9 - 12 April 2024 in Karlsruhe PaintExpo
14/02/2024 PaintExpo

PaintExpo: Exhibitors Pave the Way for Low-Emission and Low-Resource Coating Processes

Sustainability and efficiency are central topics at the upcoming edition of PaintExpo from 9 to 12 April 2024 in Karlsruhe. To protect the environment and save resources, numerous suppliers of paints and coatings, research institutes and recycling companies as well as manufacturers of process chemicals for metal and plastic coatings are looking into meaningful ways of reducing pollutants and recycling waste materials. For exhibitors at PaintExpo, such considerations inevitably also include taking a look at optimising coating processes in terms of economic and technical efficiency.

Visitors to this year's PaintExpo can expect to receive in-depth information on how to reduce pollutants, use fewer resources, intelligently recycle materials and much more at the exhibition stands of paint suppliers and research institutions as well as companies from the chemical and recycling industries. The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, GEHOLIT+WIEMER and Karl Bubenhofer, KLUTHE, NELCO and Sherwin-Williams, for example, will be bringing new ideas for greater sustainability and efficiency in the coating process to the world's leading trade fair for industrial coating technology in Karlsruhe.

Reducing CO2 Emissions and Increasing Digitisation and Automation

At the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany, the Coating Systems and Painting Technology Unit is studying ideas for more efficient, sustainable use of resources and developing solutions specifically designed for use in the paint processing industry of the future.

The current focus is on reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. To this end, the unit is researching practical applications for new forms of energy in coating processes as well as examining ways to improve material efficiency, develop alternative material concepts and optimise the use of resources in production processes. Innovative, sustainable solutions are being developed for new and existing coating processes, with the aim of working with paints and coatings companies to overcome current environmental and economic challenges.

Fraunhofer IPA is also working on simulation projects for the speedy implementation of new automation concepts. These involve systematically optimising processes, establishing more sustainable production methods and improving economic efficiency. One approach here is to increase the degree of automation in companies that work with a wide variety of parts and geometries. The institute is therefore developing tools that use 3D models of components and products to create a coating programme within the simulation itself and, in the spirit of the motto #simulateinsteadoftrying (“#simulierenstattprobieren“), eliminate the need for the complex teach-in process for robots.

Under the three main themes of digitalisation, sustainability and automation, Fraunhofer IPA will be presenting new processes, concepts and technologies at PaintExpo 2024, inspired by a bat, a crab and a drone.

Saving Energy with Liquid and Powder Coatings

As system providers of powder and liquid coatings, GEHOLIT+WIEMER and Karl Bubenhofer traditionally present their latest innovations together at PaintExpo.

In liquid coatings, the focus is currently on high-solids coating materials with a solids content of more than 70 per cent. These reduce both energy consumption and costs in production processes. The lower VOC content results in decreased material consumption. Coupled with faster drying times, high-solids coatings form the basis for an efficient coating process. In practice, many users have already switched to these kinds of systems, moving away from multi-layer to single-layer coating applications. In addition to cutting out entire work sequences, this transition also eliminates the drying times between individual layers, thus saving a considerable amount of time, energy and money.

The choice of materials also plays an important role in improving the carbon footprint of powder coatings. Here, Karl Bubenhofer actively supports companies in transitioning over to the Polyflex PES-165-NT-GU system. Most importantly, this move leads to burn-in times, thus reducing energy consumption. The quick-reacting polyester powder is suitable for outdoor use and has good degassing properties. When combined with the right primer, this powder is easy to use with no additional preparation. The bottom line is that the product has been shown to reduce energy consumption and costs. KABE Farben has a large range of low-temperature products in many other areas and applications, where they greatly benefit the customer.

Reducing Hazardous Emissions in Pretreatment and Paintshops

At KLUTHE, innovative new products and product advancements are based on sustainable raw materials, reduced chemical consumption and lower application temperatures. The aim here is to decrease customers’ energy needs and associated CO2 emissions as far as possible. Thin-film technology and low-temperature zinc phosphating systems from KLUTHE, for example, do more than just save energy and cut CO2 emissions – they also conserve limited resources, reduce waste and lower costs. "Continuous optimisation allows us to reduce our consumption of scarce resources, become more energy efficient and lower our emissions of CO2 and other pollutants, both at our facilities and at those of our customers," says Stefan Lenzer, Head of the Pretreatment Global Business Unit at KLUTHE.

The company will also be presenting DECORRDAL at PaintExpo 2024. This thin-film technology makes efficient use of resources and is the key to designing an environmentally conscious and sustainable pretreatment process. With products for the paintshop such as CYCLOSOL, a flushing medium characterised by its efficient circulation and its suitability for recycling, KLUTHE is actively helping to reduce waste and make full use of resources. Sustainable CONTROX paint removers are VOC-free and can be used sparingly, which helps to significantly reduce harmful emissions. In addition, KLUTHE also sells NIKUTEX, a water-based cleaning agent that is not only economical but also highly effective when it comes to minimising environmental impact.

Customers can also make use of innovative sustainability tools that calculate the environmental impact of their processes and offer advice on how to reduce emissions, waste and costs.

Sustainable Recycling for Powder Coating Waste

As a specialised recycling company, NELCO from Belgium, annually recycles around 10,000 tonnes of the powder coating waste that remains in the filters and extraction systems of powder coating plants. "There's no other company like ours in Europe, because we give new life to waste powder, treating it so that it can be reused as moulded parts for the automotive or machine industry," explains CEO Arnd Nelde. After the second life of these materials, the moulded parts can be recycled yet again.

As part of the upcoming PaintExpo, NELCO will present its sustainable, environmentally friendly process which has been operated successfully by the company for 22 years and is used by around 800 partner companies for the environmentally safe disposal of used powder. In recent years, NELCO has been investing heavily in research and development, using modern presses for testing new formulations and blends that are expected to expand the scope of application. "We’re happy to take back all sorts of used powder, including fine dust, overspray, fresh powder, overdue product, overstocks and cyclone powder. These can include all common types of powders, such as epoxy powder, epoxy-polyester, polyester, acrylic and PUR and we can take them in their original packaging, as a blend or in bulk bags," says Nelde. At PaintExpo 2024, interested parties are welcome to visit him and his experts to learn about how to turn their waste powder into sustainable components in the future.

Powder coatings from plastic bottles and trend powder coatings Vision 2030

Sherwin-Williams is showcasing an outstanding innovation at PaintExpo 2024 with its Powdura ECO line of powder coatings. The company takes plastic bottles (post-consumer rPET) and converts them into a durable, high-performance polyester resin. Every kilogramme of Powdura ECO coating contains the equivalent of 35 recycled plastic bottles and cuts CO2 emissions by one kilogramme. The properties of Powdura ECO are the same as those of conventional polyester powder coatings. Powdura ECO coatings are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Furthermore, they provide increased flexibility and impact resistance as well as an outstanding balance of mechanical properties, excellent colour fastness and solvent resistance. Coatings created using this method can be adapted to any requirements and are suitable for certification by third parties such as LEED, GREENGUARD and BIFMA Level.

The company will also be exhibiting its new Vision 2030 powder coating collection, which expresses the modern Syntha Pulvin style in four inspiring colour palettes. All 48 coatings meet the requirements of GSB Florida 3 and Qualicoat Class 2 quality associations. Inspired by nostalgia and the impact of technology on cities, nature and community, the colours evoke emotions, define global cultures and stir the imagination.

Photo Fraunhofer

Copyright: Fraunhofer

Photo KABE SwissGroup and photo KABE SwissGroup 2

Copyright: KABE SwissGroup

Photo Kluthe

Copyright: Kluthe

Photo Nelco

Copyright: Nelco

Photo Sherwin-Williams, General Industrial and photo Sherwin-Williams, General Industrial 2

Copyright: Sherwin-Williams, General Industrial

Contacts

Christian Heinz
Press Spokesperson
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