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.
Heavy-duty lift truck equipment finisher.
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.
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.
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.
As the summer heat is beginning to increase so is our Monterrey, MX team. These past few months have been full of exciting product launches, customer trade shows, and strategic partnership meetings. Our facility, located just outside of Monterrey, in Apodaca, consists of eight (8) employees’ within a 308 sq. meter (3,315 sq. ft.) branch location. This branch functions as a complete team offering: account management, technical service, field repair, bench repair, system startup and integration, training, and localized equipment stock.
John Deere Paint Summit
Our team was honored to attend the John Deere Paint Summit as a strategic supplier for Deere within Mexico and the United States. This global summit included members from China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and the United States. It was a privilege for Air Power to be in attendance but more importantly a complement to be asked to be a part of the presentations. In partnership with Graco and St. Clair Systems, Air Power discussed the importance of paint kitchen visibility and viscosity control as it pertains to plural component finishing operations.
Following the Global Summit, there was no time to waste in preparation for Fabtech, Monterrey. Held in Monterrey, MX on May 7th-9th; this event featured over 1,000 participants and more than 50 industrial vendors. This offered for an engaging and technology advancing manufacture fair. Air Power in partnership with Heraeus and Nitto Systems meet over 100 clients interested in further improving their current finishing operations.
Gema OptiFlex Pro Series Launch
Mexico City was the next stop as excitement continues to build over the launch of GEMA’s new OptiFlex Pro Series of powder coating equipment. This launch event highlighted the units unsurpassed Power, Quality, and Control Features.
- Power – Powerboost Technology of 110KV
- Quality – Precise Chare Control (PCC) and redesigned powder pump
- Control – Bluetooth Capabilities with the GEMA E-APP
The below video, presented by GEMA, highlights the advantages of the new OptiFlex Pro.
Graco New Product Launch
Most recently, the team joined Graco in San Diego, CA, for the New Product of 2019 Launch. This event focused on new technology and product that Graco is implementing within the 2019 calendar year. Including highlights of:
- Intelligent Paint Kitchen for Pneumatic Pumps
- New Pro XP Gun Models
- Radial Piston Agitators
- Sealed 4-Ball Lower Plus
- Active Surge Suppressors
- ProControl 1KE
This completes the New Product Launch 2019 for Graco and Air Power had representation within the Atlanta, Indianapolis, and San Diego event locations.
It’s cooking down in Mexico and we are excited of what is next to come. If you are familiar with Air Power and have locations within Mexico; please give us a call today. We would appreciate the opportunity to further discuss best practices, equipment standardization, and our system integration capabilities and advantages offered as a result of our unsurpassed coverage area between the United States and Mexico.
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.
Manufacturer of vertical transportation systems.
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.
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.
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.
Dedicating Your Powder Hose
Dedicating your powder hose specific to your color and special type of powder can save you time in color changes and prevent costly rejects. It can speed up your paint process, eliminate powder contamination and reduce clean up time. If you are frequently changing your powder color throughout the day, this is a great way to quickly and easily eliminate pain points and improve your application process.
Cartridge Filters Explained
Cartridge Filters for powder booths, blast booths, dust collection and smoke eaters is essential to a clean operation. Learn details about cartridge filters and properly selecting replacements.
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 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 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 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.
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
Light and Comfortable
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.|
Lowers Injury Risk
Improves Quality and Precision
Lowers Healthcare and Disability Costs
|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.|
The Air Power Sales team attended Graco’s 2019 Finishing Series Launch Event. It was held at the Georgia Power Center in Atlanta, GA and GEMA’s Training Facility located in Indianapolis, IN. This exclusive training is designed around Graco’s extensive product and application knowledge further equipping our team of Account Managers and supporting Application Specialist’s ability to support, promote, and identify opportunities within the manufacturing community. We were able to receive 10 hours of hands-on training directly with Graco’s team of product managers, engineers, and marketing leaders; allowing for a successful and mutually beneficial event. This training centered around cutting edge technology and product enhancements; with topics including: product messages, combating competition in the field, and proven examples (case studies) of how these technologies solve customer challenges. Below are the seven (7) topics that the Air Power and Graco team covered in detail.
Intelligent Paint Kitchen for Pneumatic Pumps
Graco’s intelligent paint kitchen is a system of smart sensors communicating with each other that optimize the performance of your circulation system. It is a less complex, less expensive alternative to advanced remote monitoring and control for the entire paint room — especially when compared to traditional custom built systems. All components are standard products, not a custom-built system, which makes them easy to be configured and install. And because both the initial investment and installation costs are lower, you’re able to be more competitive in a global market. With the intelligent paint kitchen, you can remotely monitor and control key circulation system parameters like pressures, flow rates, tank levels and agitator speeds. The enhanced awareness of key circulation system parameters in real-time enables quick diagnosis of issues and ensures your system is operating at peak efficiency.
New Pro XP Electrostatic Gun Models
Graco took their trademark, high performing electrostatic spray guns and made them better. They are smaller, lighter and designed to maximize your profits. Available in 40, 60 and 85 kV, the Pro Xp electrostatic spray gun also has a round spray option for when you need a bell-shaped pattern and a High Conductivity version for when you have low resistivity material.
Radial Piston Agitator
These units consume 30 to 50 percent less air than rotary vane motors. Manufacturers can upgrade to radial piston agitators, which run the most efficiently at low to medium speeds.
Sealed 4-Ball Plus Lower
Graco’s sealed lower not only has longer maintenance cycles, but it is also easier, faster and cheaper to replace than an entire pump assembly. The lower is completely sealed, so it can be used for every pumping application in your mix room, including catalyzed coatings. Common components make it simpler to maintain your pump, and it reduces inventory level on repair parts. Plus our positive displacement piston pumps displace fluid in both directions of the stroke, providing low cycle rates and high flow, ideal for applications using shear-sensitive materials.
Active Surge Suppressor
Graco surge suppressors were designed specifically for the finishing industry from decades of pump technology research. The streamlined fluid path ensures low shear, smooth fluid flow, and superior flush ability.
Graco’s ProDispense is a cost effective, user-friendly electronic system that gives you the capability to quickly and accurately fill cavities with industrial fluids in assembly line environments. The ProDispense allows for Consistent fluid dispense that is compatible with manual or automatic applications. The easy to use interface allows for the tracking of volume. The fluid panel configurations allow for a wide range of material viscosity and flow rates with accuracy ranges of 1 to 3 percent.
Graco’s ProControl 1KE allows you to actively manage fluid and air pressure to lock in precise spray parameters. It not only monitors fluids, it has added controls to manage fluids and improve spray performance. These systems allow for precise control of pressure, flow rates, and atomizing air with the ability to easily adjust. The user interface allows for accurate reporting of material usage while remotely monitoring all fluids via the advanced web interface on your corporate network.