Painting helmets

HJC uses ready2spray robot to paint motorcycle helmets

Assemble, plug in, fill, get started: the first ready2spray robot in South Korea has gone into operation in a record time of just two weeks. The compact robot from Dürr is suitable for a variety of painting tasks outside the automotive industry. In this instance, it is coating HJC motorcycle helmets. For the helmet manufacturer, one of the world’s biggest, this means greater process reliability, less paint consumption, and greater occupational safety.

HJC produces more than 1.2 million helmets each year in its factories in South Korea and Vietnam for amateur and racing motorcyclists. In a pilot project at its headquarters in Yongin, the company completely replaced the previous manual painting system in the top coat section (basecoat and clearcoat) with automated processes. Since then, Dürr's → ready2spray painting robot has been painting integral helmets in more than 20 colors on one line by changing the basket in the pressure pot. The robot is supplied with paint by an appropriate color changing system.

As in many industrial sectors, even top coat application is also important when painting motorcycle helmets. The coating protects the plastic helmets against UV radiation. This can make the material brittle and porous, impairing the function and appearance of the helmets. Thanks to the ready2spray robot, the high quality is guaranteed throughout the painting process. The high-speed rotating atomizer used also delivers much better application efficiency than manual painting. As a result, HJC uses much less paint than before and avoids wasting color by using a real-time 2K mixing system. Paint savings are up to 30 percent, and high paint quality is achieved through a constant film thickness of 5 micron.

HJC is known for its strong focus on research and development. The ready2spray robot is an innovation in industrial painting, and also the first painting robot to be used in South Korea outside of automotive production. The automated solution also represents a step forward in working conditions, since the robot looks after everything from supplying the paint through painting to cleaning, which means that technicians no longer need to work in the unhealthy paint shop. Following positive experiences in the pilot project, HJC also intends to equip other production facilities with the new industrial robot. For Vietnam Dürr is designing already another ready2spray robot.