Success Story with Arcelik Group
The Turkish group of companies significantly improves its production with the use of atmospheric plasma technology: The Openair-Plasma application from the world market leader Plasmatreat GmbH automates process steps, increases the quality of the end products and protects the environment. From baking ovens and coffee machines to LED TV sets, Arçelik now relies on plasma technology from Plasmatreat in its production.
The renowned brands Arçelik, Altus, Arctic, beko, Blomberg, Elektra Bregenz, Flavel, Grundig, Defy, Dawlance and Leisure are united under the umbrella of the listed Turkish manufacturer Arçelik A.Ş.. In their countries of origin, they are leaders in the white goods, small appliances for bathrooms and kitchens or consumer electronics segments. The Group has 28 production sites in nine countries and sells its products in 150 countries worldwide. The household appliance and consumer electronics manufacturer is involved in numerous initiatives relating to greater environmental and climate protection and is committed to continuously improving its processes in terms of efficiency and environmental compatibility through its research and development.
Alternative sought to environmentally harmful manual process
Since 2010, the Group has been using Plasmatreat's innovative Openair-Plasma technology in the production of stoves and ovens. Here, for example, epoxy-coated profiles have to be provided with 2-component silicone adhesives in order to be bonded to the oven doors. For this purpose, the epoxy coating of the profiles was previously pretreated with a chemical adhesion promoter (primer) - an environmentally harmful, cost-intensive and slow process that sometimes led to quality problems because it was carried out manually. Arçelik was looking for a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative.
Successful conversion and expansion to further applications
Plasmatreat's atmospheric plasma technology offered the right solution: during ultra-fine cleaning with Openair-Plasma, surfaces are gently and safely freed from release agents and additives. When plasma with its high energy level comes into contact with materials, the surface properties change: Plasma activation increases the surface energy and enables or strengthens the subsequent adhesion of adhesives and coatings. For the pretreatment of the oven door profiles at Arçelik, an Openair-Plasma nozzle PFW10 from Plasmatreat is used, which wets only selected surfaces of a workpiece (e.g. an adhesive groove) with high contour precision and selectivity. In the case of furnace production, treatment of a surface 10 mm wide is carried out at a speed of 400 mm/s and is performed by a three-axis robot. The plasma application increases the surface energy of the substrate up to 70 mN/m.
Numerous advantages from the process changeover
The switch to Openair-Plasma technology delivered convincing results: Arçelik was able to significantly improve the quality of its furnaces as a result. The pretreatment of the bonding surfaces ensures a reliable bond between the profiles and the furnace doors. This reduces scrap in production as well as costs. The previous manual process is now replaced by inline pretreatment. Automation speeds up the overall process and increases production. In addition, the plasma application is a much more environmentally friendly process than the use of chemical adhesion promoter. Arçelik was highly satisfied with the new technology, initially extending it to other processes in oven, hearth and hood production. Gradually, the group also used it in other production facilities for a wide variety of products and materials - from dishwashers and tumble dryers to consumer electronics such as LED TV sets.