Lufthansa Technik Intercoat, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and Intercon Holding GmbH, has created the world’s first partially automated system to coat components with its Interfill material. The in-house system concept will now allow components to be repaired more quickly and smoothly via an advanced epoxy coating process.
Interfill, a material developed by Lufthansa Technik Intercoat that is based on epoxy resin, is used to give components a new life cycle and improve their operational characteristics. Previously, the coating process was completely manual.
“Thanks to this partial automation, we were able to reduce the time it takes to coat the material to a third,” says Andreas Sauer, managing director, Lufthansa Technik Intercoat. “That gives us the opportunity to react quickly and flexibly to customer needs, thus increasing our competitiveness.”
The automated process entails fastening a component to a rotating device in a working booth. A robot arm applies Interfill to the component’s surface using a special applicator, which ensures that the ideal amount is applied evenly. Lufthansa Technik Intercoat says the improved application method prevents air pockets from forming, ultimately reducing the amount of corrective work that might otherwise be necessary.
Currently, the Interfill coating system is able to process components of up to 500 x 500 x 500 mm (approximately 20 in.) in size and 25 kg (approximately 55 lb.) in weight. Lufthansa Technik Intercoat is currently working on a robot system that eliminates these restrictions, which will allow coating of components with more complex, non-rotation-symmetric coating areas.