PaintExpo: Exhibitors pave the way for low-emission and low-resource coating processes

15 February 2024

Sustainability and efficiency are central topics at the upcoming edition of PaintExpo from April 9-12, 2024 in Karlsruhe. To protect the environment and save resources, numerous suppliers of paints and coatings, research institutes and recycling companies as well as manufacturers of process chemicals for metal and plastic coatings are looking into meaningful ways of reducing pollutants and recycling waste materials. For exhibitors at PaintExpo, such considerations inevitably also include taking a look at optimising coating processes in terms of economic and technical efficiency.

Visitors to this year’s PaintExpo can expect to receive in-depth information on how to reduce pollutants, use fewer resources, intelligently recycle materials and much more at the exhibition stands of paint suppliers and research institutions, as well as companies from the chemical and recycling industries. The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, GEHOLIT+WIEMER and Karl Bubenhofer, KLUTHE, NELCO and Sherwin-Williams, for example, will be bringing new ideas for greater sustainability and efficiency in the coating process to the world’s leading trade fair for industrial coating technology in Karlsruhe.

Reducing CO2 emissions and increasing digitisation and automation

At the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany, the Coating Systems and Painting Technology Unit is studying ideas for more efficient, sustainable use of resources and developing solutions specifically designed for use in the paint processing industry of the future.

The current focus is on reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. To this end, the unit is researching practical applications for new forms of energy in coating processes as well as examining ways to improve material efficiency, develop alternative material concepts and optimise the use of resources in production processes. Innovative, sustainable solutions are being developed for new and existing coating processes, with the aim of working with paints and coatings companies to overcome current environmental and economic challenges.

Fraunhofer IPA is also working on simulation projects for the speedy implementation of new automation concepts. These involve systematically optimising processes, establishing more sustainable production methods and improving economic efficiency. One approach here is to increase the degree of automation in companies that work with a wide variety of parts and geometries. The institute is therefore developing tools that use 3D models of components and products to create a coating programme within the simulation itself and, in the spirit of the motto #simulateinsteadoftrying (“#simulierenstattprobieren“), eliminate the need for the complex teach-in process for robots.

Under the three main themes of digitalisation, sustainability and automation, Fraunhofer IPA will be presenting new processes, concepts and technologies at PaintExpo 2024, inspired by a bat, a crab and a drone.

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