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
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.
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.
A local gearbox manufacturer has had ongoing issues with multiple paint operators making changes to the paint system throughout the day. They rotate painters every couple of hours so the paint quality and consistency is all over the board throughout the day. We have isolated the spray gun controls and implemented electrostatic painting but they still have issues. All colors run through a manual color change manifold and fluid pressure regulator which limits the fluid pressure even when color changing. There are also issues when the colors aren’t changed on a long run that the other colors settle out in the lines.
Air Power Solution
Air Power built a custom, lockable, control panel with a multitude of controls for the company and for the operators.
- Hi/Lo fluid pressure settings though independent air regulators controlling a single Graco air piloted fluid pressure regulator. These are set with supervision and management and are locked from the operators. They have 2 fluid pressures to select from and nothing else to minimize operator adjustments. Pressure selected is visible via included gauges.
- Select-able color valve stack via a rotary control to select the color being sprayed as well as the solvent flush.
- Graco back pressure regulators on each recirculating line for the 3 colors to allow paints to recirculate when not in use.
- Atomizing air pressure adjusted internally and locked out from the operators.
- Integrated inlet air filtration to ensure clean, dry air to feed the spray gun
This solution will eliminate the operators each making many adjustments throughout the day and tighten the quality and consistency of their paint process. It will also speed up color changes now that they are select-able via the color stack rotary control along with a flush setting that will allow full solvent pressure to clear the lines. When the flush cycle is selected the atomizing air will be cut off to eliminate the estat safety concern associated with a solvent flush. The re-circulation of the colors will improve the quality and consistency of each color when selected via the color stack. The integrated air filtration will extend the service life of the spray gun while improving the quality of the paint process also.
The assembly process in manufacturing plants typically is the largest drain on human labor resources. Anything that can be done to speed up that assembly process is critical. Especially, if it creates a reduction of labor and increased throughput, and increased quality in the final product.
A Global supplier of compression molded plastic parts to tier 1 automotive, Heavy Truck and bus, Heavy equipment, marine, reactional vehicle manufacturers.
This company has 3 work cells installing multiple fasteners into door panels for Tier 1 automotive. They were using two tools per station (One DC, One pneumatic) and manually inserting and driving to torque 3 fasteners. This resulted in 3, 8-hour shifts of assembly 5-6 days a week to meet production demands. With this process, torque values were not being collected and there was no assurance of quality. Resulting in inconsistent quality, frequent rework, and often rejected batches of parts.
Air Power’s Solution
Air Power, Inc. in Partnership with Design Tool Inc. (DTI) proposed a solution utilizing both Ingersoll Rand DC Tools and DTI screw feeders. This would reduce Takt time thanks to the DTI screw feeders and assure consistent torque values and alert if there was an issue from bad fasteners,cross-threading, etc.
Utilizing the DC tools along with the DTI Screw Feeders we were able to dramatically reduce takt time, increase quality, and dramatically reduce the amount of labor needed to meet production demands.
- Labor was reduced from (3) 8-hour shifts running 5-6 days a week to (1) shift 4 days a week.
- First Pass quality increased by 80%
- Rework is almost non-existent because any defects in fasteners or torque are corrected or captured in the work cell instead of at the end-user or in the quality department.
Graco’s Top 20 Program was established in 2010 to define the top sales performing distributors in North America. Every year since, the HPCF sales group has recognized the Top 20 distributors for their Protective Coatings Equipment (PCE). Air Power Manufacturing Solutions has been named one of Graco’s Top 20 Distributors in North America.
Being a Top 20 Distributor is a significant achievement. Although based on total sales, distributors don’t get to that level of success without hard work and strategic investment in their companies. Many different things go into building a successful Graco distributorship, but there is one common characteristic shared by all of Graco’s top-performing distributors—they are customer-focused.
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In this case study, Air Power Account Manager Austin Lambright helped this customer eliminate pain points in their finishing process, allowing them to save time and money in production costs.
The customer has a 90ft DOD aircraft that is coated with a very short pot life, a very expensive material. Because of the short pot life, several painters would have to mix an individual pressure pot and all spray the plane at the same time. This caused a lot of waste in material and was time-consuming.
AIR POWER SOLUTION
By using a mobile cart with a large Graco EnduraFlo 4:1 diaphragm pump, we are able to feed 4 painters with one central paint vessel. This not only cuts down on a lot of waste, but also simplifies the prep and clean up process, ultimately saving money both in material cost, maintenance, and production time. An all-around process improvement.
The customer drastically improved production process time, labor hours, and material savings in their paint process.