February 15 2018, Enhanced process control in spray-painting by Nitrotherm-technology
- Nitrotherm replaces air by Conditioned Nitrogen as paint-carrier
- Physical properties of Conditioned Nitrogen can result in paint-savings, quality improvements and productivity improvements
- Applications occur in automotive, consumer electronics, furniture
- Underrated aspect of Nitrotherm technology is improved process control.
Spray-painting systems basically consist of 3 elements: gun, paint and carrier medium. Over the past 20 – 30 years worldwide, paint consuming industries – such as automotive, consumer goods and equipment – emphasised the development of the gun and the paint performance. The paint carrier medium however received much less attention by process engineers and production line designers. As a result, the medium carrying the paint to the target usually still consists of compressed air at 5-7 bar and often of questionable quality.
Nitrotherm®technology was introduced and patented by Eurosider SAS in Italy about ten years ago. Essentially this technology replaces compressed air by Conditioned Nitrogen as the carrier for the paint. This Conditioned Nitrogen is produced in Nitrotherm units making use of – among others – hollow fibre technology and can be supplied to painting gun with the required pressure and flow rates.
The technology has been applied mainly in Europe so far and hundreds of units were installed for manual-, automatic gun- and recently also rotary bell painting lines. The benefits of the technology result from the physical properties of Conditioned Nitrogen as a paint-carrier medium and have been proven in many painting applications in automotive, consumer electronics, furniture etc. and include significant paint savings (avg. 20%), cosmetic quality improvement and productivity improvement from shorter process cycles.
At present, we see Nitrotherm-technology making its way into the Asian markets, in particular China’s booming automotive industry but also in Korea.
One attribute of the Nitrotherm technology that is highly underrated is the significantly improved process control through Nitrotherm. In my personal experience this aspect is of critical importance for the performance of the spray-painting process. This aspect is discussed in more detail below.
When I was a young process engineer 30 years ago and working in Philips Electronics, I was specifically educated in (Statistical) Process Control which principles at that time became very popular in order to improve the yield of production processes and the quality of products. Huge improvements were realized in factories (for instance in the automotive industry) in the USA, Europe and Japan by applying these principles and techniques.
In manufacturing companies that I have been leading after that I always emphasized the importance of the principles of process control as a way of life. In my past 4 years leading a company in China however I also learned how poorly these principles in many Chinese factories are known and applied. This is well understandable because the Chinese industry has been growing incredibly fast over the past two decades and the entire focus was on volume and less on efficiency and quality. Process operators and –engineers were not educated and trained in the principles of process control and consequently many production processes perform poorly.
Each production process and consequently each product property is exposed to variation. This brings us to the definition of Process Control which is to Manage Process Variation. Each process is defined by its process settings formalizedin the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). No operator is allowed to change settings and the SOP can only be changed after formal release by technical management and based on new insight. However the numeric value of each process parameter – like temperature, pressure, humidity etc. - is subject to an intrinsic (or normal) variation around the numeric value of the setting due to variation in the process system that is not captured in the technical control loops. This intrinsic variation is called Process Capability and within this process capability the outcome (quality and yield) is fully predictable – see Chart I.
In the case a Process is ‘out-of-control’ it is not predictable and consequently the quality and yield performance cannot achieve good levels. Therefore it is mandatory that a process is brought technically ‘’ In-Control” . When that is achieved, Process Control is to manage the process variation within the boundaries of its process capability. This means that when an operator observes that a parameter is moving outside its boundaries (control limits) of normal variation , this is an indication that something went wrong (special cause) causing the system moving out-of-control. When this happens the reaction of the operator should never be to change the process settings. Instead the operator should sort out the root cause of the disturbance and solve the problem so the system can go back within its boundaries. These corrective actions are normally defined in a so called Out of Control Action Plan (OCAP)
If we are not satisfied with the current performance of the process in terms of yield and quality, this only can be improved by technical innovation resulting in improved process settings and/or better control systems that reduce the intrinsic variation within the system. This with other words brings an improved Process Capability- see chart 3 below.
Within the theory of process control as explained above, Nitrotherm technology should be seen as a technical innovation to better control the spray painting process. This besides the physical benefits of Nitrotherm as explained in the introduction. As explained with Nitrotherm the paint carrier is changed from compressed air into Conditioned Nitrogen. By doing this two important improvements are achieved:
- The natural variation of the carrier parameters (Temperature, Pressure and Flow) is substantially reduced by the Nitrotherm unit. Moreover the Purity of the carrier is much higher (for example water and oil contamination is fully eliminated) and the carrier is provided with a pre-set Ionisation (or static electric charge).
