matter what atomization technology are you using, a spray gun test should be done. But with electrostatic atomization a double test is recommended: a first one with the electrostatic off and a second one with the electrostatic on.

To make this, the first step is turn on the spray gun and prime the pump to use. When testing, as always, check that the fan pattern is even.

Once you have completed the first test, turn the electrostatic on and test again. You should see the expected distribution of the painting in both cases.

Perform this test will help the operator to not make mistakes when painting and get the job done easy and faster.

If anything was wrong in any of this two tests, check what could be happening. But if everything ran well, you will be ready to paint.

Step 4: Paint

Having all the previous steps done, is the right time to paint. Try to cover the materials to be painted in a even way. Check now and then how is it going.

If the appareance of the objects are not the expected, change the way you are painting them.

To be effective when painting, double check the following:

  • Having a good paint load to the gun
  • Having a good (and in a good condition) spray gun
  • Having all the objects to be painted well connected to ground
  • Being special careful when painting objects with complicated shapes
  • All the pieces are conductive or have been made conductive

In some industrial applications, when using powder coating the pieces should get though an oven to complete the painting fixation. After that, the excedent powder can be collected and reused.

Step 5: Clean the spray gun after the job

Once the painting job is done, a comprenhensive cleaning of the spray gun should be perfomed. Follow the manufacturer instructions as they are explained in the model’s manual.

This step is very important to maintain the spray gun and other equipments in good conditions for a long time. Electrostatic atomization guns and equipment usually are expensive and delicate. So, clean them regularly is crucial to keep low costs in industrial finishing applications.

Is electrostatic atomization very complicated or dangerous for the operators?

Electrostatic atomization is not very different from any other type of atomization. The difference is that both the object to be painted and the operator must be connected to ground.

The parts to be painted may be attached to a hook or conveyors, which are properly grounded. Operators should not wear rubber boots or shoes, as these would prevent them from making contact with ground. They can also have bracelets or straps for the feet, so they can be sure of being grounded.

In any case, an electric shock when using electrostatic atomizing equipment can be similar to touch an old television screen when on. Now, if the charge continues for a long time and there is no discharge, a spark may occur.

That is why it is important that both the parts and the operators are always connected to the ground.

Industries that are most suitable for electrostatic atomization

The savings that come as a result of the use of electrostatic application technology can help practically any industry that requires industrial finishing solutions.

However, some in particular may have special relevance, such as the following:

  • Aerospace industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Agroindustrial industry
  • Furniture manufacture
  • Manufacture of pieces of metal, wood or conductive materials
  • Naval sector

These industries can benefit from including electrostatic atomization because it would speed up their processes and reduce material consumption.

What can be painted using electrostatic atomization?

The suitables options are almost countless. So, for deciding whether electrostatic atomization is a good fit for a certain application, it depends mostly in the desired finishing and the speed of production required.

Here is a list of main uses of electrostatic atomization:

  • Electronical components
  • Automotive parts
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Manufacturing products from several industries
  • Industrial facilities
  • Marina railings
  • Stables
  • Commercial and residencial spaces
  • Fences of any kind

In some cases, electrostatic atomization offers the most perfect finish, making it ideal for the automotive, aerospace and electronic equipment manufacturing industries such as telephones, computers, etc.

Paint powder or liquid paint: Which one to choose for my industrial finishing application?

If a powder is used instead of a liquid, this process is called powder coating. It is commonly used on things like bike frames and metal file cabinets.

Both powder and liquid paint have advantages and disadvantages. It is best to evaluate both to determine which is most appropriate for your particular case.

The powder paint

The powder is widely used for matte colors, for small applications.

The powder paint is faster in the application, because in a single pass it makes the 3 layers that the liquid paint requires.

The powder is cheaper and loose less volatile objects in the atmosphere (voc) pollutants.

On the other hand, when painting with powder, it is necessary to make a lot of preparation to the metal. In addition, it requires an oven.

Powder painting requires an implementation (initial expenses) that is more expensive compared to other systems.

The liquid paint

The liquid is faster in online production.

To use liquid paint, it is necessary to make 3 passes: the primer, the base paint and the enamel.

If it is dried in the oven, liquid paint requires less temperature than powder paint.

In the video you can see someone using liquid paint.

Guns and Equipment necessary for electrostatic atomization

A typical configuration for electrostatic atomization could require a spray gun, an air regulator, a pump or tank, a fluid regulator, air hoses and valves.

The exact equipment you could need when using, for example, a Ransburg Ransflex for electrostatic atomization, it depends of what application you required, the speed and size of your production, and the finishing you need.

