ProDispense – Always accurate and Always Correct

Problem

An axle manufacturer has had ongoing issues with accurate filling of gear oils in axle hubs and center differentials due to the operator having to manually select the oil dispensed along with the quantity of oil being dispensed into a given axle. There would be issues with the operator selecting the incorrect oil or volume of oil which often resulted in quality issues of an axle or batch of axles. There was no way to confirm which oil and volume of oil was dispensed into a given axle, which operator did the dispensing on a given axle. All data was on the build sheet for the axle and it was the responsibility of multiple operators and quality technicians to ensure it was filled correctly. All build sheets would have to be read by operators on both sides of the line, then they would have to select the correct oil and volume of oil based on what they read or thought they had read. Quality tracing was extremely difficult using this method. Oil spills and drips were also extremely common, leading to waste and safety concerns

Air Power Solution

Multiple Graco ProDispense systems have been introduced to the facility to eliminate these issues by utilizing advanced technology and programming to ensure error free selecting and filling of fluids. The facilities engineering team will be integrating the ProDispense into their existing PLC’s with new HMI’s which will contain each axles information and location in real time on the line. This will allow each axle’s build sheet to be loaded into the system. By using the axle’s build sheets in the system each operator will touch each axle’s hub or center diff on the HMI which will automatically select the correct oil and oil fill volume for that particular component which will have been preloaded into the PLC and ProDispense by the engineering team. Once the location on the axle has been touched on the HMI the ProDispense will have the appropriate recipe selected via the PLC and the system will illuminate an LED light next to the correct hose reel which contains the appropriate oil. The operator will then unwind the hose reel and dispense valve and insert it into the appropriate oil fill port. Once that is done they will touch the start button on the HMI which will trigger the ProDispense to fill the appropriate volume into the axle. This information will be recorded in their network and will be easily traced back to the axle, oil used and operator performing the fill for traceability. The ProDispense will accurately dispense the correct oil every time within +/- 1%. This will reduce rework, defects and axle failures for the end user. We are utilizing no drip valves to ensure drip free operation to reduce waste and spills to improve safety at the line sides.

Prodispense

Effect

The ProDispense allows for accurate selecting, fill tracking, capturing data associated with each fill to prevent defects, failures, waste and improves safety and accuracy of the entire filling process. Repeatability of the process with operators both new to the line and veterans is much improved as each selection is now automated by the system.

Prodispense

 

Schmalz Vacuum Lifter Case Study

Problem

A local chemical supplier has to manually inspect and repack bags of their product which has been requiring manually lifting, inspecting and repacking of 60lb bags from one pallet to another. This has introduced an ergonomic liability for the manufacturer and has opened the door for multiple operators to injure themselves. The answer has been to station multiple operators (5-6) in the area to tackle this problem. They rotate lifting, repacking, and inspecting to limit the risk and keep everyone safe.

Air Power Solution

Schmalz Vacuum Lifter

A custom solution provided by Air Power consisting of Schmalz vacuum lifters, Gorbel jibs and Presto P3 spring lift/turntables. The one handed bag lifter allows the operators to effortlessly lift the bags after inspection to be repacked on the next pallet. The Gorbel jibs allow them to reach multiple pallets from a single vacuum lifting system. The P3 turntables allow the operator to maintain a very small footprint by bringing the bags to them via the turntable rotation. It also prevents bending, stretching and reaching for bags with the vacuum lifter which reduces operator injury risk and allows the vacuum lifter to maintain a vertical lift throughout the unpacking and repacking of pallets.

Effect

What formally took 5-6 operators to complete is now completed using 2 operators with a much reduced injury and fatigue risk for the operators. They are able to alternate inspection and repacking effortlessly between them throughout the day since they are no longer manually handling the bags. The takt time of each inspecting and repacking operation has been reduced as well due to the speed and ergonomics at which the single handed vacuum lifter operates.

Schmalz Lifter

Ingersoll Rand – Makes it Easy

One of the main causes of injury in a manufacturing facility is due to lifting heavy objects. In this case study, Air Power helps a customer eliminate the risk of injury with an Ingersoll Rand custom monorail lifting system.

 

Challenge

 

A local machinery manufacturer has had issues finding a suitable solution to include as part of their OEM machinery builds. They had a history of using electrical hoists and I beam trolleys which have not been well received by their end-users. The previous offerings by others were hard to maneuver and difficult to position the load for final placement.

