Filter Conversion to Eliminate Overspray

 

Overspray in industrial finishing applications is one of the most common causes of parts being rejected by quality control inspections. This can result in constant costly reworks and low-quality finish on parts. In this case study, Air Power proposes a solution that completely eliminates overspray for this customer.

Customer

Manufacturer of plumbing and water-related fittings and valves

Challenge

This customer was experiencing paint buildup on their booth due to overspray. This was caused by inefficient airflow through the booth. This customer was using an old baffle style booth that uses offset layers of metal to catch the initial overspray and then redirects the overspray into the second layer of filters. As a second layer of filtration, the customer used Styrofoam baffle filters that allowed a high volume of bypass of a mixture of tacky and dry overspray. This type of baffle filter works better with wet paint overspray.

Without proper airflow collecting the overspray in the booth, this customer experienced a higher number of rejected parts, a lower quality finish on products, and paint buildup on their spray booth and surrounding areas.

Overspray build up

Overspray Build-up inside Booth

Air Power Solution

 

Air Power proposed a solution that updated the filtration system to a more efficient style. This solution included completely removing the metal vertical baffles that were the first stage of filtration. The second stage Styrofoam baffle filters were then removed and the 20×20 grid was scraped clean of all the overspray buildup.  Then we installed Kem-Wove P3 20×20 panel filters in the second stage, installed snapper bars on the front of the filter wall, and added RP 3252 paper/poly blankets (RTT Engineered Solutions / Col-Met) as the first stage of filtration to improve overspray capture and airflow.

Baffle Style Filter Wall

Baffle Style Filter Wall

Filter Install

Results

 

This customer was amazed by the change in airflow and overspray capture in their spray booth. This new filtration system collected all the overspray in the booth and allowed nothing to bypass for the first time. These changes improved the painting conditions for operators in the booth, allowing for a higher quality finish on products. This customer is currently in the testing stage with this system to determine the length of life for one layer of filtration to ensure this system is cost-efficient and establish best practices for their finishing operation.

 

 

 

Ingersoll Rand Ergonomics Reduce Injury Risks

 

One of the most common workplace injuries reported is muscle strain due to repetitive motion.  Manufacturers are seeking ergonomic material handling solutions to reduce the risk of injury for operators. In this case study, Air Power proposed a solution that successfully eliminated the risk of injury for these robotic machining cell operators.

Challenge

 

This customer had dealt with various injuries due to the operators handling parts of various sizes/weights while loading and unloading parts onto automated infeed/outfeed conveyors on robot machining cells. Hand and finger injuries were commonly reported, as well as various back injuries. The customer required a solution that was safe and easy for operators to use. The solution needed to be located out of the way of forklift traffic and out of the work area of the cell so as not to impede on the operator’s workspace. They needed a device with the ability to grasp multiple sized parts without hassle. This solution also required a system that was low maintenance, durable, with low compressed air usage.

Air Power Solution

 

Ergonomics

Air Power proposed an Ingersoll Rand column mounted with a 10ft reach and articulating arm. This system mounts out of the work cell yet reaches into the work cell to reach the work area for loading and unloading. It includes an integrated 500lb air balancer for lifting/lowering with the ability to adjust both the lifting and lowering speed to dial in the exact application. This device features low rotational inertia for ease of use and improved ergonomics for the operator, low maintenance, low CFM usage per cycle.

This Custom Air Power/Ingersoll Rand Manipulator is made of heavy steel for durability with pistol grip controls and a dummy handle for ease of use and maneuverability. It includes single-hand controls for lifting/lowering of the device & clamping/unclamping of parts, safety interlock that is load sensing to prevent parts from being dropped once elevated off the work surface, V-shaped movable jaws to allow clamping of various sized parts, padded jaws to prevent damage to machined surfaces, and requires little to no maintenance.

 

 

 

ErgonomicsErgonomics

 

Filling Station with Timed Dispense System

 

In this video, Air Power Account Manager Aaron Osborne walks you through this Lubricant Dispense Station. The customer needed to pre-fill cartridges so the operator could utilize it in a manual application for the day shift. Air Power proposed a solution that combines a Loctite Timing and Pressure Dispense System with a Graco Husky Pump. This Filing Station solution reduces down fluid pressure and allows for multiple cartridges to be filled and stored. When the operator needs a cartridge s/he grabs from filling station and attached is bench side dispenser for accurate dispense into the end product.

Schmalz Makes Lifting Easy

Manufacturing commonly requires operators to lift and move heavy materials, which can lead to injury and fatigue. This material handling solution makes lifting a breeze.

Customer

A leading US Electronics Recycling Company.

 

Challenge

This customer wanted to reduce the possibility of injuries from the amount of lifting their operators were exposed to. This problem was leading to higher turnover in specific areas due to common complaints of lifting parts that were upwards of 120 lbs! Thus reducing the rate of production and declining morale throughout the production floor due to manual lifting.

