Late last year I received a call from a customer that was using EXAIR Super Air Knives to create an air curtain that protected the lens on their Robotic Welders from weld spatter. The EXAIR Super Air Knife accomplished this by virtue of its design to deliver a uniform sheet of laminar air flow across its entire length. While this greatly improved the life of the welder lens and reduced maintenance time, further improvements were needed.
The event that triggered this was the challenge they received from their customer (one of the big 3 automobile manufacturers) to increase their output of welded seat frames by 50%. While the EXAIR Super Air Knives greatly reduced lens maintenance the consensus was further improvements would facilitate the goal of increasing output 50% .
This started the discussion on the possibility of using the EXAIR Super Air Wipe, even though it is primarily used for drying/cleaning of long continuous flow products its airflow pattern (see illustration below) was able to direct the weld splatter down and away from the lens. This ultimately proved to be more effective at protecting the lens than the laminar air curtain provided by the EXAIR Super Air Knife.
The installation of the EXAIR Super Air Wipes started on 12/16/2017 and was completed on 12/23/2017. The original production rate was 480 pair of SUV rear seat frames per day running 3 shifts 24/6.
After the Installation of the EXAIR Super Air Wipes, they had improved the production rate to 750 pair/day running 3 shifts 24/5 days per week. That equates to a productivity increase of 156%, far exceeding the goal of 50%!
Before using the EXAIR Super Air Wipe their maintenance department would clean the Cover Slide on the Laser Welding Head – 3 times per day at approximately 20 min x 3x daily x 6 days / week 6 hours / week. “With the EXAIR Super Air Wipe we found that we can weld for 10 days before cleaning the Cover Slide” says the customer.
Each Cover Slide costs $195 and those were being replaced weekly, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that only a small amount of dust collects on the Cover Slide now, which is cleaned off in less than a minute
Also, Cleaning of the Slides is now performed on Saturday’s at the leisure of the maintenance team and not under the strain of production time. The Labor Rate for Maintenance is $75/hour x 6 hours/week = $450 X 50 weeks/year $22,500 plus the cost of the replacement windows at $195 each x 25 weeks = $4,875 savings per year. Total savings after implementing the EXAIR Super Air Wipe = $27,375 per welding machine!
With the maintenance & replacement cost savings alone it is an easy calculation to make on the purchase of the EXAIR Super Air Wipe’s. That figure is not counting the productivity increase of 156% which allowed them to meet their customers delivery schedule and reduce overtime!