Liebherr Ehingen has installed a new highly efficient, environmentally friendly paint system for large crane components. The aim of the investment is to apply a top quality paint finish to large components in a continuous process -economically. Liebherr says that the installation includes the largest capacity paint conveyor system in the world, in that it can handle individual items of up to 50 tonnes in weight.
In addition to handling heavy items if can also cope with components with dimensions of up to 21 x 4 x 5 metres. The items of up to 50 tonnes are painted in a suspended state, while heavier components up to 140 tonnes can be painted on special trolleys. The installation has two cleaning and preparation booths, two painting booths, and two drying boxes, with an organisational structure based on flow production.
The parts to be painted are first taken up at the loading station by a manipulator from the conveying system. Throughout the process the individual component remains suspended on the individual transport units, which avoids any damage to the paint. The transport units, with the part, first run through the manual spraying/cleaning installation to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned. During the painting process which follows, the component is dealt with in a wet state in two work sequences. Drying takes place in the drying boxes provided, at a temperature of 95° C.
In the final stage, the individual part is loaded onto transport units and the painted surfaces are treated with a preservation agent. According to Liebherr the Hydrolack paint produces a noticeable improvement in quality. At the same time solvent emission is reduced by 60 percent, while the new method provides savings of 35 percent in paint consumption. A highly efficient heat recovery system allows some 70 percent of the heat and air humidity to be recovered, saving significant amounts of energy.
Paint capacity at the plant has been increased by 30 percent, while improving working conditions and safety for paint shop employees.
Liebherr also adds that as a final part of the paint process the expelled air is passed through a class “F5” filter, among other elements before it is released into the surrounding environment. Making it many times cleaner than the fresh air that passes through a modern home.