Let’s see more details about some of this equipment.

The guns

Several brands have developed spray guns for electrostatic atomization. Each one with different designs to achieve specific results for different applications.

Ransburg, the creator of electrostatic atomization have recently lanched a new spray gun: Ransflex.

This electrostatic atomization spray gun includes an applicator that operates by compressed air alone and utilises an air driven alternator coupled to a high voltage cascade assembly that is used to generate the electrostatic charge internally. This way there is not a need for an external power supply and cable.

Ransflex comes in two models: RX and RFX. Both of them are FM, ATEX and CSA global standards compliant.

This new electrostatic spray gun have a patented turbine provides vibration-free operation, which make it one of a kind. Also, impact-resistant engineered gun body materials and ergonomic fit, feel, balance and controls complete the equation.

Any company or person owning a Ransflex can have peace of mind, because have five-year warranty.

A wide variety of spray nozzles are available for use in electrostatic atomization. The nozzle that should be used will largely depend on the shape of the pieces to be coated and the consistency of the paint needed.

When painting irregularly shaped objects is convenient to use a round tip. In case of paint large flat objects, is better to use a flat tip adapter.

Besides the spray gun to use, tanks, pumps, regulators and other equipment may be required.

Rotating Electrostatic Disks and Bells

In very specifical finishing applications, like automatic lines for automotive industry, rotating electrostatic disks and bells can be use effectively.

High-rotational-speed disks and bells can be suitable for applying high-viscosity, high-solids coatings (like 65% volume solids and higher) in electrostatic atomization operations.

Usually, industries that use rotating electrostatic disks and bells set them in a conveyor loaded with parts to be painted. Most times they are put in a horseshoe shape structure. Disks and bells can be used automatically or even manually, in fixed or reciprocating mountings.

Rotating electrostatic disks and bells works using both electrostatic and centrifugal forces to atomize the coating material.

The process is as follow:

  1. Paint is pumped into the center orifice of the rotating disk or bell
  2. Paint is pushed out by centrifugal force to the edge of the swift spinning disk or bell toward the pieces to be coated
  3. The high voltage concentrated in the disk or bell rim charges the paint droplets as they are getting out from the machine
  4. The coat is attracted to the surface of the parts to be painted due the opposite electrical charge

We look forward to give you all the information you need to help you make the best decision about what electrostatic atomization guns and equipment to buy. Feel free to contact us anytime.

Codinter have over 40 years supplying the best products for industries. We are expanding in products and markets. We not only are mean to sell products, but also offer services you need to improve your workshop efficiency. Our team is specialized in industrial finishing solutions. Save time and money with us.

In a few words

Implement electrostatic atomization in your company can be a way to save time and money. In addition, it reduces pollution.

Although it is true that a greater initial investment is required than the one for a conventional equipment, in a short time you get the return on investment.

You are most welcome to ask whatever you need to know to decide your purchase. Our experts not only can help you to define the equipment you would need, but also design how they can be assembled.

We regularly publish useful information for the industrial finishing industry. Subscribe here to our monthly newsletter to stay informed.

As a summary, we have done this infographic where you can easily see what is explained in this article.

Did you like this article? We invite you to comment. Do you have questions? Contact us or make them in the comments section and very soon we will be answering.

Spray guns: All about its use, parts and types

Spray guns: All about its use, parts and types

Spray guns are the central elements in industrial finishing tasks. In this article we will answer key questions from those who work in the industry.

What are spray guns

Spray guns are the central elements in industrial finishing tasks. In this article we will answer key questions from those who work in the industry.

Spray guns are equipment that can spray paint or varnish using air pressure in order to apply it or spread it on a surface.

These guns can be used to paint on any type of surface or substrate, be it metal, wood, stone, clay (ceramics) and porcelain, plastic, glass and textile.

For this reason, spray guns are fundamental tools for any type of manufacturing industry and repainting services, since they allow industrial finishing of any of their products in an economical and efficient way.

Spray guns were invented in 1888 by Dr. Allen DeVilbiss in the United States. Then, his son continued to improve the invention, producing the first spray gun to use compressed air.

The development of spray guns technology has continued to this day.

For the vast majority of industrial finishing jobs it is essential to use spray guns. Simply, it is the option that is the best in price and production speed.

Spray guns are equipment that can spray paint or varnish using air pressure
Spray guns are equipment that can spray paint or varnish using air pressure

Spray guns can be classified according to several criteria. For example, they can be grouped according to:

  • The feeding of the paint
  • The atomization technology they use
  • The way of use

But in this article we will categorize spray guns according to the pressure they use or the paint transfer mode.

