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Robotics Special Applications & Grupo SEM develops low cost paint robot

Robot for the surface coating of large conical-frustum structures.

The product offers a solution to de problems derived from using paint with a high Zn content and ceramic epoxies in coating systems. Also develops a robotic system adapted to the necessities of wind towers, which enables a fast amortization based in the paint and energy savings.

The major advantage over the other robotized solution that co-exists in the market is that Roboticssa solution can be implemented in the painting cabins already existing for manual painting. It has been developed to operate efficiently with the already existing paint cabins. The other robotized solution in the market requires the building of a painting cabin specifically designed for automated painting, which is more expensive and in many cases, just not possible.

The worldwide wind turbine industry can look forward to an extremely flexible, efficient and precise employee with the annual capacity of several hundred wind turbine towers. The newly developed paint robot from Robotics Special Applications & Grupo SEM sets new standards for quality, environmental consideration and safety at work in the industry for surface treatment of the towers for wind turbines.

Quality improvement for Towers

Coating and painting involves applying several coatings and layers of paint to isolate the steel structure from the environment. This process is commonly done manually. However a manual process in a large structure is guaranteed to leave “weak points” in the layer composition that can not be either avoided or identified easily. This is especially relevant in the base and the top of the wind tower and in the joints between tower sections.

Paints a tower in less than an hour

The robot, the software and the steering have been developed in cooperation between Robotics Special Applications & Grupo SEM PARKER Hannifin from USA has supplied the robot ic component. The robot can paint a tower section of 35 meters in less than one hour. The quality and application time are significantly better than what even the best-skilled industrial painter can do manually. And the robot works more environmentally friendly than its predecessor in the job, the human.

Enhanced throughput

The operation of the robots can either be programmed or manually operated by a trained worker. In either case, the production times are shorter, much predictable and less prone to accidents or quality defects. This in turns translates into more pieces processed per day than with a traditional manual process. Therefore implementing a robotized painting solution translates in a higher capital utilization for the client not only for this part of the process, but of the whole plant (whenever the painting process is the bottleneck process of the operation)

Incremental investment over current status, rather than revamping

The painting process requires 3 steps: preparation, painting and drying, either with a manual or robotized solution.

The preparation  involves cleaning and sanding of the steel structure in order to make its surface rough and facilitate the layer paint adherence.

The coating, painting and drying is done inside a painting cabin, which is isolated from the outside environment. The dimensions of the painting cabin are typically small in order to keep a stable environment during the painting and the drying of the parts. Several layers of paint are applied on the prepared part, either manually or automatically.

However, Robotics Special Applications & Grupo SEM solution is designed to be installed and operate within the space limits of a cabin designed for a manual painting. Therefore (unlike the other robotized painting solution in the market) it does not require the construction of a new cabin designed for automatic painting.

Robotics Special Applications & Grupo SEM Proprietary Technology features


  • Fully automatic.
  • Flexible, reconfigurable to any model of blades/towers.
  • Greater precision in the processes, improves the finish of blades/towers.
  • Clean and environmentally friendly.
  • Therefore complies with the standards of safety and health at work.
  • No risk, No manual processes.
  • High productivity.
  • Low maintenance cost.
  • Low cost of operation.
  • Fast payback compared to manual systems.
  • Enables traceability.
  • Provides analytical data.