PaintJet, a Tennessee-based startup, is transforming the exterior painting industry with its fleet of remote-controlled robots and modular robotics technology.
With a shortage of skilled labor in the painting industry, PaintJet has emerged as a game-changer. Founded by CEO Nick Hegeman and co-founders Steve Wasilowski and Sonia Chacko, the startup aims to meet the growing demand for painting services by utilizing robotics. By combining modular robotics with existing equipment, PaintJet has developed an innovative solution that allows for efficient and precise painting of large buildings and ships. This article explores how PaintJet’s technology works, its impact on the industry, and its plans for expansion.
Engineering a Pragmatic Solution
Unlike other companies in the industry, PaintJet takes a practical approach to engineering its robots. Instead of developing complex humanoid robots or autonomous wall crawlers, the team at PaintJet focused on studying the existing equipment used in challenging painting jobs. They analyzed the processes involved in painting the exteriors of warehouses and data centers, which often require reaching great heights and covering large surface areas.
Based on their research, PaintJet devised a solution that involves building modular robotics that can be attached to a lift, commonly referred to as a “cherry picker,” which is commonly used in construction. By utilizing this existing equipment, PaintJet was able to minimize costs and maximize efficiency. The PaintJet system is affixed to the basket of the lift, and it includes cameras that scan the surface of the building to be painted. This scanning capability allows for precise and efficient painting, ensuring that every inch of the surface is covered evenly.
To operate the PaintJet system, operators on the ground control the lift and the end effectors using a remote control. This remote control allows for easy maneuverability and precise positioning of the robots. The operators can monitor the painting process in real-time through the cameras, ensuring that the desired results are achieved.
One of the key advantages of PaintJet’s approach is its adaptability. The modular robotics can be easily attached to different types of lifts, making it possible to use the system for various painting projects. This flexibility allows PaintJet to cater to a wide range of clients and painting needs, from small buildings to large ships.
In addition to the innovative use of robotics, PaintJet also focuses on minimizing the amount of paint used while still achieving high-quality results. The precise application of paint by the robots results in approximately 25% less paint being used compared to traditional methods. This not only reduces costs for customers but also minimizes the use of toxic chemicals found in some paints, contributing to a more environmentally friendly approach.
Overall, PaintJet’s pragmatic approach to engineering its robots, combined with its focus on efficiency and sustainability, sets it apart from other companies in the industry. By utilizing existing equipment and developing modular robotics, PaintJet is able to offer an end-to-end service that provides precise and efficient painting solutions for a wide range of clients. With its innovative technology and plans for expansion, PaintJet is poised to revolutionize the painting industry.
An End-to-End Service
PaintJet’s technology has revolutionized the painting industry by offering a comprehensive service that covers every aspect of the painting process. Unlike other companies that simply sell or rent out their robots, PaintJet takes full responsibility for the entire process, from start to finish. This means that customers can rely on PaintJet to handle everything, from the initial assessment to the final touches.
One of the key advantages of PaintJet’s system is its versatility when it comes to paint selection. While the robots can work with any commercially available paint, PaintJet also produces and sells its own line of paints. This allows the company to ensure that the paints used in their machines are of the highest quality and specifically formulated for optimal performance. By controlling the paint selection, PaintJet can guarantee consistent and excellent results for every project.
In addition to providing a wide range of paint options, PaintJet is also committed to minimizing waste and environmental impact. One of the company’s primary objectives is to reduce the amount of paint used while still achieving exceptional results. Through the precise application of paint by the robots, PaintJet has been able to achieve a remarkable 25% reduction in paint usage compared to traditional methods. This not only translates to cost savings for customers but also has a significant positive impact on the environment by minimizing the use of toxic chemicals found in some paints.
Furthermore, PaintJet’s technology offers a multitude of benefits beyond cost savings and environmental considerations. For example, the exterior paints used on buildings can include insulating properties, resulting in energy savings for heating and cooling. This means that customers who choose to repaint their buildings using PaintJet’s services can expect to see a substantial 9% reduction in HVAC-related energy costs. This not only contributes to a greener and more sustainable future but also leads to significant long-term savings for building owners.
