Automate 2023

Advancements in Robotic Paint Spot Repair

Advancements in Robotic Paint Spot Repair

Aaron Nienaber - Product Development Specialist, 3M Company

Virtually every car coming off the paint line has defects that require locating followed by repair to ensure the level of finish quality which customers expect. To this day, most manufacturers rely on dozens of highly skilled operators, some of which may inspect and repair up to 140 vehicles per shift. This makes topcoat defect repair one of the most highly manual operations in the industry, introducing a litany of challenges:

  • A large shop floor, factory layout, footprint
  • High energy consumption
  • The reliance on multiple operators working in very close quarters
  • Along with this manual labor comes an inherent variance in inspection, repair techniques and data entry.

This presentation highlights the advancements made in developing and deploying automated inspection and repair processes, which can address the many challenges outlined above.  Critical to the success of deploying an automated process include the proper tooling design which can deliver the needed process parameters and alignment of those parameters to the optimum consumables which, in combination, deliver the needed results.  In addition, the development of software -- which can select the right parameters and repair recipes based on information about a particular defect -- is a key enabler to successfully automating this highly manual process.


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