Less Downtime and Lower Costs Point to Quick ROI

All-electronic automatic system expected to pay for itself within a year.

Interworking standard equipment maximizes productivity for Tier 1 automaker

CUSTOMER: Tier 1 Automotive Manufacturer

GRACO EQUIPMENT: Intelligent Paint Kitchen, ProDispense, E-Flo DC 4-Ball Electric Pump, Husky 1050e Diaphragm Pump

CHALLENGE: Coating inner and outer metal parts for dampeners, body mounts, engine mounts, spring isolators, strut assemblies and other auto parts at a Tier 1 manufacturer was exhausting – quite literally.

Every day, the production line operator mixed 200 gallons of chemical adhesive to supply 14 spray booths. The tiring manual process started by:

  • Hand-mixing the material/solvent mixture for each spray booth in a 5 gallon pressure pot
  • Carrying the full pressure pot to the paint mix room, hooking it up to the line leading to the correct spray booth, and starting the supply pump

Throughout the day, the operator went into the paint mix room to check each pressure pot, making sure the material was on-ratio and the pressure pot was full. When an off-ratio or empty pressure pot needed replacing, they had to stop the pump and spray booth, causing downtime several times per day.

Downtime also occurred when air motors for pressure pot agitators and supply pumps had to be rebuilt or replaced. Overworked maintenance staff also needed to clean pressure pots before the operator could refill them.

SOLUTION: Wanting to bring his facility into the 21st century, the production engineer went online to search for an all-electric solution. He landed on Graco.com, filled out a contact form, and was connected immediately with a local Graco representative who worked with him to find a solution.

They found that interworking standard equipment could increase efficiency and ease the strain on the operator and maintenance staff.

  • One tank for material and another for solvent supply a 150-gallon day tank.
    • Sensors and electric agitators in each tank monitor levels and correctly mix and circulate the material or solvent.
  • Husky 1050e Electric Diaphragm Pumps distribute material and solvent from the separate tanks into the day tank.
    • ProDispense, Graco’s electronic fluid dispense and meter system, controls the diaphragm pumps, making sure they distribute the correct amount of material and solvent into the day tank whenever it runs low.
  • The 150-gallon day tank is also equipped with level sensors and electric agitators.

Intelligent Paint Kitchen technology connects the electronic automatic system; so that the operator can check tank levels and monitor other parameters from outside the paint mix room.

RESULT: With material, rework and labor savings, the Tier 1 automaker expects a return on investment from the all-electronic automatic system within a year.

  • With Intelligent Paint Kitchen remote monitoring and level sensing, the operator no longer needs to go to and from the paint mix room to check, refill, hand mix, carry and clean pressure pots.
    • Daily downtime ended, now that there’s no need to stop machines to refill pressure pots.
  • ProDispense ratio assurance helped cut material waste and rework.
  • Electric pump technology cut the plant’s compressed air usage in half.
    • The E-Flo DC and Husky pumps keep running with minimal maintenance; no downtime needed to fix or replace worn-out motors.

The interworked equipment not only maximizes the efficiency of the production line, but also of the operator and maintenance staff. 

Tier 1 Automotive Supplier

Tier 1 Automotive Supplier

OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) demand components that look good and work well through harsh conditions. Tier 1 suppliers throughout the automotive industry achieve durable coatings and precise fluid dispense with Graco solutions.

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