Ingersoll Rand Improves Ergonomics

Manufacturing facilities in today’s competitive market strive to reduce the ergonomic impact of their operators. In this case study, we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to improve ergonomics and reduce injuries.

Customer

A global manufacturer, producing products for the heavy truck and bus industry.

Challenge

Operators were manually lifting 40-150lb truck hubs and rotors to palletize for their shipment to their end-users. The operators were refusing to use their current lifting method as it was slow and delayed their production during the days shift resulting in reduced throughput per operator per shift.

Air Power’s Solution

We proposed they moved to a single large floor supported structure with multiple bridges, air balancers, and welded end effectors. This allowed multiple operators to use a single structure with each having their own ”bay” containing a bridge, balancer, end effector combo. This gave everyone the room they needed to load pallets as well as the lifting method that allowed the ergonomic impact to be reduced while still allowing the productivity of the manual lifting application. The air balancers’ speed and the pendant control allowed the operators to move at the speed they deemed fit for each application and individual operator preference.

Result

Currently, we have installed 5 large lifts in this facility with more now being planned at their sister facilities, leading to many overall ergonomic improvements.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics - Ingersoll Rand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monti 3D Powder Coat Line Walkthrough

 

Monti 3D Powder Coat Line Walkthrough

 

Air Power Manufacturing Solutions teamed up with GAT Finishing Systems, Rohner Powder Coating Booths and Gema Powder Application Equipment to create a unique automated powder coat line that can process large and small parts quickly and efficiently. Monti Inc’s new powder coat line was built with quality results in mind, with the capabilities to meet the strictest specifications.

This new 20,000 sq. ft. powder coating facility is located in Greenwood, SC. This powder coat system has been tested to exceed 1,000-hour salt spray, tested per ASTM B117 meeting requirements of UL-1332 including ASTM D7091-05, D1654-08, D610-01, D714-02. This automated powder coat line can handle parts up to 2 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft. The batch powder coat system can handle parts up to 8 ft x 8 ft x 14 ft. Either line can paint any color. The system currently has lots of capacity to offer. With regard to throughput, it paints a 1-3/4” X 7” part and can powder coat and package 36,000 of these during 1 shift.

Monti Powder Coat Line

 

Source: Monti Powder Coating

Gema Meets the Challenge

Manufacturing facilities in today’s competitive market strive to produce the highest quality product. In this case study we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to produce a premier product with the highest first place transfer efficiency.

 

CUSTOMER

A Custom Fabricator, producing products for the truck & and Bus industry

 

CHALLENGE

In order to distinguish them within the marketplace, the current manufacturing process needed to meet customer’s mil specs. Their current Powder Units were not producing enough Mils per MFG spec with a Quality finish. Examination by quality control engineers revealed that they were getting back ionization and orange peel when applying more powder and second coats. They determined that each operator had different settings and too much powder output. In addition they did not understand current and voltage and how they relate to a quality finish and high transfer efficiency.

 

Powder Coating Defects

SOLUTION

In partnership with the customer, Air Power implemented an Gema OptiFlex 2 manual powder unit. The unit comes with 3 presets: 1: Flat Parts, 2: Recess/complex parts and 3: Recoat mode. In addition these cannot be changed by the operator and allowed ease of use with a simple repeatable process. The Patented Digital Valve control allowed for consistent precise powder output, powder savings, and reproducible coating results.

 

Gema Powder Process

RESULTS

Currently, the customer is meeting their mil spec and producing repeatable results and has increased there transfer efficiently that has provided a 1 year Return on equipment investment.

 

 

High Performance. High Quality.

 

Quality control and consistent finish were big goals for a manufacturer of ceramics. This case study delves into how Air Power put together a multifaceted solution to meet this customers finishing needs.

CUSTOMER

This customer is a manufacturer of ceramic products.

CHALLENGE

The customer was operating on an outdated system with no quality control measures in place. There were no gauges to regulate the air and fluid pressure of the system. There was not a way to manage the quality of the finish during the paint process. The system had one huge hose bundle with no way to identify which fluid was delivered via each hose. The only operator who could manage the system was nearing retirement.

SOLUTION

Air Power installed a paint system with a control panel that allowed for individual control of each automated spray gun. This system included large liquid filled gauges for display of air and fluid pressures to allow the customer to manage the system. Our engineers designed a system with neatly organized, color coded hoses for each gun to simplify production management. This allowed new operators to easily perform maintenance on the paint line.

RESULTS

The system changes made succeeded in simplifying this system. This has made it easier for all the operators to learn how to manage, operate, and maintain the paint line. The control panel gave the customer a simple, safe way to start and stop seperate spray guns during the process. This has allowed the customer to control the paint process and usage of paint. This opened the door for more focus on quality control and saved paint and production time.