The versatility of PaintJet’s robotic painting system extends beyond buildings. The technology can also be applied to large ships, where it can efficiently apply anti-fouling agents to prevent the attachment of mollusks to the boat’s bottom. This is crucial for maintaining fuel efficiency, as a rough bottom surface can lead to a staggering 40% loss in fuel economy. By utilizing PaintJet’s system, ship owners can ensure that their vessels remain in optimal condition, reducing fuel consumption and ultimately saving costs.
Overall, PaintJet’s end-to-end service, commitment to high-quality paints, waste reduction, and diverse applications make it a leader in the painting industry. The company’s innovative approach to engineering and dedication to customer satisfaction set it apart from its competitors. Whether it’s painting buildings or ships, PaintJet’s technology offers unparalleled precision, efficiency, and environmental responsibility.
Efficiency and Cost Savings
PaintJet’s innovative use of robotics in the exterior painting industry goes beyond just reducing costs and minimizing the use of toxic chemicals. The technology offers numerous benefits to its customers. For example, the exterior paints used on buildings can now include insulating properties, resulting in energy savings for heating and cooling. By using PaintJet’s services, customers who repaint their buildings can see a significant 9% reduction in HVAC-related energy costs. This not only provides cost savings but also contributes to a more sustainable and energy-efficient environment.
Furthermore, PaintJet’s robotic painting system is not limited to buildings alone. The startup has expanded its services to include large ships as well. The robotic painters can apply anti-fouling agents to the ship’s bottom, preventing the attachment of mollusks and other marine organisms. This not only helps to maintain the aesthetics of the ship but also plays a crucial role in maintaining its fuel efficiency. A rough bottom surface can lead to a staggering 40% loss in fuel economy. By utilizing PaintJet’s robotic painting system, ship owners can ensure that their vessels maintain optimal fuel efficiency, resulting in significant cost savings and reduced environmental impact.
The success of PaintJet’s technology has attracted the attention of investors and positioned the startup for future growth and expansion. With its ambitious plans to build and deploy more robot painters, PaintJet aims to tap into the quarter-trillion-dollar exterior painting industry. The startup has already secured grant funding from 757 Accelerate and early-stage venture funding from MetaProp, Dynamo Ventures, and Pathbreaker. This financial support, combined with the company’s novel technology and ability to exceed customer expectations, further solidifies PaintJet’s position as a leader in the industry.
, PaintJet’s innovative use of robotics in the exterior painting industry goes beyond just revolutionizing the way buildings and ships are painted. The company’s technology offers significant benefits to its customers, such as energy savings for buildings and improved fuel efficiency for ships. With its plans for expansion and a growing customer base, PaintJet is well-positioned to make a significant impact in the painting industry and beyond.
Expanding Within the Industry
While PaintJet’s early customers have primarily been construction companies and real estate developers, the startup has ambitious plans for expansion. CEO Sarah Hegeman envisions the exterior painting industry as a quarter-trillion-dollar market and is determined to build and deploy more robot painters to meet the growing demand. The company’s goal is to double or even triple its headcount over the next year, allowing them to take on larger projects and serve a wider customer base.
To support its growth plans, PaintJet has successfully secured grant funding from 757 Accelerate, a renowned startup accelerator, as well as early-stage venture funding from prominent investors such as MetaProp, Dynamo Ventures, and Pathbreaker. These investments are a testament to the startup’s innovative technology and its ability to exceed customer expectations.
PaintJet’s novel approach to exterior painting using robotics has attracted attention not only from customers but also from industry experts and investors. By combining modular robotics with existing equipment, the startup has developed a pragmatic solution that addresses the labor shortage in the industry. The precise application of paint by the robot painters not only reduces costs for customers but also minimizes the use of toxic chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
With its plans for expansion and a growing customer base, PaintJet is poised to make a significant impact in the painting industry and beyond. By revolutionizing the way large buildings and ships are painted, the startup is not only transforming the industry but also contributing to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. As more customers experience the benefits of PaintJet’s technology, the startup’s influence is likely to expand further, solidifying its position as a leader in the field.