Inkjet v Spray Technology for Automotive Coatings

The automotive sector is focussed on reducing the environmental impact of vehicles,  improving vehicle efficiency and developing lighter weight vehicles.

One way to achieve lighter vehicles is through the adoption of alternative materials such as plastics. Functional coatings are used to enhance plastic product durability and provide decorative high-quality finishes.

Coatings can be applied using spray technology however overspray techniques result in low transfer efficiency and up to 80% waste. This waste is then further treated using additional chemicals and the resulting sludge extracted and discarded.

Poor transfer efficiency impacts material and process costs associated with collecting, treating, extracting and disposing of the resulting sludge. The overspray methodology also generates unnecessary VOCs damaging to the environment.

With spray technology area control, discrete area coating and imaging are impractical without additional costly, time consuming masking processes.

Inkjet technology offers improved transfer efficiency over spray and provides opportunities to introduce efficiencies and improvements across a wide range of industry manufacturing processes.

Cyan Tec work closely with chemical and coating manufacturers to develop inkjet coatings for plastics to meet the strenuous demands of the automotive industry.

Industrial inkjet printing is achieved using a printhead to deposit tiny droplets of a material on to a substrate. It dispenses fluid in a non-contact, fully controllable manner, eliminating masking and with virtually no overspray. Inkjet is a digitally controlled technology, where the printed image is gradually built up through the deposition of drops of fluid exactly where we want them.

Inkjet technology achieves transfer efficiency, of theoretically 100%, although some contingency should be allowed for maintenance purging. Transfer efficiency is higher with inkjet and therefore the environmental costs, VOC emissions, material usage and process costs are lower in comparison to spray technology.

Cyan Tec offer single and multi-pass systems, where the printhead can pass over the substrate or the substrate pass under the printhead.

Industrial inkjet technology improves quality, process control and dramatically reduces waste in coating applications. Automotive applications include emblems, logos, buttons, Piano black and woodgrain trim and facia panels.

Cyan Tec combines automation, robotic and inkjet expertise to deliver industrial inkjet systems which offer manufacturers opportunities to lower costs, reduce waste, enhance products and achieve process efficiencies.

To find out more please click or call our sales department on +44 (0)1509 815186.