Workshop equipment supplier Herkules places great value on perfect coating of its products, which are regularly subjected to strong chemical and mechanical stresses. Modern coating technology ensures high, reproducible surface quality and efficient processes.
“Technology for People” is the claim of workshop equipment supplier Herkules in Kassel. The brand has a strong name in the automotive industry, well known for 40 years among other things for its blue-green lifts. The perfect surface coating of their often heavily stressed steel platforms is one of the quality-assuring factors.
Anyone wanting to impress car dealers, testing organisations and body shops with the quality of their workshop equipment has to produce efficient products that are robust in every way. Especially when it comes to lifting equipment, with so many suppliers on the market, the customer expects a German manufacturer to deliver absolute perfection over the entire service life.
Steel beams that rust after just a few years are simply no longer accepted at modern workshops, which are more conscious of cleanliness and good appearances than ever. Yet, the stresses of dirt and salt water from cars as they mount the platform place enormous demands on the surface coating.
Herkules accordingly pays special attention to the mechanical and chemical resistance of the coated surfaces. High on the list of specifications for a new spray booth, the equipment supplier in Kassel therefore stipulated quality and efficiency, followed by environmental friendliness and reliable service. The modern spray booth employed at Herkules is equipped with surface finishing technology from J. Wagner. Once all parties had agreed on the tailored concept, it was supplied by distribution and service partner WMO Oberflächentechnik GmbH in Welver.
The system serves two coating workstations, where 100 different parts made of steel and aluminium are coated with one or two layers of paint as required. Small and medium parts run through the booth on an overhead track. Beside it is an area for coating large parts, which are manual feeded. The heart of the new coating system is the electronically controlled two-component mixing and dosing system (FlexControl Smart).
For many years now, Herkules has been working with the proven paints from Teknos. These are all high solids polyurethane paints from TEKNODUR series tailored individually to specific needs. Aside from the high solids content and very rapid drying and curing, this paint series stands apart for its especially high resistance to the particular stresses met in workshops resulting from contact with salt water and other aggressive media.
Other parameters that have been improved in the new system are efficiency and eco-friendliness. By optimally adjusting the paint to the electrostatic spray guns used (GM 5000 EAC), the system now achieves better edge protection with less overspray even for parts with difficult geometries. Reduced cleaning and maintenance requirements for the booths are welcome side effects.
The electrostatic spray gun with air vents for round and flat spray patterns is designed for especially high pressures of up to 250 bar, and is thus ideal for working with high-viscosity paints. It is used for coating all parts at Herkules and enjoys great popularity. An integrated filter that can be opened without removing the material hose ensures maximum availability.
Many times a day, the Herkules workforce benefits from one big advantage of the dosing system: the quick and easy paint change.
It takes no more than a single push of a button on the operating units to initiate the fully automatic flushing and choosing of a new colour shade.
With the previous spray booth, every change between the company colours blue and yellow as well as special colours, involved wrestling with ball valves. Now, operating errors are completely ruled out thanks to the intelligent colour management.
Yet, even more than the productivity gain, the equipment supplier in Kassel appreciates the perfect reproducibility of colour shades. The precise instrumentation and control of the mixing and dosing system ensures exact adherence to the defined mixing ratios. Herkules customers can thus depend on exact colour matching of individual spare parts or new workshop equipment even many years down the track.
Not only formulas, but also operating times and consumables, including VOC data, can be called up from the user-friendly menu using only four buttons. The system records this data automatically. Over four USB interfaces, they can be transferred to a PC or other periphery to be analysed or archived.
“We are fully satisfied with our Wagner equipment, and achieve outstanding coating results with it. The mixing and dosing system, with especially maintenance-friendly system components, has proven very reliable in the daily routine,” Herkules production manager Sebastian Perez-Furest summarises.
“With the changeover to the new, significantly more efficient paint system, we will also remain true to our quality and environmental commitment in future. I would particularly like to applaud the user training held by WMO, where they showed us how we can get the most from the savings potentials as well as the technical advantages.”
Martin Mehler, area sales manager at Teknos Deutschland, serves Herkules for years and also made contact with Wagner.
"It is not enough to support the customer only with paint-specific questions. To provide an outstanding service the paint manufacturer needs to be well-informed about the technical requirements of the spray booths”, says Mehler.
“We have excellent contacts to the manufacturers of painting technologies and we visit training courses to be always up-to-date with latest technologies. Sometimes it is just a simple change in settings of the spray booth to achieve a significant improvement of the painting result. With this know-how we can quickly support the customer and be helpful in an uncomplicated way on-site.”, Mehler continues.
“For the case Herkules it was moreover important to adjust the paint optimally to the e-static settings of the Wagner spray booth. Therefore we were able to achieve the best possible efficiency factor and reduce overspray to a minimum.”