 

Ceramic Manufacturer

 

Silicone Drum System Saves Money

 

Manufacturing facilities in today’s competitive market strive to produce the highest quality product. In this case study we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to produce a premier product.

Customer

Leading Global Manufacturer of Display Refrigerated Cases Systems

Air Power’s Solution

In partnership with the customer and the silicone material supplier (Ellsworth Adhesives), Air Power offered a solution by using 3 ea.  Graco 55 gallon drum packages. These drum packages will replace manual and battery operated caulking guns. By going to bulk drums vs expensive tubes customer will reduce silicone cost by 30%. Customer purchases over 1 million dollars per year in silicone. Drums are placed near three assembly stations throughout the plant. Material fluid hoses are festooned 14 feet over head at each operating station to eliminate dangerous trip hazards.

Result

By converting from caulk tubes to bulk 55 gallon drums customer will reduce RTV silicon by an estimated cost by 30%. Each Graco 55 gallon ram drum package features Graco Data Trak. The Graco Data Trak features a light tower located on the 55 gallon ram package. The light tower will alert the operator with a signal showing drum is low on material or empty.

Increased floor space by eliminating cartons of tubes placed on wood skids near each operating station. Increase production time by elimination to open cartons of tubes of silicone and place tubes into manual caulking guns.

Eliminate the need to have batteries charged. Eliminate the cost of replacing battery charged caulking guns.

 

Increase Transfer Efficiency

 

Challenge

Customer was looking to improve transfer efficiency on their automated spindle machine spraying primer on various size metal housings.   The existing system utilizes one spray gun set a considerable distance from the parts.  This causes excessive overspray and waste.  Customer also wanted to go from using 55 gallon drums to 5 gallon pails due to settling and solvent flash off in the primer.  The 55 gallon drum sits for around 4 months.  The viscosity needed to be regularly checked and adjusted.

 

Before Before 2

 

 

 

 

 

Air Power’s Solution

Equipment utilized – Graco fixed automatic spray guns coupled to a Graco dual regulated pressure pot with agitation.  All controlled via an Air Power custom designed pneumatic control panel for system optimization and performance.

Air Power, Inc. proposed replacing their single gun setup with two guns.  These guns will be mounted on mounts that can be adjusted to effectively cover the various size parts.  This will minimize the amount of overspray and improve the transfer efficiency of the system.  The controls for this system will be contained in a centralized control box.  Fluid supply will utilize a 5 gallon pressure tank.  This will allow the operator to place a 5 gallon bucket of primer into the tank.  This system will be enclosed to minimize solvent flash off.  This will help improve the consistency of the coating as it will not need to be constantly adjusted.  The paint supply will also be exhausted in roughly a week now.  This will allow fresh primer to be sprayed, also improving consistency.

 

Results

  • Customer experienced increased transfer efficiency which saved them money by minimizing the amount of overspray and waste. It also reduced the amount of filtration they were purchasing due to the reduced overspray saving them time and money.
  • Customer reduced solvent flash off due to the switch from 55 gallon to 5 gallon pail saving the operator time from adding additional solvent to the 55 gallon drums.

 

Air Power Solution Air Power Solution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clamping with QX

Manufacturing defects are expensive and removing these errors prior to equipment leaving the production floor is an achievable result when utilizing the proper assembly equipment.  In the below case study, implementing proper tooling resulted in a significant reduction in warranty, service work, and recalls.

Customer

A global manufacturer of grain and sugar cane harvesters located within the Southeastern United States.

 

Challenge: Warranty, Service Work, and Recalls

During the manufacturing process; a sub assembly cell was responsible for proper tightening of fluid hose clamps.  The specified torque and angle of these hose clamps was not being achieved by current in plant tooling.  This failure was a direct result of joint conditioning and relaxation associated with the hose clamp tightening process.  In order to confirm clamps were properly tightened a manual QC measure was put into place in order to catch the issue prior to units leaving for in field use.   However, manual processes are reliant on operator execution and improperly tightened units continued to leave the production floor incorrect.  This issue was exaggerated once units reached final destinations for use within the field, as inadequate torqued hose clamps, were continuing to loosen causing costly warranty, recall, and infield technician repairs.

Air Power’s Solution

In partnership with the customer, Air Power implemented an Ingersoll Rand QX Precision fastening System. The hand held, battery operated, transducerized tooling solution provided an accurate final torque, while providing the operators with tightening status feedback, actual torque values, and 1,200 rundowns of tightening data for review.  A proper torque strategy was developed allowing the hose clamp to be properly torqued, relaxed (conditioned), then final torqued; all within a single trigger pull delivered by the operator.  The need for a manual QC measure was removed as the torque data was verified, tracked, and retained by the manufacturing facility for spot check and validation.

