Abstract

Reproducibility is a current challenge for the thermal spray industry. Reproducibility associated problems represent a large cost every year not only in terms of rejections and rework, but also in costs for destructive testing and decreased production flow. Thermal spray coatings are moving in the direction of being considered only as a "band aid" to becoming a design element. One of the prerequisites for such a development is an increase in reproducibility for thermal spray coatings. The purpose of this paper is to outline a vision aiming in the direction of a future "ultimate spray booth", where thermal spraying is as reproducible and reliable as machining, grinding or other production processes. A way to increase reproducibility and reliability in the future spray shop involves utilising major parts of IT - technology. This also includes active co-operation design-production in the pre-spray process. This paper will deal with areas such as: operation drawings and lists through multimedia techniques, education programs for operators and designers through multimedia techniques, CAD/CAM, Off-line programming and simulation, On-line diagnostics of flame (particle diagnostics) and coating (temperature & Acoustic emission measurements), on-line Statistical Process Control and Knowledge Based System techniques.

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