June 10, 2021

ABB PixelPaint400x275ABB has announced that its PixelPaint robotic painting non-overspray technology for the automotive industry has won this year’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics & Automation (IERA) Award for Outstanding Achievements in Commercializing Innovative Robot and Automation Technology.

Launched in 2020, PixelPaint uses inkjet head technology to directly apply high-resolution, two-tone or individualized designs to a car body in a single pass, enabling manufacturers to meet the rising demand for customized paint jobs while eliminating wasteful overspray.

“We are delighted that our PixelPaint solution has been recognized for its innovative, sustainable technology that helps our customers respond to consumer requests for more personalized design,” said Joerg Reger, managing director of ABB Robotics’ Auto OEM business line. “With PixelPaint, 100% of the paint can nwo be applied in half the time, compared to the previous method used for custom paint jobs, with a much better finish quality. For our customers, this provides the triple bonus of saving millions of dollars per year through reduced paint consumption, improved efficiency and improved environmental performance through reduced VOC and CO2 emissions, while meeting their customer needs.”

ABB said applying a two-tone or customized design onto bodywork traditionally would require a vehicle be put through a painting line twice – once for the first layer, and then after areas have been masked, again for a second color. This would require about 10 to 20 operators per shift, with two operators needed to de-mask it after the second color was applied, ABB said.

PixelPaint overcomes these issues, by providing a more accurate and sustainable solution for custom painting. The cell comprises a high-DPI inkjet head, two IRB 55500 paint robots, dosing control package, and RobotStudio programming software for two-tone and decorative painting applications. 

Award judges said the ability to combine improved efficiency, flexibility, and environmental performance was a key factor in giving the award to PixelPaint.

“The jury is pleased to honor ABB’s PixelPaint technology with the 17th IERA Award,” said Jury Chair Rob Ambrose. “The innovative solution for automated car painting combines more flexibility and customization with reduced wasted paint for the wellness of the environment.”

The IERA Award honors achievements of innovators with value-creating ideas, and entrepreneurs who propel those ideas into world-class products. The IEEE Robtics and Automation Society (IEEE/RAS) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) jointly sponsor the award.

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