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Solutions for Paint Shops

A Chinese car manufacturer uses Turck’s BL compact stations, connectivity products and proximity switches in its new paint shop

 Paint processes present particularly demanding requirements on automation components. Turck’s IP67 BL compact fieldbus stations withstand all the harsh environmental conditions in the plant of a Chinese car manufacturer and transfer the switch signals of the skid conveyor system cost-effectively to the controller. The matching connectivity products and inductive proximity switches from Turck round off the robust solution.

  • Fully encapsulated BL compact modules are fitted directly on the steel support of the skid conveyor

Harsh ambient conditions in the paint line

The multi-stage painting process in the automotive industry, the high level of automation in the plant, and the different process steps coordinated in the extremely harsh conditions present the automation components used and the integrator with a particular challenge. The central task of the project was to automate the transport system of the paint line. It is based on an automated skid conveyor system. The autonomous and safe control of the skids on the rails requires the use of many position measuring points, sensor signals and motor control signals.

Open standard

The customer’s specifications included the alignment and control of the paint robot as well as the flexible integration of the conveyor belt systems – and all this while maintaining a constant level of production efficiency in full operation. The responsible engineers wanted an automation system that was based on an open protocol and which could be implemented with standard cabling.

It was decided to use DeviceNet. This fieldbus standard is an open protocol that provides the level flexibility to optimally meet the requirements of the paint shop. Due to the size of the plant Turck’s BL compact stations are installed, which route all inputs further via the bus cable to the next I/O station, and then on to the master. Turck’s BL compact DeviceNet modules with protection to IP67 are fitted on the steel support of the transport system along the entire length of the paint line – also directly next to the motor controller which coordinates the entire transport of the skids.

The customer uses BL compact stations with 16 digital inputs (BL CDN-8M12S-8DI-P) and the smaller version with eight digital inputs (BLCDN-4M12S-8DI-PD). They form the backbone of the entire bus system in the paint line.

Extremely robust

The compact stations are fully encapsulated in epoxy resin in order to achieve their tremendously robust design and IP69K protection. The thermal performance of the block modules is also impressive: They can withstand temperatures from -40 to +70 °C. Despite the high temperatures, the paint line does not effect the modules. The extensive diagnostic functions of the I/O stations enable the customer to increase availability and the required level of reliability. LEDs on the module provide workers with reliable status indication of the inputs locally in the field. The matching Y junction cables as well as the bus cable likewise come from the Turck portfolio.

Turck offers BL compact modules for analog signals, switch signals for connecting RFID read/write heads or other signal types. Individual BL compact stations were fitted with signal processors to meet the customer’s special application requirements in order to save costs on stations and cables. The system is perfectly matched to the application, is easy to maintain, and also includes proximity switches from the Turck portfolio as well as the fieldbus stations and connectivity products.

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