Lean Series Part III: Determining the Amount of Motion Waste in Paint Production Process

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Motion waste refers to the extra physical steps taken by employees and equipment to accommodate inefficient process layout, defects, reprocessing, overproduction or excess inventory. Additional and unnecessary motion takes time and adds no value to the product or service.

Moving and adding value is called work. Moving and not adding value is adding costs to your company and is motion waste.

IntelliFinishing removes motion waste simply by its technology and design. We know we cost more than an average Power and Free system. We are okay with that, because we know the value our completely automated finishing system adds to our customer’s production processes and profit margins.

Here is how we add value and help our customers remove motion waste:

  • SMALL FOOTPRINT
    Many of IntelliFinishing’s system layouts result in a smaller footprint than systems that use overhead monorail conveyors or power and free conveyors. A smaller footprint ultimately means less conveyor to maintain, less floor space operators have to cover and a reduction in the space requirements of your building. An Intellifinishing system can be designed within a smaller footprint because:

    • the conveyor does not have a chain so you don’t have to plan for the return chain
    • our conveyor moves forward and backward allowing you to spur parts to a masking area or load/unload area
    • we use shuttles or deadheads for large parts eliminating the need for large bulb turns
    • we give you flexibility within zones, allowing the conveyor to run faster or slower based on the process, eliminating the need for a large oven
  • LAYOUT DESIGN FLEXIBILITY
    When we are designing systems, we look for ways to share operators and resources between stations. In one system, we were able to position the mask and unmask stations next to each other, allowing for one person to perform both tasks. Frequently, the same resources may be used for loading and unloading since the system can stop in a zone without affecting other areas.
  • SYSTEM OVERVIEW DISPLAY AT ALL HMIs
    Operating stations track each carrier within each zone allowing you to quickly identify any issues and exactly where it is located, saving time and money in motion waste. Work instructions may also be displayed at stations and are useful for masking and labeling instructions.
  • SPEED UP THROUGH NON-VALUE ADDED ZONES
    IntelliFinishing complete paint systems give you the ability to move at variable speeds within zones, along with the value added option to stop the line within a zone or process without affecting the rest of the line, eliminating unnecessary movement of equipment.
  • DECREASED MOVEMENT EQUALS FEWER INJURIES
    With less overall movement by workers and equipment, the chance of injury decreases. Have you ever wondered how beneficial decreased movement can be to your bottom-line? For example, the average back injury (sprain/strain) can cost more than $10,000 in direct costs (National Safety Council Statistics) and anywhere from $30,000 up to $100,000 in indirect cost. The direct cost for all U.S. workers out of work due to Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs is estimated at $13-20 billion annually with indirect costs between $26-110 billion annually.

Choosing a Conveyor

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Conveyors for Finishing Systems

The selection of a conveyor for your powder coating system or liquid paint system at your manufacturing plant should be based on the features and benefits of each of the conveyors, part and process requirements, as well as your business goals.

There are three types of automated overhead conveyors typically used in finishing systems:

  • Monorail conveyors
  • Power and Free conveyors
  • IntelliFinishing conveyors

The layout should be configured to move parts from the loading point in the fabrication area through the finishing system to the unloading point in the assembly or shipping area. The goal is to minimize wasted movement, damage to the parts and personnel while providing the desired finished quality.

Monorail Conveyor Description

Overhead Monorail Conveyor
A monorail conveyor is simple and efficient but lacks flexibility.

Overhead monorail conveyors have the load-carrying and the drive functions combined in one element—the endless chain. The chain is guided by a rail system based on either an I-beam or an enclosed track. A take-up unit ensures that the chain is pulled tight as it leaves the drive unit. A caterpillar drive or sprocket drives the chain. Parts are suspended from the chain by special attachments or load bars. This conveyor can follow only one path. No other paths or spurs for masking, maintenance, labeling, loading or unloading are typically part of a monorail conveyor system.

Advantages: simple, efficient, low initial cost, best used for a single type of part and process

Disadvantages: no layout flexibility for part variety or process changes, any line stop or breakdown stops entire conveyor, no ability to stop for a process (masking, touch-up, labeling) without stopping entire conveyor, chain maintenance, take-up unit adjustment and monitoring, lubrication can cause issues with the quality of the parts, noisy

Video:
Monorail Conveyor

Power and Free Conveyor Description

Picture of power and free
Power & Free conveyors use a two-rail system and pusher dogs to allow for more flexibility than a monorail system.

