MARKDORF, Germany — Offering transparency of the powder coating process anytime and anywhere, the COATIFY information and management platform is a web-based system that continuously provides relevant performance data of the coating system and raises awareness among the workforce for system utilization, cost reduction and the highest quality in coating.

The Challenge

Fox Laser Ltd. is a leading contract manufacturer in the metalworking industry. In Sofia, Bulgaria, housing and profile components are manufactured for suppliers in the automotive, transport and switch cabinet construction sectors.

The increasing capacity utilization of the company due to its success has led to a doubling of the workforce in the last four years. The growth required expansion of the production facilities to increase capacity. This also applied to the company’s surface technology, which was brought up to date at the beginning of 2019. To help, a fully automatic WAGNER powder coating system with powder center, booth and 10 automatic guns was installed.

The success at Fox Laser required continued hiring of new employees who have to quickly familiarize themselves with the production facilities. At the same time, costs had to be continually optimized to ensure high production quality and competitiveness. In order to meet these versatile requirements, those responsible at Fox Laser wanted a comprehensive yet easy-to-use process control system for powder coating. The aim of the production manager was to keep an overview of the system anytime and anywhere and to know its status at all times.

The Solution

In the planning phase for the new powder coating plant at Fox Laser, WAGNER Industrial Solutions launched the COATIFY information and management platform. This system meets Fox Laser's expectations for modern process monitoring.

The web-based Internet of Things platform COATIFY visualizes the powder coating process intelligently and continuously. The system's performance data can be captured at a glance on a clear user interface with descriptive diagrams and graphics. Relevant production data are easily prepared and logged, providing the user with a perfect overview of the process. The platform can be accessed via PC, tablet or smartphone and enables secure access to internal production data from anywhere.

"For us, COATIFY came at just the right time. With the continuous provision of important production data on various end devices, we have the possibility to carry out an extremely reliable production monitoring. This improves process reliability and increases productivity," said Dako Lisichkov, Managing Director at Fox Laser. He is convinced that COATIFY is optimally equipped for the future, with upcoming updates and new developments with regard to new coating solutions.

The Customer Experience

After a short time, COATIFY has already proven itself in operation at Fox Laser. Thanks to the clearly structured and graphically comprehensible system information, seamless monitoring of production is ensured at all times. Timely information on upcoming maintenance, malfunctions or deviations from individually definable limit values increases quality and system availability and reduces costs.

The system operators at Fox Laser can also access the current operating manuals of the systems at any time via COATIFY. If a question cannot be answered on site, the customer sends a service ticket directly to WAGNER via COATIFY. This ticket provides system data and running times of the components electronically. If required, WAGNER service staff can also carry out remote maintenance.

"With COATIFY, we at Fox Laser now have full control over our coating quality and can intervene immediately if a parameter changes. This transparency increases process reliability, which will also have a positive effect on cost accounting," said Lisichkov.

COATIFY optimally complements the coordinated components of the WAGNER powder coating system and makes powder coating even more efficient and economical. With COATIFY, WAGNER has created an industry solution with added value that raises production plants in surface technology to a new level in terms of economy, efficiency and process reliability.

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