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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Keywords: Robots, PaintingABB Flexible Automation AS (NO)Patent number: US5964407Publication date: 12 October 1999Title: Painting robot with a paint supply system
The present invention improves upon conventional painting robots with colour changing equipment by having a paint supply system comprising an adaptor with an integrated colour changing unit placed on the robot arm, close to or in direct contact with the paint spraying device, thereby minimizing the supply volume that needs to be discharged and cleaned between colour changes. In the same way a mixing unit is integrated into an adaptor for application of two-component paints. The adaptor is made of a lightweight material such as a polymeric material or a light metal. The colour changing unit of the adaptor comprises two paint supply lines, each carrying paint of different colour. In the same way, two-component paint is supplied in two lines, one line for each component to a mixing unit. The combination of the compact design of the colour or mixing unit with the light material enables the adaptor to be placed at the outer end of the robot arm, without interfering with the movements of the robot arm or disturbing the operational precision of the arm. The adaptor can also be used for speeding up colour change between many colours by using one of the supply lines for applying paint and simultaneously preparing the other supply line for the next colour by flushing it with cleansing liquid and filling it with the next paint to be used. Then a fast colour change can be performed by switching to the other supply line for applying paint and perform the rinsing operation on the first supply line. It is possible to integrate more than one colour or mixing units in parallel into the adaptor for use with two or more paint spraying devices. This is useful for applications where different kinds of paints are to be applied, enabling a fast shift between the use of different colours.