Interview with Joachim Schüßler

Joachim Schüßler, Head of sales Germany, Plasmatreat GmbH in Interview.

In your opinion, what are currently the biggest challenges for painting companies and job-shop coaters?

To further improve painting quality while at the same time meeting stricter environmental standards, exerting high cost pressure and following trends such as automation, digitization and product customization. In addition, the increasing use of material combinations, such as the combination of metals and plastics in lightweight construction, poses new challenges.

From your standpoint, what are the best ways to optimize coating processes?

The assurance of quality demands on painting processes begins with the pre-treatment of the material surface. If surface pre-treatment is not regarded as a mere means to an end, but is accepted as a fully-fledged process step, the greatest potential for optimizing painting processes arises.

What trends are emerging in your area of industrial painting technology?

Metal, plastic, CFRP, GFRP, glass, etc. - materials with very different properties - are increasingly being combined with each other. This multi-material mix poses a particular challenge in terms of paintability. But recycling materials or additive materials, such as plastics with increased UV stability or flame retardancy, are also in vogue. The different or low surface energy of these materials poses a particular problem for coating processes and their results.

What developments/solutions does your company offer for these trends?

When it comes to wettability and adhesion, surface energy is the keyword. Pretreatment with Openair-Plasma® - i.e. plasma cleaning and surface activation - relevantly increases the surface tension and thus enables safe solvent-free (VOC-free) painting. In addition, the PlasmaPlus® coating technology offers the possibility of depositing functional coatings - for example, for durable corrosion protection or improved adhesion. With a view to customer requirements, our focus is on expanding the available plasma technology. In addition to fully automated turn-key systems, this also includes new plasma jets that achieve better surface accessibility or higher treatment widths.

What significance does PaintExpo have for your company?

We have been exhibiting at PaintExpo since 2008 and its importance has been unbroken ever since. As the world's leading trade fair, it is an integral part of our trade fair activities and the industry event for presenting our technology and its range of solutions to the trade public.

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