Orion Industries: Denso Robotic Spraying

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Orion Industries

Orion Industries is a world-class industrial coating applicator that applies functional coatings to anything from cookware to precision medical devices. They do this by using several automated machines they have built over the years as well as the coatings they have developed themselves.

What it was like

One of Orion’s largest customers is a manufacturer or OEM vehicle equipment. Orion’s part in the process is to apply a coating at a very precise thickness that covers these oddly shaped parts. Because of the tight tolerance required for the coating thickness on these parts, Orion implemented a robotic system to apply the coating. The robot was programmed to run four different part numbers and did so very well for almost ten years.

What happened

After those ten years, the customer started to grow. They needed additional parts to be coated with even more precision so Orion’s robotic spraying capabilities had to grow as well. In order to accommodate the growing demand for parts, more tooling and fixturing had to be designed and improvements had to be made to this now ten year old robot.

Orion decided to design a new robotic spray system. This required a complete redesign of the spray booth, conveyor system, and control systems. Once they had the spray booth designed and the base programming done, I was brought into construct the spray booth and to qualify the robot for the customer.

This process required making changes to the robot programming as well as creating new programs so the robot could spray more parts. The customer grew exponentially that year so changes had to be made to run parts faster and still more accurate. Their had to be further adaptability in the programs so that the operator could make changes on the fly in case the parts that day required it.

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Then what happened

Another customer was quickly added to the robotic spraying process and the robots grew from two to three and three to four. With each robotic system we built, improvements were made to their design to make them easier for the operators to use them and easier for maintenance crew to perform their preventative work.

I programmed the robots to handle the parts from this second customer as well as programmed them to be more adaptable for the future. I worked with the customer to ensure the parts were ran exactly to their specifications and to make sure they performed perfectly in their application. In order for the operators to handle over 30 part numbers, I designed and programmed a user interface so they could easily navigate to any part they needed to run and make small changes on the fly as they saw fit. Orion now has several robots working near-flawlessly every day.

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The results we achieved with this project was pretty impressive. What started with a single robot running two part numbers grew to four robots running over 30 part numbers while dramatically reducing rejected parts and improving machine output. Cost of running was reduced throughout the whole process and the efficiency of the robots improved dramatically.