Codinter is the ideal supplier of industrial finishing equipment, products, accessories and consumables. We are distributors of Binks, Devilbiss, Ransburg, MS, and BGK. We distribute spray guns, electrostatic spray guns, automotive spray guns, industrial paint pumps, and everything you need for industrial finishing application.

How a spray gun works

In just a few words, the spray of coating happens when the paint is applied to an object (the surface to be painted) through the compressed air gun.

When the trigger is pressed, the paint mixes (although in some systems it does not mix) with the compressed air stream and is released in a fine spray.

The consistency and pattern of paint can be defined and regulated by the correct use of the cup or tank where the paint is placed, and the nozzle that is chosen.

Regardless of the type of technology used to paint, it is extremely important to frequently disassemble the nozzle of the spray gun to clean it and prevent it from becoming clogged with traces of dry paint.

Advantages of spray guns

  • Allow paint to be applied uniformly on the surface
  • Allows different types of surface (even irregular or rough) to be painted efficiently
  • Save time and production costs
  • Can be configured for automated use
  • There is good diversification for specific applications
  • There are different ways to configure each gun according to the need of finishing

YOU CAN BE INTERESTED IN: Paint Pumps: types and uses in industrial finishing

Parts of a spray gun

The spray guns are divided into these basic parts:

  • Air head
  • Flow regulator
  • Nozzle or peak
  • Tank (depending on its type the gun can have a deposit or be connected to a tank)

Air head

The air head is, perhaps, the most important part of the spray gun.

This part of the gun directly affects the quality of the result and the amount of paint used.

Depending on the type of gun, the mixture of air and paint can happen internally or externally.

Flow regulator

It is the piece that determined how much paint will come out through the nozzle and even allows to vary the shape of the paint jet.

It is usually located in the handle or trigger.

The very tight restriction of the flow regulator is not good practice.

It has happened that the operators close the flow regulator a lot and with the force of the hand, exert a very large pressure on the trigger, which is transferred to the flow regulator, opening when the trigger is pulled.

This force deforms the flow regulator and generates drips.

It is better to adjust the flow from an external source such as the fluid regulator or restrictor and not the gun.

In this way, the flow regulator will be only to activate and deactivate the painting flow.

Parts of a spray gun
Parts of a spray gun

The nozzle

It is where the paint is expelled. Many spray guns come equipped with several interchangeable nozzles, so the operator can choose the one that is appropriate according to the case.

Some brands of spray guns, such as Binks and Devilbiss, even have extensions to get hard to reach places.

Although there are more than 15 types of nozzles available in the market, the 3 most used in industrial finishing processes are those of these spray technologies:

  • Low Pressure Aspersion
  • Airless
  • Airless Air Assisted

What are Airless spray guns?

Airless is a system that allows the spraying of paint and other coatings at high pressure. Although compressed air is used to force paint out, air is not mixed with the paint or coating at any time during the process.

In Airless systems the pressure of the piston pump is used, which compresses the paint when passing through a very small craft. This in turn passes through another hole of longitudinal or oblique shape that gives the flat finishing pattern.

In this way the over-spray of the coating is avoided, which usually forms clouds of paint.

This system is ideal for applying high viscosity paints, such as plastic paints, since these generally need more power to be applied.

These Airless spray guns can be integrated, when the air compressor is in the same gun or operating with an external compressor. Airless piston or diaphragm paint pumps can be used and operated electrically, pneumatically or gasoline

They are ideal for painting large surfaces in a short time, because they cover more in each application and save paint.

The Airless Air Assisted technology is the same Airless, but in this case the air is used to flatten or soften the paint pattern generated by the pump by passing it through a very small nozzle.

In these systems it is very important to correctly adjust the pressure of the pump relative to the nozzle of the gun. If the pressure is missing or left over, the paint pattern may be left with lips up and down or loaded at the corners.

Types of spray guns

There are many ways to classify spray guns. They could be classified by the paint supply, by the technology they use, by the way of operation, etc.

However, a practical and simple way to classify the spray guns would be by the pressure they use and the way the paint is transferred.

We have offices in the United States, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. We sell and ship to more than 90 countries, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname , Uruguay, Venezuela and the Caribbean.

Spray guns according to pressure

  • High pressure manuals
  • Low pressure manuals
  • High pressure automatic
  • Low pressure automatic

Spray guns according to the paint transfer mode

  • Airless
  • Airless Assisted
  • Conventional
  • HVLP
  • Electrostatic

The latter, spray guns with electrostatic technology have become so important that we separate them into another category and dedicate a whole section to explain their operation.

