4JET Technologies GmbH is presenting its growing portfolio of automated and hand-held laser cleaning systems at this year's parts2clean. At the same time, the company will present a specialist presentation at the accompanying forum.
A current focus of application is laser paint stripping of components coated in cathodic dip paint, for example battery tray covers for electric vehicles.
Such components, often several square meters in size, are masked before dip coating in those areas where a metallically clean surface is required. This usually includes the joints on which the component is welded or glued.
In some cases, more than 10m of adhesive tape per component is applied manually or with complex robot systems, which has to be removed and disposed of shortly after painting.
The process is therefore expensive and wastes valuable resources. Inappropriate masking can also cause chemicals to be carried over and the cathodic dip-paint bath to become unstable. Industry experts estimate the cost of masking and the associated scrap parts to be > 20% of the total cost of painting in some cases.
The use of lasers completely eliminates the need for masking: The component is first coated fully with paint and then stripped in the respective areas with a pulsed laser. Touchless and dry laser cleaning results in a metallically clean surface and does not require abrasives or wet chemistry.
Dust generated during processing are suctioned off locally and the components can be installed without further processing steps.
4JET offers a wide range of solutions for the paint stripping of cathodic dip paint, but also for other cleaning applications such as splice preparation on metals, oil and rust removal or mold cleaning.
In addition to the JETLASER series of hand-held flexible laser systems which has been established on the market for 2 years, 4JET will also be presenting the new fully automated cleaning modules of the SCANYWHERE series at parts2clean.
With the new technology kit, 4JET addresses the growing market for large-area cleaning and processing of complex components for example in the automotive industry.
Core components of the solution are pulsed fiber-guided lasers in the power range from a few 100 W to currently 2 kW, a 2D galvo scanner and an articulated arm robot. The brain is the new SCANYWHERE software solution.
The operators can define the areas to be cleaned and the intended processing strategy in the 3D-CAD model of the component with just a few clicks. The SCANYWHERE software generates an integrated control of the laser source, the path planning of the robot, as well as the scan strategy. The parameters required for constant processing results such as focus position, pulse overlap and feed rate are automatically ensured.
In contrast to the classical approach in special laser machine construction, in which component-specific handling solutions are implemented via axis systems and classical PLC or CNC controls, SCANYWHERE saves development effort when redefining a special system and significantly reduces the effort required to convert to new component geometries during operation.