According to the company, the field-proven AutoTracker™ 2.0 programmable logic control (PLC) will automate standard booth components to provide consistent, quality powder coating. The system’s photo cell or light curtain is said to provide incoming part recognition, automatically triggering guns on and off as needed (and optionally moving them in and out) for accurate, repeatable results and reduced scrap. More consistent film builds are said to improve finish quality, meeting tighter tolerances and minimizing overspray and edge build-up. The system’s automatic line purging is designed to eliminate powder bursts when guns trigger on. An available “part recipe” system automatically adjusts optional analog powder delivery controls and are reported to optimize gun current, voltage, air mix, flow rate, and other settings for each application style. The system monitors powder and booth system functions and identifies motor overloads, filter status, compressed air quality, and powder reclamation and reprocessing factors. Automated controls yield increased efficiency, even with frequent changes in part configurations.
Control programs trigger guns for line gaps, different vertical lengths, horizontal and vertical zoning, and horizontal target distance. Gun movement control may utilize reciprocators, oscillators or multiple axis machines. Optional “in/out” positioners independently move guns to maintain precise horizontal gun-to-part distances for consistent overall finishes. The system accommodates simple zone recognition, variable zone or more complex style recognition, using photo cells or light curtains to scan parts conveyed into the booth. Style recognition meets more advanced needs, using sensors or remote inputs to identify the individual part style and allow for such needs as triggering guns at precise part locations. Control can also extend to other production systems, for networking and absolute coordination of all processes. Optional modem communication is available for remote program adjustments and diagnostics. ITW Gema, www.itwgema.com