We have a customer who produces automotive stampings and assemblies. Within their process they have a welding cell which places a weld nut on to the stamping.
Within the cell an M6 nut is placed on the stamping and held in place with a magnet. An automated vision inspection is done to determine if the nut has been placed on the stamping. If all things are OK, the nut is welded to the stamping and it moves into a punch press for further modification.
If the vision inspection does not see the nut, another one is placed on to the stamping. The problem is the magnet is strong enough to hold a misplaced nut as well and when another nut is placed on to the stamping there is the potential for the misplaced nut to still be on the stamping. A misplaced nut moving into the next step of the punch process will damage the punch and the product.
EXAIR supplied a 6″ Super Air Knife to provide a blast of air over a wide area after the weld process and the magnet has been removed. This 6″ wide area blast of air makes sure that the entire area a misplaced nut could be is blown clear, removing any chance that a nut will damage the punch or the product.
This is a case where a simple, low-cost solution prevents a complicated and expensive problem.