Posts

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Color Change Too Fast?

Manufacturing facilities strive to improve the quality of their finish while reducing color changeover time in an effort to produce the most desirable product quickly. In this study we will discuss the importance of recognizing every company’s desire to improve in these areas and how improvements can be made within a custom powder coating operation.

Customer

 

A local wheel remanufacturer and custom coater located within North Carolina.

Challenge

 

This facility was constantly losing valuable production time due to quality rejections.  Once rejected, the part was reworked and coated a second time.  This caused a cumulative effect on both powder usage and man hours proving rework within this facility a high cost and overhead factor.  In addition, the existing manner of color change resulted in the facilities inability to keep up with current workload. Daily operation consisted of: 4 main colors, an occasional “custom” color, and a clear coat.

Air Power’s Solution

 

Air Power proposed a Gema OptiFlex 2 Wall Unit with multiple dedicated fluidizing hoppers.  These fluidizing hoppers are plumbed for the 4 main colors.  A Gema cup gun was provided for the “custom” colors and clear coat. Air Power was able to provide an onsite demo at the customers facility allowing the customer to test, prove, and inspect the proposed solution prior to investment.  The improvement in both quality product output and line throughput was dramatic.  In addition, the facility was impressed with Gema’s five (5) year manufacturer’s warranty and Air Powers local support and service.

 

Result

 

The immediate improvement was first observed within the finish quality which was noticed within the existing customer base.  Due to this improvement, repeat business was observed more readily and additional customers were earned, growing an ever increasing need for a more expansive customer base. Even though workload was increased, production never had to slow down. The quick color change system, with dedicated pump/hose combination, allowed operation to change color quickly removing the former bottleneck.   An added benefit of the system was the removal of pre-heating parts to achieve powder thickness and build.  This result was observed due to Gema’s industry leading transfer efficiency, new found operator control, and recipe programing within the system.

Can you color change too fast?  If you ask this custom coater the answer is no; and their ability to change colors faster with an increase in finish quality has taken the operation to new heights.

 

OptiFlex 2 Wall Unit color change system

 

Gema Gun with Cup for small and test batches

 

 

Ingersoll Rand Advanced Tightening System

Air Power, Inc. presents a demonstrations of Ingersoll Rand’s Advanced Tightening System by Kyle Crawford