Industrial coating automation workshop turns out to be a blast!

The Corrosion Engineering Team at InnoTech Alberta put on the AMFI Industrial Coating and Blasting Automation Workshop on January 23rd, 2019.  The event’s focus was automation solutions for application of industrial coatings and surface preparation.  The one-day event, held at InnoTech Alberta’s Devon research facility, included technical presentations followed by live equipment demonstrations.

Rational Robotics demonstration

“It’s great to see so many companies participating and shows the importance coating applicators are placing on automation” said Dr. Tamer Crosby, Lead for the Corrosion Engineering Team.  Despite inclement weather the day of the event, including blizzard like conditions, the event attracted 27 companies from across Western Canada.  A vast majority of companies in attendance were small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) looking for information on high productivity and quality enhancing manufacturing solutions.

Technical presentation

The day’s display included vertical and horizontal demonstrations of the RBW Enterprises Inc. centrifugal shot blast Faster Blaster system and a demonstration of Rational Robotics’ coating robot.  The Faster Blaster is easily adaptable for a variety of vertical and horizontal blasting applications including external cleaning of pipe.  The Rational Robotics coating robot utilizes an array of cameras to scan an object in 3D and automatically generate a tool path.  Scanning an object in 3D reduces the need for time consuming programming and automatically compensates for dimensional differences between a CAD generated 3D model and the real-life object.

A presentation by Riverstone Water Jets introduced a variety of ultra-high pressure (UHP) water jet blasting automation solutions including applications in heat exchanger tube cleaning, large diameter internal and external tank blasting, as well as internal cleaning of large diameter pipe.

The day also included a presentation by ProSolve Consulting Ltd. on coating process consideration including integration of various Industry 4.0 tools that allow for the digitization of manufacturing.  CLEAResult provided a presentation on the Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Custom Energy Solutions program available to Alberta based manufacturers.  Companies able to reduce their green house gas emissions by the introduction of energy efficient technologies can qualify for funding to recover partial costs.

RBWE Faster Blaster demonstration

The Alberta Manufacturing and Fabrication Innovation (AMFI) Program aims to accelerate adoption of advanced manufacturing and fabrication solutions.  The program’s focus is on high productivity manufacturing technologies and processes that lead to reduced overall production costs in conjunction with increasing quality.  The program supports the manufacturing sector by raising awareness of advanced manufacturing and fabrication methods, by de-risking technologies and processes, and by providing resources and expertise to support the technology adoption process.

The AMFI Program is offered through InnoTech Alberta and is funded by the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade’s Industry Growth Solutions and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

Don’t miss AMFI’s upcoming workshops being offered in February 2019.  On February 12th, InnoTech Alberta’s Surface Engineering Team is presenting the Advanced Overlay Materials for the Resource Industry workshop and on February 21st, the Welding Engineering Team is presenting the High Productivity Weld Fit-up and Alignment Solutions workshop.  Click on the workshop titles above to learn more and register!