BMC-M Bachmann Modular Cell for Automated Masking

The first masking cell on the market.



The majority of parts undergoing surface treatment like coatings, blasting, stripping etc. are being masked to protect certain areas from the treatment.

Masking was and is still done by applying mechanical protection e.g. sheet metal, protective tape, silicon caps, waxes or paints. Obviously, the masking must be removed after the surface treatment is done. To date, 99% of masking are applied manually by skilled labor.

The development of a new generation of UV curable polymers opened the way to mechanized / robotic application of masking, with all the advantages involved.

At bachmann engineering ag in Zofingen, Switzerland we have developed robotized solutions for automated masking, readily available in form of closed cells, conforming to CE regulations. Our cells are compatible with all other Bachmann modules e.g. Stacker module, Feed module etc., allowing for streamlined manufacturing.

Bachmann ModularCell-Masking (BMC-M)

Fully automated masking cell for highest requirements and flexible programming


Masking, step 4/4: Sandblasting Masking, step 3/4: BFM Masking, step 2/4: BMC Masking, step 1/4: BFS

The Bachmann ModularCell-Masking (BMC-M) is a fully automated masking cell with the following features and functions:

  • High quality (precision and repeatability)
  • Flexible programming
  • Depending on the geometry of the parts that need masking and the specific needs of the customer a wide range of dispensing units can be used
  • The automated masking cell can be used as a stand-alone solution or be integrated in a fully automated production line (linked cells). Thus it is possible to process small- and large-scale series with the same automated cell.
  • Space-saving: the required space for the complete cell is less than 2.5m2
  • Compact, self-supporting and solid unit. Thanks to this construction the precision required by the masking process can also be attained when the robot is operated at high rates.
  • The call can be individually equipped with a broad range of robots and periphery hardware. It can also be extended with modules like the feeding module BFM (Bachmann FeedMaster) and the stacking module BFS (Bachmann FeedStacker). Thus the cell can be customized and easily adapted to future needs (change of product, modification of processes, and increase of autonomy).
  • The cell is controlled by means of the process control system BFH (Bachmann FlexHandling) that has been tested over many years.
  • Data exchange with PPS systems or quality control and traceability are feasible at any time
  • Cell can be moved with a pallet truck. Weight of the cell (depending on the configuration): about 1.7t
  • Self-contained safety cell in accordance with the current machine directives. CE-certified construction. In the case of linked cells an installation declaration in accordance with CE is given to the customer.


Dokumentation Dokumentation Dokumentation
BMC-M (full video)

Bachmann Modular Cell for Automated Masking


Dokumentation Dokumentation
Automated Masking (Presentation at HANNOVER MESSE 2015)

Replacing tapes, sheet metal, thimbles and waxes with UV curing polymers

BMC-M Bachmann Modular Cell for Automated Masking

The development of a new generation of UV curable polymers opened the way to mechanized / robotic application of masking, with all the advantages involved.

BMC – Bachmann ModularCell, System Overview

Modular Automation Cell for Highest Requirements




Manual masking




Glass reinforced sticky tape

Cost effective; applicable on demand; flexible adaptation to different shapes; withstands blasting and thermal spray (not HVOF LF)

Limited accuracy, depending on skill; not adequate for complex shapes, cavities or very small areas; not compatible with galvanic or chemical processes


Pre-fabricated silicon / polyurethane caps

Adequate for complex forms with a single cap; faster application than tape

Accuracy dependent on operator’s skill; good for 10 to 20 cycles only; no flexibility – fits one shape;


Pre-fabricated sheet metal covers

High resistance to blasting/ thermal spray including HVOF LF;

Only adequate for blasting and TS;  shadow effect must be considered; requires mechanical fixation; will not produce a clean edge; good only for limited number of cycled if not refurbished;


Grease, wax

Can be applied by brush to large areas; adequate for chemical and galvanic processes

Not adequate for TS; not applicable to small and accurate features; removal of wax can be difficult

Automated masking




UV curable polymer, e.g. Dymax SpeedMask

The use of liquid UV curable polymer allows controlled dispensing and “writing” of any shape and size masking with high accuracy by servo controlled, programmable robotic equipment; high accuracy and repeatability are given; excellent edge definition and adhesion; adequate for very complex contours and small features; easy to remove; adequate for many processes e.g. blasting, TS, galvanic and chemical; adequate for large batches in mass production; allows in line and real time QC and data logging / traceability

Requires initial investment in equipment; contours and features to be masked must be pre-programmed (high skill level)

Masking: Abdecken schnell und auf den Millimeter genau

Masking: Abdecken schnell und auf den Millimeter genau

Automatisierte Maskierzellen bieten deutliche wirtschaftliche und qualitative Vorteile.



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