 

Air Power Solution

The Schmalz JumboFlex 50 was able to lift the customers’ desired weights of 40-120 lbs and capturing their desired throughput goal of 60-70%. This piece of equipment utilizes a vacuum suction pump that relieves the weight of the piece you’re picking up and relieving the amount of strain on the operator’s backs. Pairing the JumboFlex with Schmalz’ Column Mounted Jib Crane, we are able to reach out 10ft and have 270 degrees of full motion!

 

Results

This material handling solution completely eliminated the customers’ problem. The Schmalz JumboFlex 50 eliminated the risk of injury for operators. This allows them to work faster, increases the rate of production, and reduces fatigue from constantly lifting heavy materials. The Section Manager stated, ” It’s not about the speed we’re able to go at, what this piece of equipment has done for us is, improve employee morale and reduce turnover now that they don’t have to lift heavy stuff all day long.”

 

 

Assembly Made Simple

In this case study, Air Power builds a custom integrated system that makes Ergonomics, Safety, and Quality simple with a team effort.

Customer

This customer is a supplier in the Truck and Bus industry.

Challenge

The customer needed to outfit a new work cell assembling large metal components. First, the weight of the fully assembled sub-build components exceeded 1000 lbs. requiring a high weight capacity work table. Secondly, the height variation of the operators presented ergonomic issues from shift to shift to ensure each operator performed his necessary tasks at optimum work heights for ergonomics and safety. Thirdly, target torque for each component exceeded the safety threshold for handheld tooling, 69 ft/lbs, and 135 ft/lbs. requiring a torque management solution to be included in the overall work cell build. Lastly, the components needing to be torqued are deemed quality critical, requiring all data for the fasteners to be documented to ensure a proper build.

Air Power Solution

Air Power included the following in our solution; a 2000 lbs. capacity adjustable height pneumatic Presto lift table, a GCI torque reaction arm, and a Cleco MPro 300 controller with right angle NeoTek tool. We were able to meet the high weight by working closely with Presto directly to customize the adjustable height scissor lift table. GCI was able to build a custom torque arm to provide the needed reach and vertical travel while managing up to 240 NM of torque reaction. We were able to mount the torque arm directly to our adjustable height table, allowing the entire work station to adjust to ideal work height for any given operator. All of this wrapped around the brand new Cleco 300 controller with NeoTek right angle tool allowing for a precise fastening solution meeting and exceeding the quality critical parameters required. The Cleco 300 also allows our end-user to monitor, collect, and organize critical data to ensure they every unit out the door is a quality part.

 

Assembly

Results

Air Power’s solution addressed all of the problems the customer faced with this assembly process. The Presto Lift table allows the operator to adjust the height of the entire system to eliminate and bending and back strain. The GCI torque arm holds and handles the Cleco right angle NeoTek tool. This eliminates any lifting and hand or wrist injury from handling a torque tool. Lastly, the Cleco mPro 300 controller gave the customer the ability to ensure perfect quality with every assembly.

 

 

Get the Perfect Ratio with GEMS 2K

 

When it comes to mixing paint, accuracy is the key to achieving a high-quality finish. In this case study, we discuss a 2K solution that helped this customer perfect their process and save tons in production costs.

Customer

 

Manufacturer of roadside transformers.

 

Challenge

 

This company has a small parts booth for primer and topcoats. The operator had to manually mix two types of epoxy and one urethane. Each day he had to spray all three colors from the same hot pot system. The color change process was a major problem as the different parts to be sprayed were not batched. This caused a lot of waste of paint and solvent. The other concern was being off ratio and parts not curing properly. This was a major cost to the company. They also had a large booth that sprayed the finished transformer. They had to utilize the same paints and this process had the same problems. If the large transformer was off ratio, they had to sand the paint off and repeat the entire process. This proved to be a very expensive problem.

 

Air Power Solution

 

Air Power proposed to install a Carlisle GEMS 2K mix system for each color. We also put in a pump system to pump and circulate all paints to the mix machines. The catalyst was dispensed to the machines from 5-gallon pressure tanks. The 55-gallon drums of paint each had an agitator in them to keep paint in suspension to maintain viscosity. By having a machine for each color there was no color change or off ratio problems.

 

Results

 

The Air Power Solution eliminated the need to hot pot in tanks. Since each color is mixed on demand; this system provided a major labor savings. There is no paint waste and the newly established process saves about 2 to 3 hours per shift as compared to manually formulating and mixing paint. The solvent usage was greatly reduced as there was not a tank to clean each color change. This solution has been able to speed up production on all three shifts. Our technical group and installers were able to put the system in place without impeding the customer’s production runs.

 

GEMS 2K Mix System

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn More about Ingersoll Rand 

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.