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Application and Success Stories

In my early days as an engineer in the robotic painting industry I experienced several unusual application problems. Some were serious, others were amusing ( after you look back at them). I felt I should share one amusing incident that happened during a particularly difficult project at a Ford Motor Company facility in Michigan around 1983.

The task:

To paint the egg crate shaped, middle section of the Ford Econoline van grill with a metallic grey paint.

The problems:

The HVLP automatic spray guns being used were just being introduced in North America

The Ford Econline van grill had large areas covered with a paint mask

The robot I was programming had new software that was still being developed

I was totally inexperienced and had just graduated from college 6 months earlier

The automatic mask machine was built by an outside company and was driven with pneumatic logic



The plant engineer from Ford was smart and cooperative, but also a stickler on the start-up timetable ( we were behind schedule ) and the quality of the coverage ( color match, coverage, film build ). The project was difficult to say the least, but after the installation was complete and we had spent several 24 hr days developing the program to paint the grill, the Ford Plant Manager was demanding a demonstration of a fully functional robotic painting system.


The Story:

The Plant Manager, with his entourage, arrived at the side of the spray booth to observe the new painting robot and expected perfect results. There were no less than 20 people from all managerial levels within Ford Motor Company to see the first robotic painting cell in the plant operate. I turned the system to “Auto” and let it run. The system worked flawlessly through the front side painting sequence. Next, the mask machine rotated the van grill to allow the robot to complete the sequence and paint sections on the backside of the part. As the robot began the backside painting program I noticed a slight tremor in the robot arm. The tremor quickly became a fast jerk that took the gun and the robot arm straight up in the air in less than a quarter of a second and the whole robot shook violently, right in front of the whole group of fascinated spectators. Just as quickly, the robot arm returned to its correct position and completed the backside painting sequence. The cycle was completed and the crowd erupted in applause when the part was brought to the unload station for inspection. The Plant Manager congratulated the Ford engineer on a job well done, and especially liked the little trick we had put in the program where the robot waved to the crowd. The whole group walked away buzzing with conversation about future robotic applications within the plant. 

This is a true story.......

Web Changes

This is where we'll announce the most recent additions to our web site. If you've visited us before and want to know what's changed, take a look here first.


We've added some animation to the site...

Click on the picture with the spray gun and cell phone parts and watch the gun spray paint.

Open up the product literature pages for the BNH 3000, BNH 4000, BNH 6000 and see a simulation of how the machines/equipment would move in production.

View the BNH 4000 product literature page and you can see a sample electrical interconnection diagram. This will help our users understand the machine and the automatic system and how they are really one in the same.