Automation of Coating Service Production Line at Impact Coatings


Starting end of June, Impact Coatings operates an automated production line dedicated to coating of LT-PEM fuel cell plates at its Coating Service Center in Linköping, Sweden.

Impact Coatings has installed an industrial robot with auxiliary automation equipment at the company’s Coating Service Center. The coating technology and services provider has a decade of experience supplying PVD coatings for fuel cell plates. An INLINECOATER™FC system dedicated to the application was installed in 2018. Adding an industrial robot to the production line allows more efficient system utilization and increased production capacity.

“For us, the automated production line means more than just an increased production flow. It relieves our personnel of repetitive tasks and reduces risk of human error. We are also able to continue development of our robotic interface and automation solutions. For our Coating Services customers, the automation solution means we can run production processes at maximum capacity and increase throughput to match the market’s increasing volume needs,” said Carina Höglund, VP Coating Services.
Impact Coating has chosen a smart, sensor-controlled automation setup, which does not require a physical safety cage. If you step inside the clearly marked area the sensors automatically halt the production process. The result is a very compact layout, which matches the small footprint of the INLINECOATER system. These compact production cells, measuring approximately 7×3 meters, are now also available as part of the Impact Coatings Systems Solutions offer.

The new automation solution is part of Impact Coatings’ growth strategy. Later this year, the company plans to start up a second automated Coating Service Center in Shanghai, China.