Menu-controlled paint changes for greater security
Liosaplast expected shorter process times, efficient handling and high coating quality from the new surface system. The rapid colour change system in the WAGNER SuperCube and the PXS powder centre mastered these tasks with ease.
An increasingly demanding customer base, ever-more specialist orders and the challenge of establishing itself in the international marketplace prompted the Swiss contract coating company Liosaplast to make the biggest investment in the company's history. "Some of our surface systems and infrastructure were becoming outdated. To handle large orders within the required timescales in future, our production needed to be more efficient, energy-saving and flexible," explained René Schläpfer, Managing Director of Liosaplast. The idea was implemented in 2016 and a completely new surface system with cutting-edge powder and liquid coating was assembled in a new building on the company's premises.
Investment in efficient and flexible powder coating
A continuously growing spectrum of parts and ever-shorter lead times were causing difficulties, in particular in powder coating. "We had to handle each part multiple times. For example, taking them from pre-treatment in immersion baths to the system, hanging up and then rehanging and packing after coating. Time and quality constraints meant that we were no longer able to accept large orders. We therefore needed a system that would allow the parts to flow through without additional handling, from hanging to final acceptance," explained René Schläpfer.
He drew up detailed specifications for the company's new powder coating system. In addition to the latest coating technology, the key requirements included simple operation, fast, safe and clean paint changes as well as optimal ventilation in the booth. René Schläpfer found the most convincing concept at WAGNER, in the form of the SuperCube paint change system and new PXS powder centre. "I was particularly impressed by the booth with its quiet ventilation. The vents on the sides of the booth generate a consistent and gentle flow of air. This is an important factor for us as the hangers can be just a short distance above the floor of the booth and there must be no adverse effect on the powder output from the lowest gun," said René Schläpfer, explaining his reasons for choosing the SuperCube paint change system.
State-of-the-art powder feed and coating technology
WAGNER's PXS powder centre is an absolute innovation. "The newly developed PXS powder feeder unit has a fully integrated control system for the powder centre, application, movement technology and booth. All controls and hardware are integrated in a control cabinet. As well as a rapid assembly time, this also allows central operation. A large display ensures the operator has the entire system under control at all times," explained Michael Topp, Senior Product Manager at WAGNER in Markdorf.
The system's ergonomic operation is supported by the professional user interface for the touch-screen. Clearly legible text, meaningful icons and logical menu navigation assist everyday work. Every operator performs paint changes quickly and exceptionally reliably, as each step needs to be acknowledged before the next function is launched. Liosaplast views this as an important contribution to quality assurance. In addition, a high level of coating is guaranteed by a vibrating container with optimal fluidisation, a very short suction run and an ultrasonic sieve that is fully integrated in the powder tank. The small quantity of waste powder to be disposed of is emptied directly from the filter into a BigBag sack.
The system's ergonomic handling and flexibility are supported by a second touch-panel on the additional coating station with the same operating functionality as the touch-screen on the PXS. This allows user-friendly operation and short reaction times away from the main workstation.
Low powder consumption and impressive overall concept
The optimal flow of air in the booth makes it possible for the Corona powder guns to work with very low settings. This means very high transfer efficiency and low wear, resulting in a significant reduction in both powder consumption and running costs.
The overall concept is distinguished by its flexibility and high power reserves. It will allow Liosaplast to ensure reliable and high-quality work far into the future. The system worked as planned from the very first day, thanks not only to the smooth and timely assembly, but also the good familiarisation training for operators.
Ready for other markets and customer segments
René Schläpfer's appraisal of his investment is a positive one: "Liosaplast has established a reputation for offering customers intensive advice and support in development, construction and design definition. In particular for parts which require open space, we offer handling and coating solutions using special tools and chrome steel suspension devices. The new coating system is helping us expand this comprehensive service, to make our offering even more extensive, customer-oriented and flexible. The new powder coating system is an investment that is more than paying off for us and which will help us tap into more markets and customer segments."
Based in St. Margrethen (Switzerland), Liosaplast AG specialises in customised coating solutions and top surface quality. For over forty years, this family company has been serving a demanding customer base from the chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food sectors, as well as the clock-making, electronics, vehicle construction, engineering and tool-making trades. Its functional and decorative plastic coatings are produced using sintering, liquid or powder processes, depending on the customer's requirement. Liosaplast's tried-and-tested coatings are used in all applications calling for particular non-stick or anti-static properties, long-term chemical resistance, protection from corrosion by aggressive substances, insulation or lasting protection from wear.