A robotic paint process used by an aviation manufacturing facility to coat airplane wings utilizes TRICOR Coriolis metering technology from AW-LAKE COMPANY to detect the presence of air bubbles in paint supply lines as an early warning of low paint volumes. The automated paint operation includes the application of primer, color coats and topcoat onto the airplane wings.
Compatible with Class 1, Division 1 and EX environments, the TRICOR TCM 0325 Coriolis Mass Flow Meters detect air bubbles by monitoring the paint’s specific gravity. When the paint in pressure vessels begins to empty, air is introduced into the paint stream that results in a downward spike in paint gravity. Low paint specific gravity levels serve as an early warning for over-agitation and out-of-paint conditions. Running out of paint results in extreme expense in downtime to rework the wing.
When used in conjunction with servo-driven paint gear pumps, the TRICOR Coriolis Flow Meters also provide high-accuracy flow verification, eliminating a manual flow calibration procedure to save paint and time. The TRICOR CLASSIC Series TCM 0325 Coriolis Mass Flow Meter has a maximum mass flow rate of 325 kg/hr (12 lb/min) or 49 bbl/day. In volumetric terms, this translates to 50-4000 cc/min. The nominal meter size is DN4 (1/8”), and the meter is rated for process pressures up to 200 bar (2900 psi). This feedback to the control system enables the system to track paint usage by type and color.
A SignalFire Ethernet Interface Module provides a Modbus interface to integrate five flow meters associated with each robot to a high-speed wireless telemetry system that eliminates thousands of feet of Ethernet cabling in the C1D1 EX area. The wireless sensor control system also enables operators to configure and communicate with flow meters from a remotely located control room.