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Paint Kitchen Automation Cleans up Inefficient Mess for Equipment Finisher

 

Graco E-Flo DC Pump

Graco E-Flo DC Pump

 

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.

Customer

Heavy-duty lift truck equipment finisher.

Challenge

 

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.

 

Solution

 

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.

Results

 

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.

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Click Here to learn more about what Graco offers.

Echa un vistazo a lo que se está cocinando en México

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.

Air Power Mexico Team

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.

APMX Presentation

 

FABTECH Monterrey

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.

APMX at Heraus Event

 

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.

Gema OptiFlex Pro Series Launch

 

  • 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
  • Pro-Dispense
  • 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.

 

 

Ergonomics and Quality Control to New Heights

 
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.

Customer

 
Manufacturer of vertical transportation systems.

Challenge

 
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.

Solution

 
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.

 

 

Results

 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.
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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.

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

 

 

 

Air Power Enters 2019 with a New Corporate Brand

Industry-leading manufacturing supporter rebrands itself with a new website, logo, corporate video and it’s most defining element, the corporate tagline

An established, well-recognized, industry-leading brand, Air Power has created a place for itself as the manufacturing community’s provider of choice. And while the achievements and capabilities of Air Power have carried the company through the last 50 years, its success has never come from remaining idle. Air Power enters 2019 with a new corporate brand that more accurately reflects what the company offers and the value it provides to the market.

With an updated website, logo and corporate message, Air Power’s rebrand provides clarity to its mission as an organization and its commitment to the manufacturing community. The rebrand includes bolder colors, user-friendly and interactive website navigation, a more refined company message, a brand anthem video and Air Power’s most defining element, the new tagline: Assemble. Move. Coat.

The  “Assemble. Move. Coat.” tagline exemplifies the core of the company. For manufacturing organizations that assemble, move or coat product at any point in the production process, Air Power is the partner to turn to.

The brand anthem video offers an audible and visual representation of the values that define Air Power. By showcasing the core of Air Power’s culture, it’s employees, the brand anthem video sets the expectations for what customers and prospects can trust Air Power to deliver on.

“Air Power has been the industry-leading partner for the manufacturing community for 50 years. We’ve been the brand organizations turn to for quality products and highly-engineered, innovative solutions that effectively assemble, move and coat the products that shape our world,” said Dan Senff, President of Air Power. “Our rebranding efforts go far beyond a marketing exercise. These changes were intentional, allowing us to more effectively tell the story of our brand and what we bring to the table for customers, prospects and the industry at large.”

Air Power Attends BHP Chamber of Commerce 2019 Membership Awards Celebration

Air Power Manufacturing Solutions was invited to the BHP Chamber of Commerce 2019 Membership Awards Celebration held on Tuesday, February 19th. The event was held over lunch at the beautiful High Point Country Club. The 2019 Membership Awards Celebration is an annual event held by the Business High Point Chamber of Commerce. This event is the Business High Point Chamber’s opportunity to recognize all the people who make their organization great.

The celebration kicked off with a welcome from the President and CEO of the BHP Chamber, Patrick Chapin. The welcome was followed by a short prayer led by Reverend Dr. Frank Thomas of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of High Point. Thereafter, we heard a brief message from the Sponsor of the event, Phillip Morgan of Piedmont Natural Gas. Lastly, there was an address from the BHP Chamber Chairman David S. Congdon, CEO of Old Dominion Freight.

Congratulations to All the Winners and Nominees

 

We’d like to thank the Business High Point Chamber of Commerce for recognizing Air Power Manufacturing Solutions for reaching our 50 year milestone. We would also like to congratulate the nominees and following winners:

Small Business of the Year – Northwood Animal Hospital

Business of the Year – Bethany Medical Center

Minority-Owned Business of the Year – Karma Contracting

Community Organization of the Year – Bobby Labonte Foundation

Young Professional of the Year – Cyril Jefferson of Communities in School

President’s Award – Christi Barbour & Christi Spangle of Barbour Spangle Design

Volunteer of the Year – Eric Abeles, 2019 Co-Chair of Leadership High Point

Vision Investor of the Year – Mark A. Norcross of X8 Aviation

Distinguished Citizen of the Year – Robert G. Culp III

 

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