Keeping a competitive edge means always reinventing manufacturing processes for more productive throughput. A customer who machines spindles implemented a major material savings by changing the way they turned their spindles. Instead of hogging it out of a single billet, sending most of the material out as chips and extended machining cycles, they purchased bars at near net diameters then simply cut them to length and spin welded them together.
Although it was a great success they were not complacent with their achievements and looked for further improvements. Since the next process was a center-less grind, the part needed to cool to normalize tolerances. This created in-process inventory and double handling. If they could cool the part as it came off the spin welder, it could be sent directly to the grinder.
EXAIR suggested its Vortex Tube model 3240. As the part comes off the welding process, it is inserted into a cooling tube fed with refrigerated air from the vortex tube.
Within the welding cycle time the part cooled sufficiently. It then was moved to the grinding operation and replaced by the next part to be cooled.
The total of all the modifications enabled them to reduce lot sizes and move to Just-In-Time manufacturing.