Dürr Introduces North America’s Largest Paint Test Center
SOUTHFIELD, MI – Since opening in early 2016, the Dürr Systems Inc. Test and Training Center in Southfield, Michigan, has been so popular with customers it has been booked to capacity almost every month. The paint technology and high-viscosity material tests conducted have been successful, with positive reactions from customers, resulting in high demand for use of the facility. The training courses have also been very well received, leading to a constant addition of course offerings. The new state-of-the-art Test and Training Center at the Dürr Systems Campus offers unique resources that provide OEMs offline opportunities to test and optimize paint and sealer materials before they go into mass production.
Dürr ensures a high-quality experience with the industry’s newest equipment, latest technologies and specialized technicians. In cooperation with paint manufacturers and suppliers, Dürr experts develop and test future-oriented paint methods, concepts, and solutions for the automotive, coating and general industries. OEMs can work in a hands-on environment with their own products. Customer product requirements and Dürr’s best-in-class solutions are combined for a perfect finish. This leads to successful production results and faster vehicle launches.
The Ecopaint Oven at the Test Center is the only oven of its kind in North America. It’s a full automotive-sized oven, configurable to simulate radiant and convection heating processes. The oven has two zones, each with a direct-fired heater, and features a large cross-section with the capacity to bake full-sized vehicles. Each zone is independently controlled for temperature and volume of air, giving Dürr the ability to simulate any type of oven zone or style, and experiment with existing and proposed configurations. The Ecopaint Oven allows for examination of the car body – heavy metal areas, sill, B-pillar, underbody rail, inserts for crash and rollover protection, etc. – to locate trouble spots with curing or cooling.
Diagnostics are run with a prototype body without disrupting customer production, saving time and money. Alternate heating techniques are performed to determine the optimum heating processes and results. Determining the correct heating and curing processes in Dürr’s lab enables a smooth product launch at the customer’s facility.
If a physical car is not available, Dürr’s patented Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling can be completed based on customers’ vehicle CAD data to optimize curing processes. For example, an OEM recently awarded Dürr an oven CFD simulation project that will be validated in the Ecopaint Oven. The goal of this project is to predict whether a new model can meet the heating requirements in the existing e-coat oven at the OEM’s plant.
Testing opportunities are also offered in the area of paint application. The test center contains two 7-axis EcoRPL133 paint robots on rails and one 6-axis EcoRPL033 housed in two spray booths. These robots allow for flexible and performance-based testing of multiple processes, and are equipped with high-speed rotation atomizers (EcoBell3), bell cleaners (EcoBell Cleaner), color changers and dosing pumps.
One paint booth is dedicated to small parts and painting color standards, the other booth is for developing robotic paint processes for full car bodies. Both units are equipped with dry filters and designed to be fully customized with climate control to replicate any production situation. Water-based and solvent-based paints can be tested. Customers receive valuable benefits from performing trials. Examples include paint quality improvement, paint process optimization, color development, paint and solvent consumption, paint thickness and transfer efficiency, just to name a few. All tests can be conducted on exterior, interior or plastics.
Another feature of the test center is the sealer and gluing application testing area. Sealing processes are available for underbody coating, rocker panel application, seam sealing, and liquid-applied sound dampening, as well as customer requested procedures. The test center is equipped with Dürr’s EcoRS16 and EcoRS30 robots, the latest application technology (EcoGun2 3D) and electric EcoShot Meter piston dosing units.
Dürr’s body in white gluing technology provides a lower cost per unit, as compared to spot welding, and offers advantages in sealing and damping. Moreover, it meets increasing requirements for automotive safety, rigidity and comfort. With computer-supported simulations, the process of gluing applications is optimized.
The test center also includes an EcoDry X test stand. The EcoDry X is an innovative, high-capacity paint overspray filtration system that uses disposable paper filters. These filters are installed within mobile trolleys to allow for easy, quick filter exchanges even during production. To exchange, the trolley is simply undocked and replaced with a trolley containing fresh filters. The EcoDry X test stand assists Dürr in evaluating system performance with individual customer paint types. Filter separation efficiency and holding capacity can be measured within a controlled environment. Collected data helps Dürr to construct an accurate business case for the total operational cost of the EcoDry X system.
In response to customer demand for off-site training options, Dürr also has a Training Center at the Southfield Campus. Interactive training courses are offered on electronic documentation, basic paint and sealer procedures, atomizers, path programming, and robot electrical and mechanical maintenance. There are more than 50 customizable courses available in Dürr’s course catalog. OEMs, suppliers, distributors, employees, university students and others can attend the trainings. The training course catalog and registration form are available at: http://www.durr-northamerica.com/services-solutions/application-technology/seminars-training/training-center-usa/.
Contact Jim Schafer at 248/450.2106, or firstname.lastname@example.org, for booking appointments or for more information.