Even more, low-pressure manual guns can be subdivided into the following categories:

  • Fed by suction
  • Fed by gravity
  • Fed by pressure

Automatic low pressure guns have not such categories, as they are all fed by pressure.

However, manual and automatic high pressure guns can be divided into airless and airless air assisted.

What are HVLP spray guns?

HVLP stands for High Volumen Low Pressure. These guns use a high volume of air to spray the paint, which for the most part goes to the surface to be painted, achieving a reduction of up to 75% of the paint loss.

In addition, as less paint is dispersed in the air (the rebound effect is reduced), it could be said this system is healthier or more environmentally friendly.

Some models of HVLP guns also bring hot air, in order to helping to dry the paint on surfaces and to disperse more quickly the cloud of paint formed.

However, they are ideal for specific work or detail because the paint cloud formed by the reduction of overspray prevents covering large surfaces in a short time.

Best sellers models of spray guns

The Devilbiss, Binks, Ransburg and MS brands offer a variety of spray guns, each one designed for different applications.

Some of the most wanted models in the market are the following:

Of course, choosing a spray gun does not only depend on how sold is it, but being appropriate for what is going to be used. Ask for our specialized advice before making your investment.

What is viscosity?

The viscosity of a liquid is a measure of its internal resistance to flow or, simply put, its thickness. The type of liquid and its temperature determine the viscosity it has at any given time. Therefore, when measuring the viscosity, the temperature should be indicated.

The measurement of the viscosity of a liquid is expressed in poise and centipoise (1 poise = 100 centipoise). The flow rate, measured in seconds from a Zahn, Ford or Fisher bucket, is a very used data to know the viscosity of the coating.

It is very important to control the viscosity of the materials to apply them efficiently and with quality on the surfaces to be painted.

How to choose the appropiate spray gun

When we are asked about which is the spray gun you would need for your personal use or for your company, there is no single answer. The variables to choose the appropriate spray gun can be the following:

  • Application
  • Equipment and accessories needed
  • Frequency of use
  • Price

Aplication

The objective or application that the spray gun will have is the most important factor in choosing the appropriate one.

Choosing the right spray gun depends on several factors
Choosing the right spray gun depends on several factors

Among others, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kind of paint or varnish will you use?
  • Will it be used to paint outdoors or inside a paint booth?
  • Will it be used by operators or is it planned to make an automated system?
  • Will many small surfaces or few large surfaces be painted?
  • On what surfaces will the paint or varnish be applied?

Equipment and accessories needed

To perform industrial finishing work, the spray gun is not the only necessary. Depending on the application, in some cases some other equipment and accessories may be needed such as:

  • Filters
  • Tanks
  • Hoses
  • Regulators
  • Compressor
  • Cups
  • Bombs

Frequency of use

Although all spray guns of the brands Devilbiss, Binks, Ransburg and MS are excellent, they have been created with different capacities.

The design of a gun that will be used for many hours daily varies from the one that will be used for shorter periods.

In particular, the capacity of the paint tank is an important issue to be defined in this regard.

Price

In industrial finishing applications, this should not be the dominant factor, but one more factor to take into account for the decision.

The good purchases of equipment, accessories and industrial finishing consumables are made by obtaining exactly the product that is needed or that is ideal for its use, buying it at the best market price.

 

Codinter have over 40 years supplying the best products for industries. We are expanding in products and markets. We not only are mean to sell products, but also offer services you need to improve your workshop efficiency. Our team is specialized in industrial finishing solutions. Save time and money with us.

On many occasions, a spray gun, or even a complete equipment with included accessories can be a costly investment, but in the long run it will result in the most profitable, because it will save time and materials.

In this particular case, Codinter is able to offer all spray guns and industrial finishing products in general at the best market price.

We focus more on what will be best for your company in the short, medium and long term.

In a nutshell

Although there are many brands of spray guns, those of the Binks and Devilbiss brands have proven to be the best in price and value.

To properly choose a spray gun, it is necessary to define what its use will be and on what surfaces it will be used.

There are several spray gun technologies. A good idea would be to talk to an expert to determine which is best suited to your industrial finishing needs. You can count on the Codinter experts to make your decision.

We regularly publish useful information for the industrial finishing industry. Subscribe here to our monthly newsletter to stay informed.

As a summary, we have done this infographic where you can easily see what is explained in this article.

Did you like this article? We invite you to comment. Do you have questions? Contact us or make them in the comments section and very soon we will be answering.

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