In this case study, Air Power builds a custom fluid supply system to manage material delivery.
The customer’s current fluid supply system utilized flow meters and fluid regulators to manage material delivery to two spray applicators on an automatic flat line. This process was a valid solution when it was developed, but now presents concerns in maintenance and flow validation, especially in the warmer months that caused a decrease in viscosity. Additionally, spray patterns were managed from the back of the guns and the majority of the time were set wide open causing additional overspray (filter usage and material waste). The current fluid supply system is delivering approximately 17-18 oz. of fluid/min, while a more ideal flow rate would be 11-12 oz/min to achieve the desired 1.5 mil build required.
Air Power Solution
Air Power developed a solution based on the customer’s desires for a more efficient flow-controlled system that also provided a streamlined process for the management of each product’s dimensional spec.
The system is based around a closed loop Graco PD1K unit, utilizing two 70cc positive displacement pumps (replacing the existing AODD pumps) to control the flow and pressure to each gun on the flat line. This eliminates the added validation and maintenance of fluid meters and fluid regulators, while providing a more accurate delivery of material.
All management of the system (flow rates, fluid pressure, atomizing air, fan patterns) will be controlled through an Allen Bradley PLC allowing us to set “recipes” for each product coated and maximizing efficiencies with minimal operator involvement. The design of the proposed spray applicators removed the fan adjustment on the back of the guns, eliminating any temptation for operator interference. This also ensured the pattern is adjusted for each part correctly. The automation of the fan pattern is critical to the successful reduction in overspray.
This package solution includes the tearing out of old equipment, implementation of the new system, integration, start-up, and training of the operators.