Multiple Products Provide a Solution to Improve a Laminated Sign Making Process

A manufacturer that produces laminated signs contacted EXAIR for a blow off application. Being that we are experts in this area, I thought this would be a simple solution. The conversation started out about the signs that they manufacture. They are laminated sheets that have a thin aluminum film with a coating on the front and back sides. Their process was to cut stacks of these signs that he called books to specific dimensions. Here is how the conversation went in a shortened version:

Problem –

  1. I need to blow off chips from the saw process.
  2. It has to be strong enough to remove the chips that are melted into the face of the laminate.
  3. When the blade gets dull, the chips become hotter. The operator has to blow on the blade as it is cutting to reduce the amount of chips that melt into the laminated face.
  4. After the machine finishes and the books are removed, the table lifts up and disposes of the excess chips.

Solution –

  1.  Model 1122 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle to blow a wide area off the top of the signs after sawing.
Model 1122: 2
2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle

2.  Model 5330 High Power Cold Gun with dual point hose to place on the saw blade. This will extend the life of the blade and help keep the chips cool. Eliminating the melting into the face.

5330 High Power Cold Air Gun
High Power Cold Gun System

3.  Model: 110248 Super Air Knife Kit to blow the chips from the table after it is lifted.

Super Air Knife
Super Air Knife

As you can see, with a simple initial question, it became complicated rather quickly. Instead of looking at one area of the application, I was able to improve their entire process. In any manufacturing plant, scrap and downtime are the two biggest culprits in reducing profits. The scrap occurred when the faces were scratched and damaged. The downtime happened during the cleanup between book change-overs and when the saw blades were being replaced. Overall, their process improved in efficiency and speed.

Whenever you need to look at the overall process for improvement, EXAIR may have multiple solutions to offer. You can speak to an Application Engineer to see how EXAIR can increase your efficiency and reduce your scrap. You can either call 800-903-9247 or send an email to techhelp@exair.com.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_jb

Preventing Quality Defects in Laminated Autoglass

This week I had the opportunity to work with a customer that manufactures automotive glass. Part of the process of manufacturing the glass is to apply a thin plastic film of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) in between glass sheets.

 

This creates the laminated safety glass that protects passengers from flying glass shards in the event of an accident.

glass
The customer was having a quality problem. Glass was being rejected on their low volume compound curved glass production line for debris being trapped between the layers during the laminating process. We worked on identifying how the dust could be introduced into his laminating process. First, each of the glass panels are cleaned by hand with a cleaner and a soft cloth to remove any dirt, grease or oil that can be left behind from production, shipping, or handling. The soft cloth can leave behind some lint.

On the high production line, a cleaning roller would remove any lint left behind on the flat glass. On the curved glass of the low production line, the curvature of the glass prevented the roller from applying even pressure across the glass and was leaving lint of the cleaning cloth is left behind.  This lint will become a defect in the glass after the glass is cured in an oven.

Ion Air Gun

I recommended the customer use an Ion Air Gun immediately after the hand cleaning cloth step since the Ion Air Gun is also a manual, hand held product. The PVB is pulled from a stack of thin film which generates a static charge from dragging one sheet over another and increasing the chance that lint will stick. The Ion Air Gun will remove the static charge and blow off the lint just prior to lamination. If this was a high volume product, I would have recommend one of our long one piece Super Ion Air Knives to cover the whole piece of glass in a single blow off. Because this was already a manual process due to a low volume specialty glass, the Ion Air Gun is the best product for the job.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

 

Image from me and the sysop. Creative Commons