Paint Integrity Remains Critical to Aerospace Industry
Tier 1 aircraft manufacturer finds a way to keep material on-ratio throughout induction time and application onto fuselages and cockpits.
Aircraft manufacturer keeps material on-ratio with ProMix plural component systems
CUSTOMER: Tier 1 aerostructures supplier and manufacturer
GRACO EQUIPMENT: ProMix 2KE and ProMix 2KS Plural Component Mixing Systems
CHALLENGE: In the aerospace industry, material durability is critical. Paint acts as a protection layer against the harsh temperature changes an aircraft encounters during take off, flight and landing.
To ensure the paint’s integrity, aircraft specifications will often require a certain induction time. After material is mixed, it must sit – sometimes for 20 to 30 minutes – before being applied. This process allows the chemicals in the catalyst and resin to fully bond.
One large aircraft manufacturer struggled to find a reliable way to keep material on ratio throughout induction time and application onto fuselages and cockpits.
- They first tried hand mixing, but could not keep the material on-ratio nor replicate the same batch twice.
- They also tried a Fluidics mixing system to dispense the two-component material into a pressure pot. This produced slightly better ratio assurance. But they reported that it also caused a lot of maintenance headaches, especially when the electronic control panel had to be shipped back to the factory for all repairs.
Both methods caused rejected parts, wasted material, and way too much downtime.
SOLUTION: They needed precise mixing equipment that they could rely on. The engineer in charge felt that Fluidics had not upgraded equipment serviceability, so he began to look elsewhere.
In one of the company’s other locations, Graco ProMix 2KS units had been used for over 10 years to mix vapor barrier material. When they took a visit to see the units first-hand, employees and management raved about the ProMix’s reliability, ease of use, and local serviceability.
The engineer subsequently set up a one-day, hands-on demonstration with the local distributor. The 12 participating team members all noticed how easy both the ProMix 2KE and ProMix 2KS systems were to use – especially the electronic interfaces that could be serviced locally. They agreed this could drastically reduce downtime.
RESULTS: The aircraft manufacturer installed four ProMix 2KE and two ProMix 2KS Plural Component Mixing Systems. More than 10 months later, they have not experienced any major maintenance concerns or stoppage in production.
Ratio assurance is now more reliable and consistent than ever, allowing them to deliver the high quality product that their business is built on.
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