Canadian Finishing and Coatings Manufacturing


February 18, 2023


AkzoNobel Virtual RealityAkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings has partnered American Airlines to deliver a new way of training apprentice painters, and upskilling existing teams, through the use of a Virtual Reality (VR) technology that is significantly more efficient and sustainable than the airline’s previous training regimes.

The VR platform mimics a customer’s production environment and multiple coating systems to train teams virtually. A VR headset immerses the American Airlines’ trainee in a virtual paint booth, completed with the aircraft part to be coated. 

The system can be programmed with various paint specifications, such as the thickness of the coating required, and as the operator uses the spray gun, they can see whether too much or too little paint is used and look for inconsistencies in the way the coating is being applied.

Meanwhile, the operator's core skills are measured, from setting up the spraying session to the distance, angle, and speed at which the gun is used. The feedback is immediate, so trainees can react quickly and change their technique to become more consistent. It shows where runs and sags occur, or where the wet film thickness is not sufficient or the coverage inadequate to deliver a smooth finish. It also helps them avoid common problems such as paint overlap.

For American Airlines, a very specific part of the aircraft—a nose landing gear cylinder—was programmed into the system. A cohort of 13 painters of varying abilities were then encouraged to spray the part, without a single drop of real paint being used.

Terry Lesperance of American Airlines describes the AkzoNobel VR solution as an efficient and safe way of training his team. “In a spray booth, we’d have to spray the primer, then let it dry, then measure the results to see how they did—all of which takes time. If we were training 13 painters, we’d also have to have 13 nose landing gear cylinders available to paint,” he said. “With VR, we don’t have any of these challenges. I can train more painters, more quickly, and allow them to make mistakes without it costing me anything.”

AkzoNobel’s Technical Services team supported Lesperance with the training, physically suiting up and using the booth to share their experience and their technique with American Airlines’ new painters. Even for experienced painters, there are real benefits: a painter may have been using a polyurethane paint and need to switch to a Teflon paint or use a paint with a different mix that may be heavier or lighter, and all of this can be programmed into the system to replicate the experience in the spray booth.

Matthew Amick, global technical services manager at AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings says that the integration of VR into American Airlines’ training regimen is an example of how it is supporting its customers with meaningful, practical help.

“Typically, when a customer asks for training, we have to provide significant quantities of paint, much of which is wasted,” said Amick. “By effectively moving the spray booth into the classroom, we completely eliminate waste, reduce costs and unnecessary shipping, and prevent Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from being released. There are also no costs associated with cleaning the spray guns, or the additional VOCs releases from the solvents required, or providing the panels needed for wet paint training.”

Lesperance will be looking at training more of his team in 2023, with AkzoNobel in support.

Originally trialled at AkzoNobel’s training centre in Troy, Michigan, several portable units are now available for use at a customer’s own premises.

Product News

  • Prev
Paul N. Gardner USA has introduced a new offering that measures the concentration of soluble salts ...
SATA has released its new QMR (Quick Material Regulator) for application processes that require ...
A new range of Interpon A1243 powder coatings is focused on trending colours to protect and enhance ...
Hendor has expanded its sustainable product line with its MXH series of magnetic drive pumps that ...
Sames North America has launched an evolution of the current SFlow Airless gun—the new SFlow ...
Gerdau Graphene,a nanotechnology company developing advanced graphene-enhanced materials for ...
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is pushing the boundaries of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy ...
Gema's new high-powered duo of advanced precision technologies, the high-load ZA16 Vertical ...
Tolsa SA, based in Madrid, a leading global supplier of specialized additives for the paints and ...
PPG recently announced the launch of its SEMCO sealant removal, mixing and application kit, a ...

CFCM slingpsychrometer 400Paul N. Gardner USA, global distributors, producers, and designers of quality physical and inspection instruments for the paint, coatings, and related industries, has introduced a new offering: The compact, portable Sling Psychrometer.

As an easy way to measure relative humidity levels quickly, this uniquely compact Bacharach Sling Psychrometer accurately determines per cent relative humidity without the necessity of consulting complex tables. There is no need to wet the wick each time a reading is taken, and it contains a slide rule calculator which correlates wet and dry bulb thermometer indications for direct reading of relative humidity. When not in use, the thermometer case telescopes into the handle for protection.

The Sling Psychrometer consists of two thermometers that are turned by vigorously swinging the handle and exposing the thermometers to rapid air movement. These two thermometers are called dry bulb and wet bulb. The bulb of one thermometer is placed in direct contact with the room air to measure dry-bulb air temperature. The bulb of the other thermometer is covered with a silk or muslin sleeve that is kept moist to record the wet bulb temperature. Evaporation cools the wet bulb more than the dry bulb, and the humidity is obtained as a function of change in temperature. The atmospheric humidity is determined by calculations, steam tables, or using a psychrometric chart.  

Kerrwil Media Limited

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2023 All rights reserved
Funded by the Government of Canada | Finance par le gouvernement du Canada
Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil.