Contact your Air Power Account Manager today!
Contact your Air Power Account Manager today!
Air Power Technical Specialist James Stanley demonstrates the capabilities of an Ingersoll Rand InsightQC Controller paired with a FlexArm Smart Arm with DOGA DPC Touchscreen allowing the operator to enter sequence patterns quickly and efficiently. Visit us at airpower-usa.com or call us at 1(800) 334-1001 to hear more about this system!
The P3 All-Around Pneumatic Level Loader improves the efficiency of manual pallet loading and unloading jobs by eliminating bending, stretching, and walking around the pallet while carrying heavy loads.
Load and unload pallets without stooping, stretching, or walking. The P3-All Around Pneumatic Load Leveler automatically maintains pallets at a constant level and comfortable working height as layers of boxes are added or removed.
Leveling is accomplished by a heavy-duty, reinforced rubber airbag that can handle loads up to 4500 lbs. After airbag charging with shop air is complete, the P3 All Around can be disconnected and moved to any location in the plant. Because the P3 is pneumatic, it can accommodate loads that vary substantially in weight (from 400 – 4500 lbs.) so one unit is versatile enough to work in several areas.
A turntable top with easy turning anti-friction bearings allow users to spin loads so they are always working from the near side without having to walk around the unit.
Manufacturing facilities utilize various types of coatings, some of which are two component paint. These formulas must be mixed properly in order to properly adhere and perform in the field as designed. This case study highlights a solution that allowed the customer to maintain tight paint ratios, minimize waste, and remove hand mixing from the process.
A leading manufacture within the truck and bus industry located in North Carolina.
This truck and bus manufacturing facility has multiple paint booths due to their high volume, high quality, and high standards associated with the paint application. They use a two component primer and paint, and have to maintain automotive quality finish on their production line. The main paint line utilizes a Graco Proportioning System to dispense on ratio paint to operator; however the offline paint repair/touch up facility still relied on manually mixing (or “hot potting”). Hot potting tended to be very wasteful as the paint mixed wasn’t always sprayed prior to gelling, or the two parts were mixed off ratio causing imperfections within the finish aesthetics and quality. Due to hot potting the general work area was considered “messy” as operators were physically hand mixing paint and catalyst out of drums.
Air Power in partnership with Graco, proposed a solution utilizing the Graco ProDispense platform of product. This proportioning solution allows the offline operators to mix exactly how much they need for each application on ratio every time. There is no guesswork when it comes to material being mixed or how much is needed, and the work area is self-contained with little to no mess. The offline paint process has become streamlined as the paint operator only has to know how much paint he needs (in liters) and what color. They select the desired paint volume and color from a custom touch screen user interface. Once selected the exact amount is dispensed and mixed into the paint applicator. The operator then removes the paint applicator and performs the associated painting task.
Operators are no longer mixing paint by hand. This alone has saved the company time and money due to costly mistakes associated with the hand mixing process. The waste output has been reduced due to the ability to accurately and repeatedly meter, mix, and dispense the exact volume of paint in which the operator needs on time and on ratio. Aesthetically the workspace is much cleaner. An added benefit to management is the ability to now view, track, and have visibility of paint usage, due to the ProDispense reporting capabilities, within an application which historically has had none. Allowing for better ontime tracking, shipment, and forecasting.
Graco’s ProDispense is a cost-effective and user-friendly electronic system that dispenses preset amounts of fluids. The ProDispense system allows durable goods manufacturers to quickly and accurately fill cavities with oil, grease, water, or other industrial fluids in assembly line environments where accurate dispensing is essential. ProDispense can deliver up to eight different fluids at multiple dispense points, and accurately measure volume.
The optimal cure time at Gatormade Trailers was not being achieved by the current curing method. This was most evident on their largest parts as denoted within the oven temperature profile. Air Power in conjunction with Heraeus discussed the opportunity and determined that a pre-heat booster oven solution could potential eliminate the challenges observed onsite. Heraeus conducted trials in which proved successful and installation of the provided system was streamlined; minimizing production downtime. This solution is modular, allowing for future expansion, should GatorMade Trailers process and production rates deem necessary. Check out the complete Case Study to learn more about pre-heat and booster oven solutions that Air Power has to offer.
Gatormade Trailers is a company that prides itself on ‘Big Quality, Big Service & Big Value’. Based in Somerset, Kentucky, the company operates from a 300,000 sq ft factory and manufactures a wide range of trailers from small utility up to their 53 ft long Gooseneck trailer. The company has a policy of constant progress and improvement in all aspects of their business to ensure their products always exceed customer expectations.
In 2011, Gatormade Trailers stepped up the heat and invested in a custom built, in-house powder coating facility. Consisting of a 70 ft convection oven, running at 600oF (316oC), it helped the company transform the manufacturing side of the business. They now had full measure over their powder coating and curing processes. This provided a perfect waypoint to drive further quality improvements on an already great product. The heaviest part that they put through the oven weighed in at 9000 lbs and measured 53 ft long. To achieve the required quality of finish, they found that the line speed required slowing from 3 fpm to almost a standstill. This was the only way to ensure that the powder flowed correctly and gave a consistent gloss. But, this ‘Big’ slow down in production was not acceptable to a company with ‘Big’ values and a growing order book. They needed to find a way to get their line speed back up to 3 fpm and still maintain a high quality finish.
Gatormade Trailers got in touch with finishing systems integrator, Air Power Manufacturing Solutions (based in High Point NC), who suggested a Pre Gel Gas Catalytic IR oven from Heraeus-Vulcan Catalytic. Heraeus’ engineers came up with a ‘Big’ solution, a giant, 3-section, 36 heater solution! The heating profile of each section is controlled by a PLC control system which enables different profiles to be created and stored for different product sizes. Each program can be called up as required. During production breaks the complete oven can be switched to a ‘low fire’ condition, which reduces the power output to a minimum, but still maintains the ability to ramped up to the desired output within 60 seconds. This is one of the key features of Heraeus’ ovens and helps to reduce the overall energy consumption.
This Gas Catalytic IR pre-gel oven was placed directly in front of the convection oven, together with a 8′ (2.5m) vestibule. The aim of this configuration is to use the natural characteristics of Infrared to raise the temperature of the powder extremely quickly to the point where it starts to gel. Remember, IR is absorbed very quickly by the powder, and does not require the complete part to heated up to the gelling temperature. By the time the part is leaving the pre-gel oven the powder is at the gel stage. The part then enters the convection oven for the final cure. This process now takes considerably less time and uses less energy.
The addition of a Gas Catalytic IR pre-gel oven to the existing convection oven has transformed the finishing line. They have solved the problem of curing powder on the largest parts. The system also works on every part that goes through, which adds further savings. The production increase of 16%, and reduction in energy costs will ensure a very short ‘payback’ period on the investment. This is expected to be around 18 months.
This customer manufactures underground boring equipment for gas and water lines. They used “hot potting” or manually mix 2 paint components to spray two colors: yellow and black.
This company has one booth for top coating and would manually mix the black and yellow paints. It took well over an hour to change out the colors. The parts being fabricated were staged all over the plant waiting to be painted. Due to backlog and space contingencies, some items were stored outside. Rainy days would slow down the process even more.
Air Power’s solution recommended using a Graco Promix 2KE with gun flush box and using drum pumps they already had. Mixing on demand out of a 55-gallon drum of each component, improved the ability to change colors in less time than it takes to bring a new part to be coated.
Dispense Robot Solution
Our Engineering Department at Air Power, Inc. turned a FANUC robot arm into this automated fluid dispense system.
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Here is a demonstration of how the 4 Spindle DC Electric Fastening System works.
RTV window sealant dispense by six axis robot