Water is Good. But Not in Your Airline.

Compressed air is readily available and simple-to-use, but it can be the most expensive form of energy in your application. Air leaving a compressor can also be dirty, and depending on the outside temperature, can contain moisture. The presence of moisture in the air line can damage and shorten the life of downstream equipment, such as pneumatic tools and Liquid/Powder spray equipment. Unregulated or improper air pressure can result in increased compressed air demand, which results in increased energy consumption. Excessive pressure can also increase equipment wear, resulting in higher maintenance costs and shorter tool life. Before compressed air can be used it should be Filtered, Regulated and in some applications, Lubricated.

Filters

 

Filters clean compressed air. Compressed air can carry condensed water, oil carryover from compressors, solid impurities (dirt and rust) generated within the pipelines, and other wear particles from the ambient air. These contaminants can cause problems at every point of use, and should be removed by installing suitable filters.

Regulators

 

Regulators reduce and control pressure in compressed air systems. They are used to control pressure to: air tools, such as impact wrenches and sanders, liquid and powder spraying devices and many other pneumatically powered manufacturing applications. Optimally, a pressure regulator maintains a constant output pressure regardless of variations in the input pressure and downstream flow requirements. Downstream equipment flow and pressure requirements must be determined to properly size the correct regulator for the application.

Lubricators

 

Lubricators add controlled quantities of oil into a compressed air system to reduce the friction of moving components. Most air tools and other air driven equipment require lubrication to extend their useful life. The use of an airline lubricator solves the problem of too much or too little lubrication that comes with other methods of lubrication such as a grease gun or oil, as well as supplying the right kind of lubricant for the tools being used. Once the lubricator is adjusted, a metered quantity of lubricant is supplied to the air operated equipment and the only maintenance required is a periodic refill of the lubricator reservoir. Adding lubrication to a system can also prevent synthetic compressor oil build-up on system components.

Clean air is a key ingredient that enables effective and efficient operation of tools, equipment, and machinery in almost every industry. As such, the use of air preparation devices, such as filters, regulators, and lubricators (FRLs) is an excellent way to keep your air supply in top condition, as well as enabling your tools and equipment to operate at their peak performance. Air Power can help you identify the cause of your airline issues and find a solution to keep your airlines clean and controlled.

 

ARO FLO Series

 

 

 

Graco Electric Fixed Ratio (EFR) Metering System

 

 

The Graco Electric Fixed Ratio (EFR) is an electrically driven proportioner for two component sealant and adhesives. The EFR provides advanced material control in applications requiring consistent shots and beads. Air Power Application Specialist Ronnie Lowe talks about the features of the EFR Metering System and the many ways it can improve your manufacturing process.

 

Graco EFR Metering System

  • Highly accurate, even with low flow rates
  • Capable of shots, beads and continuous flow dispense
  • Superior repeatability
  • Capable of handling a wide range of materials
  • Easy to configure, operate and maintain

 

 

 

Levitate Anti-Fatigue Exoskeleton

Introducing the AIRFRAME®, a practical new device that reduces muscle stress and fatigue – making the end of the day feel like the beginning.

 

The Levitate AIRFRAME is a wearable, lightweight technology engineered to improve upper extremity musculoskeletal health in professionals and skilled trade workers who engage in repetitive arm motion and/or static elevation of the arms. The AIRFRAME lowers exertion levels by up to 80% – keeping workers healthier and more productive, while mitigating healthcare and disability costs.

