Graco Inc.

SGMW Motor Corporation Ltd. improves finishing quality while saving money with the Agitator Speed Controller

Challenge

How to improve finishing quality while saving money?

Headquartered in Liuzhou, China, The SGMW plant manufactures a range of automobiles for the Chinese market. In 2010, their sales volume was over 1.3 million with gave them a market share of nearly 43 Percent.

A key component to SGMW’s quality products is their paint finish. The paint finish not only appeals to the customer aesthetically, but also serves as a protective coating for the harshest environments. This requires their painting process to be precisely monitored and controlled to ensure a quality finish every time. Even before the material can be applied, accurate mixing is required to ensure proper material composition and integrity.

Conventional pneumatic agitators are operated by an air motor that drives the agitator mixing blade. However, as the material level in the container decreases, the resistance of the material on the mixing blade also decreases. This causes an increase in the rotational speed of the agitator. If the agitator is left unattended, the increased speed can lead to material degradation due to excessive shearing, or foamy aeration of the paint that is common with waterborne
materials. This can lead to quality issues that include surface pitting due to the air bubbles, or poor material adhesion and performance due to material degradation, which eventually causes scrap and rework.

Solution

With the help from Graco distributor Hinsong, SGMW ordered ten Agitator Speed Controllers to control their pneumatic agitators and mixers. The Agitator Speed Controller uses closed-loop air control to solve these problems.

Result

The Agitator Speed Controller not only provides SGMW with improved quality process control, but also saves them money. SGMW has decreased the amount of labor associated with monitoring the speed of their agitators, which required adjustment up to numerous of times per day. In addition, SGMW will also save energy by reducing the air consumption.

SGMW has noticed another benefit from the Agitator Speed Controller in the form of reduced maintenance costs. Previously, SGMW would perform maintenance on their agitator air motors on a regular basis to make sure their agitators were working properly. As the material level in the container lowers, the agitator shaft is less evenly supported by the material, which can cause wobbling and major deflection in the agitator shaft. When this deflection is coupled with an unnecessary increase in speed, the resulting side-loading can be damaging and reduce the life of the agitator.

The Agitator Speed Controller is a Graco accessory that provides SGMW with a solution that allows them to be more competitive in the global marketplace.

Specifications

Agitator: Graco Pneumatic Agitator
Material name: ED6060C PASTE (LIGHT GREY)
Viscosity: 375 PAS