Viewed in retrospect, we have enjoyed a genuine powder coatings boom during the past few years. More and more areas of use are opened up today by high-performance powder coatings. Accordingly, the powder coatings industry demonstrates very strong global growth, enabling the introduction of a large number of new production lines to the market.
To-date, more than 600 NEA ICM grinding systems have been installed worldwide for manufacturing powder coatings. The requirements of new systems, but also of existing systems, must dynamically adapt to market conditions. In particular, the sharply increased raw materials prices and the immense competition within the market exert high cost pressure on the manufacturers worldwide. These demanding requirements of production equipment certainly denote one of the major reasons for the successful market penetration of the highly efficient NEA ICM grinding systems. Thus, in the meantime NEUMAN & ESSER Mahl- und Sichtsysteme achieved to considerably expand its world market leader status and to successfully commission systems from the Arctic Circle down to Oceania.
Moreover, operators see themselves confronted with a further challenge: maximum system capacity utilization within the context of manpower shortage. NEUMAN & ESSER applies a revolutionary concept here. Analysis showed that filling the finished powder, particularly into smaller containers such as 20 and 25 kg boxes, is a limiting factor for the throughputs of larger grinding systems can achieve. NEUMAN & ESSER in close collaboration with NIVERPLAST BV, the Dutch filling and packaging machines manufacturer, seized this opportunity to develop a filling station specially attuned to the requirements of the powder coatings industry. With automatic filling, throughputs of up to 2,000 kg/h, corresponding to 100 x 20 kg boxes can be achieved with highly precise filling and therefore more than twice the capacity of manual filling.
The box rolls into the filling area over a conveyor belt, is lifted there electrically and accurately filled to the desired weight via a special filling mechanism with weighing cells. It is novel that the dosing device and its filling tube at no point in time come into contact with the end product, thus avoiding the cross-contamination feared within the market. Moreover, an extraction system hinders undesired dust development in the working area, and that with a maximum product yield. After the desired weight has been reached, the box is deposited and a new box fed. Additional components for the completion of a fully automatic station such as box erectors, mechanical bag cappers and labelers, can also be offered by NEUMAN & ESSER and be integrated seamlessly.
The essential two-motor ultrasonic screen belonging to the complete system is manufactured by GKM Siebtechnik GmbH. Here, too, NEUMAN & ESSER utilized its many years’ experience with powder coatings. A low construction size, high throughput, easy cleaning and smooth surfaces interplay with an optimized sieve ultrasound system and offer a highly efficient and compact solution, also for existing grinding systems from all manufacturers, in symbiosis with the filling station.
Development also focused on work safety for this system. As powder coatings are a probable explosive material, a system introduced by NEA monitors the static loading of the components in order to hinder sources of ignition, providing an important contribution in the area of employee safety here.
The control and monitoring of all these described components takes place centrally via the overall grinding system controller. This not only enables the minimization of the number of controllers required, but also enables the evaluation and visualization of all system-relevant data.
This provides an important step towards connection to a revolutionary Industry 4.0 solution, which will be introduced by NEA on Sept. 26 and 27, 2018 on the occasion of the event days “NEA INNOVATION DAY” and “POWDER COATINGS COMPACT” at its Übach-Palenberg headquarters.