Recently, we had the opportunity to work with a large manufacturer and supplier of stamped and fine-blanked components. Predominantly known for their manufacturing of automotive parts, they provide a large variety of industrial equipment for several industries around the world, including agriculture, marine, motorcycles, wind & solar energy, batteries production, and more.
The process engineer, at one of their U.S. facilities, contacted Vortec with questions about possible cooling solutions for their automotive line. They were working with type 409 stainless-steel, which is robotically welded together. Before these parts can move to the next stages of production, end forming, and leak testing, the welded pieces need to be cooled. The 3-1/4” x 8” parts, weighing 2lbs, need to cool from over 500°F down to 100°F. If these metal parts aren’t cooled fast enough, or to a low enough temperature, the extremely hot parts could damage the sizing tool and leak testing machines during the next stage of production.
After the hot parts are robotically welded, they are placed on a conveyor that advanced into a “cooling cell.” In an attempt to quickly cool the steel parts, the process engineer installed fans in the cooling cell that blew air on the parts for 25 seconds. Utilizing temperature monitors and sensors, they were able to tell if the part was cooled to the required 100°F after going through the fan operated cooling process. If the component still exceeded 100°F, it was automatically rejected and pulled off-line until it could cool further. Needless to say, the fans were providing insufficient cooling and creating a massive bottleneck in the production process.
After our application engineers reviewed the production process step-by-step, we were able to calculate the cooling capacity required to cool the stainless-steel parts in under 25 seconds. The Vortec application engineer recommended that they install Air Flow Amplifiers
The Air Flow Amplifiers would allow for a large volume of high velocity, ambient air to be blown on to the parts. This high velocity of air would quickly cool the components allowing them to proceed to the next stage of production. The Vortec application engineer recommended that it would take four of Vortec’s 903 Air Flow Amplifiers to cool the parts down to 100°F in under 25 seconds.
The process engineer replaced the fans with two Air Flow Amplifiers, and immediately noticed a considerable improvement in the production output. The manufacturer no longer had to take the parts off-line and wait for them to cool down to 100°F. This switch was able to save the company in downtime, maintenance cost, and headaches. After seeing how effective the two 903 Air Flow Amplifiers were, the process engineer decided to install two additional Air Flow Amplifiers to improve cooling time further and speed up production.
Air Flow Amplifiers function using the Coanda Effect, a phenomenon in which a jet flow attaches itself to a nearby surface. What makes it unique is as the surface curves, the airflow remains attached to the curved surface even as it curves away from the jet flow.
To allow Air Flow Amplifiers to increase air flow significantly, the compressed air is combined with ambient air and pulled into the air amplifier piece. As the compressed air combines with the ambient air, it becomes “mixed” air, which has a much higher velocity and force than before. This is why Air Flow Amplifiers only require a small amount of compressed air to produce a significant increase in airflow. The Coanda Effect is the same phenomenon that allows airplanes to create the lift necessary to take off.
See Air Flow Amplifiers in action by clicking here: https://www.vortec.com/air-flow-amplifiers-convey
Find more product information here: https://www.vortec.com/air-amplifiers/overview