Spraying coatings is typically a hand-held operation involving a spray applicator (person at the gun), a hose person, and a machine operator Several companies offer robotic spray application equipment ranging from roughly $12,000 to $35,000, depending on the supplier and model. These foam spray robots have been traditionally used for large roofing applications. However, we are seeing them in use with elastomeric coatings in flooring and other large horizontal surface applications as well. Some of the reported advantages of using spray robots are:
- Consistent application of all kinds of spray-applied materials
- Easy dial-in of desired thickness
- Ability to slope the surface
- Reduction of over-spray due to optional wind skirts
- Significant productivity increase in terms of material throughput, material yield, and labor requirements
- Reduced operator fatigue
- Wider application passes (upwards of 50% wider than hand held)
Some robots are smaller and designed to walk next to, or behind them. Others are designed to sit on ride, or drive.
Most have the ability to adjust the distance between gun and substrate, set the pass width, speed of travel, and vehicle speed. Many can mimic the “flare” technique at both ends for good tie-in overlapping passes and continuous spray action.
Industrial Pipe and Manhole Coating Robots
Lining pipes and man-holes with elastomeric coatings for abrasion resistance, structural and protective properties and resistance to ground water intrusion are also rapidly developing markets for plural-component equipment and material applications.
Several companies also offer robots specifically designed for rotary and orbital type applications.