 

Ingersoll Rand QX Series Right Angle Wrench

Result

Currently, thirteen (13) right angle tools are being utilized within this facility allowing production to reach new heights of process control.  Proper tightening of the hose clamps, torque data retention, and date/time stamping have reduced warranty, service work, and those costly infield technician repairs.  The Air Power solution ensures that product leaving the production floor is assembled correctly, the first time.

 

 

Paint Kitchen Automation Cleans up Inefficient Mess for Equipment Finisher

 

Graco E-Flo DC Pump

Graco E-Flo DC Pump

 

This case study demonstrates how the Graco Intelligent Paint Kitchen can improve the painting process by decreasing production downtime, lowering production costs and increasing process efficiency.

Customer

Heavy-duty lift truck equipment finisher.

Challenge

 

The maintenance manager at a heavy-duty lift truck equipment finisher was left with someone else’s mess. The paint room supervisor had designed a paint kitchen for a 24-hour operation, only to leave when production changed to five days a week. With no one taking ownership of the paint room, inefficiency took over.

• Friday afternoons, the paint room attendant shut down the paint circulation, air compressor and pneumatic agitators.
• Monday mornings, they lost at least six carriers of parts and more than an hour of production time, because material had settled in the paint lines over the weekend.

Circulating the paint on the weekends meant running a 500-horse power (HP) air compressor. The energy cost savings seemed to outweigh the cost of lost parts.

 

Solution

 

The maintenance manager consulted his local distributor, who wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. The equipment they had was sound; it just didn’t provide the flexibility they needed. Their Graco account representative offered an out-of-the-box solution. The Intelligent Paint Kitchen (IPK), powered by the E-Flo DC 4-Ball Piston Pump, could allow them to reduce downtime, save on energy costs, and remotely monitor the paint room. Some of their existing equipment could even be repurposed in the new set up.

Results

 

The Graco Intelligent Paint Kitchen system automated the paint room and made their production schedule more flexible. Electric equipment avoided air compressor costs, and allowed them to keep the paint circulating during non-production times. With presets and remote monitoring controlling the paint room, efficiency is the new norm.

• Friday afternoons, the paint room attendant sets equipment on sleep mode.
• Monday mornings, production starts smoothly without loss of parts, downtime or rework.

With the help of remote monitoring, the maintenance manager now spends less time with production supervision. Their newfound efficiency allows them to
take on and scale back production as needed without overextending their resources.

 

 

 

 

Air Power Partnered with Graco on this case.

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Ergonomics and Quality Control to New Heights

 
Manufacturers of passenger transportation systems make every effort to exceed in safety intelligence within the industry. This case study demonstrates safety improvements, as well as, operator ergonomic advantages, in an effort to decrease facility liability.

Customer

 
Manufacturer of vertical transportation systems.

Challenge

 
Operators manually load and unload valves utilizing an older pneumatic torque tool. The current tool utilized within production was non-shut off and provided no verification of installation. The operator was responsible for assuming the proper socket and torque combination capable for a successful installation. The inability to measure torque accurately resulted in an inconsistent quality of final product with no verification that it was done properly. In addition, this application proved labor intensive and was the cause of concern for operator safety and ergonomics.

Solution

 
Air Power implemented a custom Ingersoll Rand DC Electric Assemble tool, integrated into a GCI torque reaction arm, with a pneumatic clamping fixture omitting operator strain and removal before completion. Custom sockets were provided to insure precise fit.  The custom fixtured Ingersoll Rand DC Electric tool was coupled with a front end Norbar Multiplier producing actual real time torque verification and discreet I/O output, which was coupled with an Air Power provided PLC to monitor torque and track data usage.

 

 

Results

 

The solution realized by Air Power created a torque verified product that allowed for a safer work environment and smoother process for the operator. All build requirements can now be monitored, tracked and viewed through a transparent build as a result of system implementation.

 

 

 

Save Time and Paint with ProDispense

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.

Customer

A leading manufacture within the truck and bus industry located in North Carolina.

Challenge

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’s Solution

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.

Result

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.

  • Consistent fluid dispense
  • Reporting capability tracks volume and usage
  • Easily connects to PLC and barcode scanners
  • Return on investment assures that ProDispense quickly pays for itself
  • User interface provides simple operation and data entry
  • Local or integrated control
  • Manual or automatic dispense
  • Tracks dispense results for process verification