A major tire manufacturer for the automobile industry, reached out to us with manufacturing troubles. They were having a tough time
with white sidewall rubber grinding, which is the white, rubber ring that’s inserted into the tire mold. A thin, black layer of rubber forms over the surface of the ring when the molding is complete. To remove the thin, black layer they use a grinding wheel, but in normal operations the wheel becomes hot, loads up with melted rubber and produces a significant amount of smoke. They were currently using air jets, in an attempt to cool the rubber, but this process failed to cool the rubber fast enough and generated too much noise.
After thoroughly analyzing their compressed air system, reviewing their setup and understanding their application needs, we were able to come up with 3 easy steps that would solve their manufacturing problems.
1 Application – By listening to their needs and understanding their manufacturing process we were able to offer solutions to their application that fit into their existing process. This also helped them to increase productivity and ensure they utilized their compressed air effectively.
2 Solutions – We were able to provide 2 solutions that helped their production line significantly decrease the downtime they had fixing the machines and ensure that their process was safe and met OSHA standards.
- First Solution: We recommend switching out the air jets for our Standard Cold Air Gun - 610. This solution allowed them to direct cold air (as low as -10°F) at the black flash coating just before it came in contact with the grinding wheel. This kept the rubber from melting and loading the wheel, which reduced the amount of smoke that was produced.
- Second Solution: We recommend that they install an Air Amplifier – 903 so that any smoke or particles that were produced by the grinding wheel were immediately sucked away from the grinding site. By mounting it as close as possible to the application site they were able to eliminate buildup and reduce possible safety incidents that could occur because of smoke and debris.
3 Benefits – By installing these 2 solutions they were able to get a good return on their investment and received added benefits that allowed them to save money.
- First Benefit: By switching to the 610 Cold Air Gun they were able to cool the black flash coating faster, allowing them to manufacture more tires in the same amount of time.
- Second Benefit: By switching from the air jets to the 610 Cold Air Gun they were not only able to gain cooling flexibility but also reduce the amount of compressed air used and the noise level simultaneously.
- Third Benefit: By installing both the 610 Cold Air Gun and the 903 Air Amplifier they were able to increase the efficiency and reduce the down time needed to clean and maintain the equipment. This saved them hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars throughout the year.
It is important, when looking for innovative solutions and improvements to manufacturing processes, to analyze the entire process. In many cases companies can miss out on opportunities that could save them time and money by not looking at all their options. If this tire manufacturer just replaced the air jets they may not have made the changes necessary to keep them competitive and ahead of their competition.