Why would you find a four-legged member of staff and kilos of walnuts in a mechanical and plant engineering firm? You can read the answers to this and other curious questions here.
A black coat, green eyes, and white whiskers — Eddie Murph the cat became an addition to Dürr Brasil’s team in São Paulo as early as 2015. This four-legged friend has its own company ID card and, thanks to the employee magazine and social media, also has a good international network. His recruitment process: somewhat unconventional. Roaming around the campus on a regular basis was enough to conquer the employees’ hearts. His job: no catnapping. What with all the sunbathing and cuddles, there is hardly any time left for other tasks.
Finely ground walnut shells make the ideal polishing agent. Thanks to the oil residues they contain, they create perfectly smooth surfaces. At Dürr, this natural product is used in machine manufacturing — to polish so-called bell disks. These are special disks made of titanium that are located right at the front of the painting robot and that create a homogeneous spray jet through fast rotation. Irregularities in the bell disk would lead to an uneven paint finish. To ensure a smooth result, around 100 kilograms of walnut shell granules are used in Bietigheim every year for the perfect polish.
How about paint on chips or ketchup on cars? The commonalities don’t quite stretch that far. The one property they do have in common is something many people know from everyday life: When you open a glass bottle containing ketchup and turn it on its head, nothing happens initially. Shaking the bottle first, however, makes the condiment come out more easily. Paints also become thinner when agitated and are thus easier to move and atomize. After a short rest phase, both ketchup and paint return to their former, thicker consistency. This is to ensure that they do not continue to spread where they are not wanted on the plate or car body. This property is referred to as thixotropy.
Before a car is painted, a base coat is applied to protect against corrosion. To this end, the car body is immersed in a dip tank. If several vehicle models receive their base coats in the same plant, the nozzles in the tank must be set to ensure that the coating quality is right for each car body. To speed up this process, the BMW Group in the German town of Dingolfing wanted to send industrial divers under water. Those in charge discussed the idea with Dürr. Two recreational divers from paint shop engineering got wind of this plan and took on the unprecedented task. In full diving gear, the Dürr employees jumped into the dip tank to set the optimal nozzle pattern.