In my previous blog about the manufacturing facility that machined small plastic components for the medical industry, I explained how the Stay Set Ion Air Jet Kit was able to improve the machining process by eliminating static. (You can read the blog here: EXAIR Ion Air Jets: Phase 1 for improving medical devices). With their machining center being in a semi-clean room, cleanliness was very important. So, after each machining operation, they would have to sweep the plastic chips from the machining table and discard. This extended the cycle time in their machining operation.
Since they had such a great relationship with EXAIR in dealing with their previous application, they contacted us again to improve their cleanup operation. Non-conductive materials like plastic generates static on the surface when the material is peeled, shifted, or rubbed against another surface. Since we removed the static from the plastic shavings with the Stay Set Ion Air Jet, we wanted to target that area before static could regenerate and start “sticking” to clean parts. In getting more details about their setup, they were machining with vertical CNC mills. The mills had a platform table that had a pneumatic fixture to grab the medical part. Before machining began, the operators would have to close Plexiglas doors as a safety requirement. The CNC mills did have an opening at the top of the machine. (This was where they were supplying the Stay Set Ion Air Jet with compressed air and power supply.)
With my experience, I had a good suggestion for refining their cleaning operation. I suggested the model 6193-5 Mini Chip Vac System. This system uses compressed air to generate a vacuum for picking up chips. The vacuum generator does not have any moving parts or bearings to wear; so, they are very durable and long-lasting. The Mini Chip Vac System uses a 5 gallon drum which is very compact and easy to use in tight areas. The system includes a 0.1 micron filter to keep all the contamination inside the drum and not allowing it to escape back into the room air. (Very necessary in a semi-clean location.) Even for its small size, the Mini Chip Vac is very powerful and quiet. It has a decibel rating of only 77 dBA; so, noise will not be a nuisance when operating the vacuum. It comes standard with a 10 foot vacuum hose which make it easy to reach into tight areas to clean.
As a suggestion, I recommended that they could collect the plastic shaving during the machining process Instead of waiting until after the operation to clean. They could mount the Mini Chip Vac drum near the machine, and bring in the vacuum hose through the opening at the top. The suction end of the vacuum could be placed on the opposite side of the Stay Set Ion Air Jet. In conjunction, the Stay Set Ion Air Jet would remove the static and swarf from the plastic surface; at the same time, the Mini Chip Vac would collect and remove the plastic shavings from the machining area. This combination of EXAIR products would keep the parts clean as well as the machining area. When they installed the Mini Chip Vac System into their process, they almost doubled their production rate.
If you are dealing with messy chips in your machining operation, the EXAIR Chip Vac Systems can be a solution for you. For the customer above, I was able to find a simple way to use the Mini Chip Vac to keep the area clean and increase their production rates. If you are spending too much time in cleaning up your area, you can contact an Application Engineer to find the best solution to streamline your operation.
Photo: Muscles Anatomy Medical Human by Heblo/64. CC0 Public Domain