When you think of plant safety it is common to think about the things you can see or do. This can be rules and regulations on how to navigate throughout the plant as well as wearing the appropriate safety attire such as hard hats, safety glasses, ear plugs, in addition to fire suits or Kevlar gloves to name a few. So, if the plant has all these things, isn’t it safe? Well, maybe, or maybe not? What about the things you can’t see such as static electricity? Have you considered the need for grounding and bonding?
Business Challenge: The case of retrofitting a new device onto a legacy harness.
A major engineering firm approached Mueller Electric to help engineer a solution to their customer’s problem of installing new fleet intercoms into their current vehicles. The vehicles already had a wire harness accessible through the dashboard which was installed during the initial assembly process at the factory. This harness accommodated the docking station for the original intercoms which have now become obsolete. Since intercoms are a necessity for the fleet, new intercoms were purchased but they were not compatible with the original harness. One option would have been to replace the original harness in the vehicle, but this would have been very expensive and time consuming.
Topics: custom cables
Have you noticed lately that your paint line isn’t producing the quality it once did?
Are your substrates weighing less as a finished product?
Are your thickness measurements showing less versus more?
Have you noticed more overspray in your paint booth?
Are your robots wearing more paint than your substrates?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions you certainly have something going wrong in your paint process, not to mention your increased costs of paint as well as your amount of scrap and rework.
Topics: Painting metal
Many believe that taking a “least cost” approach is best in sourcing a supplier for the building of their custom cable assembly. What does that approach guarantee? Well, it guarantees a low price but does it guarantee on time delivery of a high quality product? Unfortunately, when accepting a low price as the main driver for supplier selection you usually get what you pay for, a great price, but, also long lead times and a product of marginal quality. Custom assemblies are usually unique in their design and are quite involved when it comes to design and assembly. To effectively source a supplier to build your unique custom cable assembly you should consider many factors on the way to your final decision. These factors are:
Topics: custom cables
Every electrostatic paint line requires grounding. As each substrate enters the paint booth the question is always, "Is it grounded?" At this point you have cleaned the carrier, connected grounding straps (if necessary), and may have even coated the substrate with conductive material so you've done your job and your paint line will produce great results. Or will it? How do you know whether or not your paint line is providing a solid ground? How do you know it is really, safe to paint?
Paint lines come in many shapes and sizes incorporating a wide range of paintable substrates. Some paint lines require large grounding assemblies to carry current while others are short light weight items used to provide a simple ground. Grounding metal is different than grounding fiberglass or plastics. The one thing in common is, everybody wants their paint line to produce high quality output with high percentages of transfer efficiency with low defects. In short, everyone wants their paint job to look great!
Topics: Paint Line Grounding
If you are a paint line manager or engineer you already know that building and maintaining a paint line is no small task. It is also a very costly initiative and the more money spent the higher the expectations for quality production. A major portion of the ongoing cost of a paint line is the paint itself and many paint engineers spend countless hours on improving transfer efficiency. Let's face it, any paint that doesn't land on its target is wasteful and costly.
For most painters, removing static from the paint process is critical to improving transfer efficiency. This is true for the painting of plastics, fiberglass and metal components. Does your paint line use robots or painters? Are you continually trying to reduce static with solutions that work, don't work or just are not reliable? The universal painting issue appears to be the cost of repainting and scrap versus the solution you are using. You may be building an electrostatic grounding solution yourself or buying something at a higher cost than you would like.
Topics: Painting Plastics
With the vast varieties of paint, materials and application processes, the achievement of an efficient, high-quality and consistent automated painting process can often seem elusive. How can the director of the painting operation optimize output and quality while controlling costs? Output is useless without quality. The cost of scrap and rework adds up quickly, and can delay the overall project. For example, if a painted plastic bumper cover has flaws and needs to be reworked or scrapped, then that component will not be available for assembly to the designated automobile, potentially impacting the production line or the customer (and who wants rework stacking up?). This is a disruptive and costly nuisance.