- Operator (Human) is reduced as the Nitrotherm unit takes over the full control of the paint carrier medium.
These two elements will result in an overall much better controlled spray painting process which consequently brings an intrinsic higher yield and product quality. For this reason I see Nitrotherm technology as a real technical innovation in spray-painting that will become a future standard as paint-carrier medium in the many industries where spray-painting performance is of critical importance.
Former CEO of Perlos/Lite-On Mobile
October 26 2015, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to visit SDS Ventures
Jerry Fang, an experienced lawyer admitted in China and the United States, is set to join our advisory board.
Jerry Fang, an experienced lawyer admitted in China and the United States, will join SDS Venture as a senior advisor and sit on the advisory board as of August 1st 2015. Mr. Fang has previously supported SDS Venture’s clients in expanding their business in China.
Jerry Fang is a partner of Global Law Offices, a leading Chinese law firm with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, where he focuses on foreign direct investment, dispute resolution, compliance and government investigation, among others.
Jerry Fang has a deep understanding of doing business in China. Previously a Chinese judge, Mr. Fang deals regularly with Chinese governments, state-owned enterprises and private business. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, financial institutions, venture capital, start-ups and uprising technology companies.
Jerry Fang earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law, and LL.B. from East China University of Politics and Law. He also holds a diploma in finance.
At SDS Venture, Jerry Fang will support business negotiations, strategic matters and company structuring. In addition to this, Jerry also provides PRC legal support to SDS Venture’s clients.
July 20th, 2015 Tianjin. Eurosider (Tianjin) Coating Technology finalizes order from leading automotive equipment supplier
Eurosider (Tianjin) Coating Technology has finalized an order with listed company JiangNan Molding Group to supply its paint-saving and quality enhancing equipment to the company’s subsidiary Jiangyin Minghong Automotive Roof Systems Co,.Ltd. The agreement was signed after extensively testing and proving the Eurosiders technology. Eurosiders plug and play technology further reduces the environmental footprint of the company by reducing the consumption of chemicals and decreasing the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). At the same time, the system enhances cost effectiveness of the company’s painting lines. Both parties envisage that the agreement will lead to further co-operation in the near future.
JiangNan Molding Group is a leading innovative Chinese automotive equipment manufacturer supplying bumpers and other equipment to top tier automotive companies such as Audi, Great Wall, BMW, GAC and Volkswagen. It has previously led China’s automotive market by introducing new technologies on its plants.
Eurosider (Tianjin) Coating Technology is licensed by Eurosider SaS exclusively to employ Eurosider’s IP-protected Nitrotherm® technology for the Chinese and Vietnamese markets. Eurosider’s proven applications can achieve quantifiable efficiencies in material use and productivity as well as environmental savings. As such, it can offer clients better, faster, cheaper and more sustainable paint spray application. An important advantage is that the technology can be implemented on existing production lines, minimizing investment cost and down-time.
Hawk Hao郝海波 – General Manager
Eurosider (Tianjin) Coating Technology Co., Ltd. | Building 24, 1st floor, No.1 Huake 3rd Road, Huayuan Industrial Development Area, Tianjin, P.R. China 300384
优赛德（天津）喷涂技术有限公司 | 天津，华苑产业区，海泰华科三路1号，24号一层, 300384
Mobile/手机: +86 133 52017858 (China) | Tel: +86 (022)23778908 (fixed line) | Fax: +86 (022)83702919 | Email: email@example.com website: www.eurosider.com
November 07th, 2014 SDS Ventures Signs Agreement with EUROSIDER SaS on Innovative Spray Coating Technology
On November 07th, 2014 in Grosseto Italy, Eurosider SaS Founder/Director Ottavio Milli and SDS Ventures partner Cor Saris signed a comprehensive agreement contract for the establishment, funding and build-up of Eurosider (Tianjin) Coating Technology Company Limited in China.
Eurosider (Tianjin) Coating Technology Company Limited is licensed by Eurosider SaS exclusively to employ Eurosider’s IP-protected Nitrotherm® technology for the Chinese and Vietnamese markets. Eurosider’s proven applications can achieve quantifiable efficiencies in material use and productivity as well as environmental savings. As such, it can offer clients better, faster, cheaper and more sustainable paint spray application. An important advantage is that the technology can be implemented on existing production lines, minimizing investment cost and down-time.
Initially, customers will be targeted with coating applications in the transport & mobility, consumer electronics and furnishing markets. In the following months, the company will be further developed and equipped with state-of-the-art coating equipment. The local team will be expanded with technical and sales staff.
