Why Move to Intelligent Solutions

Manufacturers need intelligent solutions in their paint mix rooms that can reduce things like unexpected downtime, while decreasing energy costs.

Increase Visibility, Control and Efficiency with an Intelligent Paint Kitchen

It costs the automotive industry an average of $22,000 per minute for unexpected downtime. Because of things like unexpected downtime, manufacturers need intelligent solutions in their paint mix rooms that can reduce this risk, while decreasing energy costs. 

Intelligent solutions give end-users easy access to real-time data and critical functions in their paint mix rooms to ensure optimal production. They can help to quickly diagnosis issues and ensure systems are operating at peak performance. Intelligent solutions can also reduce downtime and resources needed to operate paint mix rooms.  

Paint Mix Room Technologies

When it comes to paint mix room technologies, there are two types of pump technology – pneumatic and electric.

  • Pneumatic piston pumps have been the go to pump for many years because they are reliable, easy to use and inherently safe for hazardous locations. But pneumatic pumps are only about 10 percent efficient, which makes them expensive to operate. They can cause production downtime and uneven paint finish due to icing, and are noisy. 
  • Electric pumps are about 4 to 7 times more efficient than pneumatic pumps, resulting in lower operating costs, they’re quiet and the operator gets greater control and functionality. Brushless DC (BLDC) motors can respond rapidly to changes in system demand and generate full torque at zero speed (deadhead). The constant torque control allows motor to be controlled to create constant fluid pressure, similar to a pneumatic pump.

Graco utilizes brushless dual control (DC) electric pumps in their intelligent paint kitchen (IPK) solution. This network of smart sensors and control devices communicate with each other to optimize circulation system performance. IPK can remotely monitor and control key circulation system parameters like fluid pressures, flow rates, tank levels, agitator speeds and BPR pressure.

Graco’s intelligent paint kitchen is unique because it’s an inexpensive alternative for advanced monitoring and controlling of paint mix room. It’s easy to install or upgrade, simple to use, scalable and Graco is the single source for all components.

IPK’s control module, which is an electronic “hub” that most IPK devices connect to, is rated for explosion-proof locations. Other type of systems use expensive explosive-proof conduit that runs outside the hazardous location.


IPK System Components

Graco’s intelligent paint kitchen is a much smarter paint kitchen. It is easier to integrate and scale, and provides insights into your operations that were previously difficult to capture. It includes these components:

  • E-Flo DC electric pump and control module: The perfect starting point for your paint kitchen is our energy efficient E-Flo DC electric pump and control module. The dual control (DC) technology allows the pump to maintain a constant fluid pressure or a constant flowrate. Local control makes setup and operation simple. Besides energy savings, the integrated runaway protection prevents costly material loss. 
  • Pressure transducer: Monitors system pressures from up to two different points in your circulation system and maintains system pressures with automated closed loop pressure control. 
  • Pneumatic back pressure regulator (BPR): Maximize material life and increase energy savings by easily adjusting the pressure on your pneumatic BPR. 
  • Electric agitator: Electric agitators are five times more efficient then pneumatic agitators. Provides the consistency customers need to easily monitor and control the speed of the agitator when mixing material – ideal for materials that need to be agitated at different speeds. A variety of different mounting configurations are available.
  • Variable frequency drive (VFD): The variable frequency drive controls the electric agitator.
  • Tank level monitor: Ensures your circulation system has adequate paint supply level with real-time monitoring of tank level. 
  • Remote tank fill solenoid: Simplify tank refill with easy activation of a pneumatic transfer pump. When used with a tank level monitor, tank fill can be automated. 
  • Remote location monitoring - Touchscreen: Easily monitor and control all tasks and functions of your circulation system remotely – from outside the hazardous location.
  • Remote location monitoring - Supervisor: Access point to all pumps in the mix room. Interface with a PC or PLC.

Remotely monitor and control key circulation system parameters to ensure your system operates at peak efficiency.

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