 

 

 

HOW IT WORKS

 

The AIRFRAME transfers the weight of the arms from the shoulders, neck and upper back to the outside of the hips, evenly distributing energy to reduce stress. It slips easily on and off, and moves seamlessly with the wearer without intruding into the workspace or limiting motion or dexterity. The AIRFRAME’s mechanical support system progressively activates as the arm is raised, and gradually releases as the arm is lowered, resulting in just the right level of support – at just the right time. It’s personalized to fit each wearer, so they can use their arms as normal while enjoying reduced fatigue and comfort they never thought possible.
/su_column]

 

 

FEATURES

Light and Comfortable
Personalize Fit
Full Range of Motion
No Power Required
The AIRFRAME’s sleek, aerodynamic design and lightweight material construction make wearing the device feel nearly unnoticeable. Each AIRFRAME is custom-fitted to the individual user, allowing the device to fit comfortably on any body type or size. The AIRFRAME offers full range of motion, allowing the user to easily perform any task without limitation or stiffness. The AIRFRAME requires no electrical power – it is mechanically engineered to rely on a patented system of pulleys.

BENEFITS

 

Lowers Injury Risk
Boosts Productivity
Improves Quality and Precision
Lowers Healthcare and Disability Costs
On-Site Training
There are more than 650,000 cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WSMD) annually. The AIRFRAME lowers exertion levels by up to 80%, significantly lowering injury risk. WMSDs are responsible for $50 billion in lost productivity annually. The AIRFRAME keeps workers healthy, and production humming. Muscle stress and fatigue are the enemy of productivity. The AIRFRAME allows workers to maintain quality and precision for longer periods of time. Musculoskeletal disorders represent $1 of every $3 spent on workers compensation. The AIRFRAME limits exposure to these injuries, reducing costs and boosting profits. We offer full, on-site training for both workers and safety engineers on how to custom fit and operate The AIRFRAME for all users.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Air Power Puts the Graco ProMix PD2K to the Test with HB Fuller

Air Power Manufacturing Solutions Put PD2K to the Test with Graco and HB Fuller

 

The customer is switching to Swifttak 4431 Heat Reactivated Water Based Adhesive, a two-component adhesive, for better product quality. They need a system to effectively mix and spray the 2K adhesive. The Graco PD2K is the only 2K system that can effectively handle the Swifttak adhesive due to the industrial pump based unit which allows for operation in either flow or pressure made.

More about Graco ProMix PD2K System

More about Graco ProMix PD2K System

The ProMix PD2K mixes the material close to the gun so the flush zone is significantly smaller. This allows customers to use less paint, spend less on disposal costs and allows for faster color changes. And because there is limited mixed material in the system, the ProMix PD2K is ideal for short pot life materials. It is also compatible with acid-based materials.

Graco has specific ProMix proportioners that are designed to manage tough acid catalyst applications like cabinetry and bar countertops. The corrosion resistance fluid section, plus the smart fluid plate with 316 and 17-4 SST catalyst sections, can easily handle strong acid catalysts.

 

Introducing the ARO Product Park App

The ARO® Product Park App showcases their air operated diaphragm and piston pumps in a way never before seen. With the app, you can now view ARO® pumps in full detailed operation, get inside a pump via the see-through mode, or select parts and view extensive information including part numbers and material information across several products.


See ARO® pumps in full 360 View, expanded Parts View and Run Mode!

Run Mode Demonstrating Fluid Motion

Parts View, Part Number, Material Information

360º Spin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ARO® Pumps available inside the Product Park:

  • 2” Powder Diaphragm Pump
  • 2” Flap Valve Diaphragm Pump
  • 2” EXP Metallic Diaphragm Pump
  • 3″ EXP Non-Metallic Diaphragm Pump
  • 2-Ball Piston Pump
  • 2 Post Package
  • 4-Ball Piston Pump
  • Chop-Check Piston Pump

Available on Mobile Devices

 

Find the ARO® Product Park on Google Play, Apple App Store, and for a portable PC version download it on the Microsoft Store.

Gas Catalytic Infrared Pre-Gel Oven Improves Production by 16%

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.

Customer

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.

Challenge

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.

 

Solution

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.

Results

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.

