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Eurautomat ensures it's game over for electrostatic discharge in gaming machines

Eurautomat wanted to find an antistatic coating to eliminate electrostatic discharges in its gaming machines, teaming up with Sirris for this purpose.

Eurautomat has been developing and manufacturing gambling and games machines ranging from pinball to slot machines, as well as the associated automation systems, for the Belgian market since the 1970s. Electrostatic discharges can stop the electronics in these machines working properly and so mess up a game. This company, based near the Belgian city of Aalst, called in Sirris to put paid to this problem.

 

  • To eliminate electrostatic discharges in games machines, Eurautomat was looking out for a permanent antistatic coating to treat the playing surface.
  • Sirris studied various types of coating and decided on the two main contenders, subsequently optimizing them for spray coating.
  • After a comparative study, an antistatic coating was produced that easily meets and even surpasses the other requirements on Eurautomat's checklist.

 

In Erembodegem near Aalst (Belgium), Eurautomat manufactures gambling and gaming machines and automation systems. The company is also responsible for the whole development process, from the mechanics to the electronics through to the software. Eurautomat also has in-house experts for the creative dimension – such as graphic design and creating jingles for the machines.

Sirris carried out extensive tests to identify and optimize a coating that is not only antistatic but checks all the boxes in terms of longevity, transparency, gloss, and roughness.

Antistatic coating

When the ball in a pinball machine or another type of gaming machine moves over the playing surface, it gradually builds up a charge and may cause an electrostatic discharge. Wanting to deal with this issue, Eurautomat decided to try and find a permanent coating that could be applied to the playing field. However, this anti-static layer needed to retain the existing properties of the playing surface in terms of transparency, gloss, roughness, and durability.

From research to optimization

The Sirris team investigated which coatings met all these requirements. This research revealed two types: one based on polymers, and the other on conductive oxides. We then optimized these coating products, so that they could be applied with a spray and would adhere to the gaming machines' playing surface. Finally, we subjected some coated surfaces to extensive testing in our analysis laboratory.

The acid test

On the basis of these tests, the Sirris team recommended the conductive oxides to Eurautomat as its ideal coating. Not only are these antistatic but they also meet all the other requirements on the checklist, from transparency to gloss through to roughness. And that's not all: the durability of the test surface is even greater than before. As a final acid test, a whole gaming surface was coated and compared at Eurautomat with other coating solutions. The verdict was that the surface coated by Sirris was better than the alternative.