 

Air Power Solution

 

Air Power proposed an Ingersoll Rand Zimmerman rail system, which are easily adaptable, cost-effective and easy to use. We designed a system for them that included 4 individual monorails with rigid mount hanger kits to increase clearance and ZAW air balancers with pendant controls for load lifting and proper part positioning.  The solution allows each of the 4 sides of their machine to be covered from end to end.

 

Results

 

The proposed solution provided the necessary benefits including:

  1. The ZRA1 monorails utilized minimum push/pull forces, allowing ergonomics on the operator and ease of use.
  2. For future integrations, the individual monorails provide an easily adaptable solution, should the OEM design change over time.
  3. The aluminum profile ZRA1 provided a reduction in solution weight.
  4. The ZAW air balancers allow the end-user to position the load close to its final destination then use the “float” of the balancer for final (and exact) placement of the part; further enhancing the user experience.

Graco HydroShield Electrostatic Spray System

Air Power in partnership with Graco is working hard to prep the Hydroshield for upcoming customer demos throughout our entire territory!  Pre-plan, setup, and spray prior to demo ensures a successful onsite demo. We’d like to thank the team of Graco Representatives Nick Lewis, Nick Yanavitch, and Chris Maicon for all working with the Air Power team to establish this product in the field.

The Graco Hydroshield Spray Package is an operator-friendly solution for spraying waterborne material that improves transfer efficiency and safety. This system includes manual electrostatic air spray or air-assist guns, controller interface, and high-performing pumps.

 

 

 

 

The HydroShield Batch Waterborne System makes it easy to safely use electrostatics to spray waterborne material.

  • Refill paint supply without having to open the isolation cabinet.
  • Use one controller with simple screens to set and adjust system parameters.
  • Minimize downtime with durable components that are easily accessed and maintained.

 

Check out these pictures of the Air Power team setting up this system in the Air Power High Point Finishing Lab!

From Obsolete to Upgrade

 

Many manufacturers struggle with finding new parts to maintain old equipment that is integral to their manufacturing process. In this case study, Air Power finds a solution to replace obsolete equipment and get this customer back in production.

Customer

A Manufacturer of foam-filled plastic parts

Challenge

The customer was having trouble with their old, worn-out mix valve on their dispense system. The old equipment needed repairs that required parts that had been discontinued by the manufacturer.  Every 45 minutes of runtime the customer would have to swap heads and do a cleaning on the used head. The customer was informed that a newer version of their system would become available, but they simply could not wait any longer and needed a solution today.

 

Air Power Solution

Air Power Account Manager Matt Graham proposed a Graco HFR with a Paradyne  Two-Component Dynamic Mix Valve to replace the existing equipment. The Graco Paradyne Dynamic Mix Valve is a rotary static valve that consistently mixes and dispenses materials requiring exceptional mixing energy. Engineered with rugged components and precision controls that eliminate dispensing inconsistencies, reduce maintenance downtime, and optimize material usage.

The Paradyne Valve Reliably mixes and dispenses difficult foaming polyurethanes, low viscosity silicones, and other hard to blend two component chemistries.

  • Easily integrates with Graco meter, mix, and dispense systems like the EFR, PR70, or HFR for a complete dispensing solution.
  • Control system delivers precision RPM control, and real time monitoring for dispensing process stability.
  • Built with durable check valves and disposable mixers that reduce maintenance and downtime.

This solution allowed the customer to be back in production quickly and allow them to continue to use their current process. With the help of our Dispense Specialist team; Jeff Pittman, Adam Kearns, and Neal Cutler, we were able to find a solution that integrated into their current system to minimize downtime and the cost of the upgrade.

 

Install_Graco Voltex Mix Valve

 

Results

 

This customer was extremely happy with the results. They are back in production with no hiccups. The Graco HFR and Paradyne mix valve integrated seamlessly with their current process.  Air Power’s solution saved them money in downtime and integrated with their current process to minimize costs.  The new system allowed the customer to run for four hours without any maintenance and at the end of four hours they just have to change the static mixer. They are happy to be back in production and planning to upgrade a few more systems with the help of Air Power Manufacturing Solutions! If you are interested in upgrading equipment in your manufacturing facility, Call Air Power today!

 

Dispense_Graco_VOltex