Interview with Olaf Pfeiffer
Olaf Pfeiffer, CEO, INFRATEC Infrarot Strahler GmbH in Interview.
In your opinion, what are currently the biggest challenges for painting companies and job-shop coaters?
The biggest challenges we currently see in this market are the vast variety of materials to be coated, as well as the fast changes in workpieces shape and composition and production in small batches. This development is accompanied by higher requirements to quality standards and durability of the paintings and coatings and the demand for minimizing delivery times and reducing production cost through digitalization.
From your standpoint, what are the best ways to optimize coating processes?
An essential potential for optimizing painting and coating processes lies in the drying. This step of production can help to improve quality and reduce throughput times considerably. Beside the quality of the paints and their application, the choice of heating medium for the drying process has a tremendous influence on the final product. Smartly designed drying systems enable painting companies and job-shop coaters to succeed in fulfilling the requirements to produce faster, with higher quality standards and helps them save energy consumption at the same time.
What trends are emerging in your area of industrial painting technology?
Like in other sectors, digitalization and environmental protection are among the most important trends in the fields of surface technology and painting. Thinner coatings to save resources, as well as new compositions in the field of Nano technology are challenging conventional drying systems. The precise monitoring and control of energy deployed in a process becomes even more crucial to achieve a certain surface finishing, as for example required in the painting of ships.
The development towards industry 4.0 and the continuous digitalization of productions processes demand for intelligent machinery and systems that can be operated and maintained with minimal effort and produce an constant stream of relevant data to analyze and optimize processes even further.
What developments/solutions does your company offer for these trends?
INFRATEC offers flexible drying systems based on infrared technology that are able to fulfill the new requirements of the painting industry.
Our systems and designs enable our customers to dry and heat complex workpieces with varying geometries. Due to the direct heating of the workpiece through the infrared radiation, flawless results can be achieved in drying and curing, while the energy efficiency of these solutions also helps to reach environmental goals.
We offer support in the development of the drying process for new materials and paintings. In a series of tests, we determine the ideal heating medium for your coating and material and design a system that enables you to set and control the parameters of drying process as precisely as required for your specific paint.
Even existing systems can be retrofitted with our modular systems and that way made fit for the new requirements of the industry.
What significance does PaintExpo have for your company?
Our company has been a loyal exhibitor to the PaintExpo for many years, as we appreciate the professional audience visiting this exhibition. In the fields of painting and coating, the PaintExpo is one of the most important exhibition for us that offers us an excellent opportunity to create new contacts in this industry, discuss news and trends of the field with other exhibitors and visitors and reconnect with former acquaintances and partners. In the past years, we were pleased to see that the exhibition has been able to attract an even more international, but equally expert, body of visitors.