The mission of both parties is to build the leading provider of high quality finishing, cost efficient and eco-friendly spray coating technology in China. Nitrotherm® technology has revolutionized spray painting with an innovative method using nitrogen that offers high quality finishing and real saving in costs. Eurosider SaS has 40 years of experience, with a global reputation in the field of non-cryogenic industrial gas.
Ottavio Milli: “I am excited about the prospect of Eurosider’s technology being marketed in China on a large scale. Already our organization is working closely with the Chinese team to develop local technical support capabilities to support Chinese customers.” “We are delighted by jointly achieving this milestone” says Albert van Pabst, Founder and Managing director of SDS Ventures. “The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s largest paint and coating market, claiming approx. 42% of global demand in 2012. Within Asia, China accounts for more than half of this consumption and is projected to grow at a high and stable rate. As a result, industries consuming large quantities of paint & coating – such as automotive suppliers – will seek to use applications that optimize the consumption of resources.”
May 27, 2014 SDS Ventures signs collaboration with China Mining International Engineering Design Institute
On the 27th of May, SDS Ventures signed an agreement with China Mining Institute, regarding the implementation of resource efficient and environmental technologies in Chinese mining projects.
China Mining Institute is the leading Chinese institution in the area of engineering design of mining projects in areas such as coal, iron ore and limestone. The agreement was signed by President Zhang of China Mining Institute and Albert van Pabst, Director of SDS Ventures.
April 9, 2014 Coverage on Wuvio and SDS in US Media
Clean technology – Silver lining to China’s smog
Zoe Alsop, Special to CNBC.com, Wednesday, 9 Apr 2014 | 6:42 PM ET
ChinaFotoPress | ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
When they launched their dust control company, Wuvio, with Dutch partners in 2012, Albert van Lawick van Pabst and Rob te Braake arrived at the gates of coal-fueled power plants in China’s sooty Hebei Province lugging buckets of their products, giving demos and doing their best to drum up demand.
April 4, 2014 Investment completed by Hao International in Beijing Wuvio, arranged by SDS Ventures in close collaboration with the other co‐founders of Beijing Wuvio and Hao International.
Press Release – Hao International invests in Dust Prevention Company
On April 7th, 2014 Hao International, a China‐focused investment company completed its strategic investment in Beijing Wuvio Environmental Technology.
The investment entails a long‐term commitment of financial and strategic sources aimed at developing Beijing Wuvio into China’s leading dust‐prevention company. Beijing Wuvio Environmental Technology employs environmentally friendly products to combat dust emissions in iron, coal harbors, industrial storage facilities, construction sites and waste management processes.
The company, which entered the Chinese market in 2012, is an affiliate of Wuvio Chemicals International, a leading European dust prevention company based in the Netherlands. Its cost-effective products replace conventional methods, which often involve high capital investment, unresolved dust emissions and large scale waste of scarce water resources.
The announcement coincides with a period of unrivalled air‐pollution expanding across China caused by continuous industrialization and urban construction. This development has the potential to make a major impact on fugitive dust emissions and mitigate harmful effects on population health.
According to Mr. Liu, Chairman of Hao International, and Wuvio‐founder Mr. Hagen:
“Wuvio’s technology will make a huge contribution to reduce air pollution in China and surpass the Government’s objective to mitigate fine‐dust emissions by 25% by 2017 in major cities.”
The strategic partnership was arranged by SDS Ventures, a Beijing‐based environmental technology firm, in close collaboration with the other co‐founders of Beijing Wuvio and Hao International.
March 27, 2014 Energy collaboration agreement extended between Netherlands and China during visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
March 25, 2014 SDS Ventures meet with Dutch Prime Minister. After the seminar, the official report “Greening the Chinese Coal Sector” was offered to Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte by founder and co-founder of SDS Ventures, Albert van Lawick van Pabst and Rob te Braake.
March 23, 2014 Seminar in Beijing, China
On 15 November 2013 SDS Ventures organized a seminar in Beijing on the Chinese coal sector at the Dutch Embassy. The event focused on sustainable solutions and technologies for China’s massive coal sector. The seminar concluded a research project commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. The seminar was attended by more than 50 CEO’s, CTO’s, managers and researchers from organizations such as Shell, China Mining University, China Energy Saving Company, Wuvio China, ECN, CWT, China Coal and Technology Group. The event resulted in concrete follow-up in the areas water treatment, coal gasification, dust prevention, granulation technology, emissions-monitoring and on-site testing-laboratories. For more information on this project feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org