 

 

 

Source: https://catalyticovens.com/gatormade-trailers-case-study/

Graco Electric Fixed Ratio (EFR) System

The Graco Electric Fixed Ratio (EFR) system is a meter, mix and dispense system for two component sealant and adhesive delivery. Ideal for applications requiring precision dispense, the EFR provides superior control over material and dispensing of gaskets, beads, shots and potting applications. Trust in the EFR, which is accurate, versatile and easy to use.

The Graco Electric Fixed Ratio (EFR) system

 

  1. Advance Precision Driver

    • Powerful driver reaches up to 20 cycles per minute
    • Precise encoder that assures low flows and small shots consistently
    • Direct pump control
    • Limited maintenance needs

 

  1. Industry Proven Z Pumps

    • Multiple Ratio options
    • Only the seals are wear parts
    • Abrasive resistant version
    • Mechanically linked pumps offer ratio assurance

 

  1.  MD2 Valve

    • Adjustable snuff back
    • Mixing at tip of the gun, limiting purge material waste
    • Multiple seal combination for material compatibility
    • Available in 1:1 to 10:1 for wide ratio applications
    • For manual or robotic applications

 

  1. Advanced Display Module

    • Easy to use interface
    • Possibility to have it completely integrated
    • Communication Gateway Modules: EtherNet/IP. DeviceNet, PRofibus, Profitnet

 

 

 

Tire Lifting Solution Case Study

Material Handling Need

Aircraft Tire/Wheel shop activities require significant handling of large aircraft tires and rims weighing up to several hundred pounds.  Handling these assets by manual means/methods had resulted in several serious injuries, culminating in lost work days and long-term medical impact on shop personnel and worker well-being.

Original Process:  Two to Three operators required to lift C5 aircraft tire from pallet position, stacked up to four(4) levels high and onto rim assembly.  Assembly was then lifted from horizontal position to vertical in order to be rolled into rack staging area.

Tire Lift weight: 400 pounds+

Tire Size:  44”-56” outside diameter(OD), 17”-20” width

Air Power Solution

Upon review of operations, AirPower solution consisting of aluminum overhead rail, bridge crane to suspend one (1) manipulator for the tire lift process, and one (1) bridge to suspend a pneumatic hoist for the F15 Rim process for the original C5 aircraft application. C5 Solution installed in 2013.

Due to increase in the C130 aircraft process requirements, Air Power was contacted to provide an additional solution for the C130 unit in September 2015.

An additional bridge was added, to allow processing for the larger C130 tire application (tires in excess of 400lbs) to allow pickup, positioning and processing of these components.

Air Power Inc provided a TurnKey solution for both C5, and C130 tire applications.

 

Results

Implementation will reduce injuries, enhance efficiency, improve quality and ergonomics in the support of the war fighter mission.

“An effective and user-friendly solution that was way overdue” –Bobby Munda, WRAFB 402MXE

“Awesome, absolutely awesome!” –Candace Lauderdale, Safety Specialists, WRAFB

Original Pick Up Method Pick Up Solution Original Set Down Method Tire Set Down Solution

Low Headroom-Low Pickup Solution

Customer Need

Customer installed new winders in a low headroom area which presented final product at a low pickup position. Rolls weighing 100lbs were required to be lifted from horizontal position, and placed into vertical stacked position onto pallet. Existing process required manual handling.

Area of equipment installation presented a restricted, low headroom area requiring the need to reach under, and around additional OEM equipment required for the winding process.

Air Power Solution

Upon evaluation of process, and area requirements, a dual extruded aluminum runway, with low profile carriage and custom adjustable stops were specified, and installed to provide coverage for the pickup and placement of rolls across a bank of six(6) winding machines. A custom steel frame was fabricated and installed in order to properly mount/position both runways for roll handler, and aspirator lines for the winding equipment. Due to area restrictions, an articulating arm with integrated air balancer was mounted to allow for reach under, and around process equipment, to allow for pickup and placement of the finished product.
A Dotec RH90Z45 Roll Handler (for low pickup) was provided which allows ergonomic pickup/placement of rolls to eliminate bending and manual handling by the operators of the finished product.