Overhead power and free conveyors are two-rail systems. The trolley is the load-carrying element and is located below the chain. The trolleys use the lower “free rail” and the chains are in the upper “power rail.” Pusher dogs establish the connection between chain and trolley and can be engaged (dogging and de-dogging) and disengaged as needed. The “free rail” can be equipped with switches, lifting stations or stops to allow the trolleys to follow different paths, or be lifted or lowered, stopped or moved at different speeds throughout the system. The entire conveyor system is PLC-controlled.

Advantages: flexible layouts for variety of parts and processes, stop and start, multiple speeds, reduction in personnel since parts may be stopped, trolleys can be buffered, part tracking, integration to ERP, process recipes

Disadvantages: higher initial cost than monorail conveyor, any line stops or breakdowns stop entire conveyor, more layout options require more chain, return chain, speed changes require multiple chains and drive motors, chain maintenance, take-up unit adjustment and monitoring, lubrication can cause quality problems, part swing since there is no accelerate or decelerate, no ability to reverse direction reduces layout options, no ability to reverse when there are problems requires complete chain to be stopped, noisy

Videos:
Dog Magic Chain Conveyor (Daifuku North America)
Power & Free Conveyors (Daifuku Webb)

IntelliFinishing Conveyor Description

IntelliFInishing Spinning Tube Friction Drive Conveyor
An IntelliFinishing conveyor system provides ultimate flexibility using a spinning tube friction drive requiring no chain.

The IntelliFinishing conveyor provides even greater flexibility than power and free because the movement of the trolley is performed with a spinning tube by a small motor. Each section or zone of an IntelliFinishing conveyor may be independently controlled with a variable frequency drive (VFD) and the entire system is PLC-controlled. Data handling and smart controls with recipes for a variety of parts provide even greater flexibility and automation. With “no chain”, driving the system, many of the issues like maintenance, noise, chain jams, take-up problems, lubrication ruining finished parts, de-dogging, floor space for return chain, etc. are not an issue for an IntelliFinishing automated finishing system. The trolley (propelled by the spinning tube) moves forward and reverse which provides more layout options and decreases production stoppage and downtime when compared to power and free conveyor system.

Advantages: flexible layouts for a variety of parts and processes, stop and start, multiple speeds, can stop individual motor sections independent of each other allowing remainder of conveyor system to run, reduction in personnel since parts may be stopped, trolleys can be buffered, part tracking, integration to ERP, process recipes, accelerate, decelerate, reverse, minimal maintenance and no chain lubrication, reduction in floor space, lower energy and resources since processes run only when a part is present, expandable, modular and moveable, more adaptable for lean manufacturing

Disadvantages: higher initial cost than monorail conveyor, more options may cause increase in costs because of drives and motors, limitations on inclines and declines, larger elevation changes require lift sections

Videos:
IntelliFinishing System Overview
IntelliFinishing Shuttle for Large Parts
IntelliFinishing Paint System at Raytheon

 Advantages of Overhead Conveyors

Monorail

  • simple
  • efficient
  • low initial cost
  • best for single part/process
Power & Free

  • flexible layouts
  • stop & start
  • multiple speeds
  • buffering
  • part tracking
  • integration to ERP
  • process recipes
IntelliFinishing

  • flexible layouts
  • stop & start
  • multiple speeds
  • buffering
  • stop sections without stopping whole line
  • part tracking
  • integration to ERP
  • process recipes
  • accelerate
  • decelerate
  • reverse
  • minimal maintenance
  • no lubrication
  • reduction in floor space
  • expandable
  • modular
  • moveable

Disadvantages of Overhead Conveyors

Monorail

  • no layout flexibility
  • chain maintenance
  • take-up adjustment
  • lubrication
  • noisy
Power & Free

  • higher initial cost (vs. monorail)
  • chain maintenance
  • take-up adjustment
  • lubrication
  • noisy
  • more layout options require more chain
  • return chain
  • part swing
IntelliFinishing

  • higher initial cost (vs. monorail)
  • limitation on incline & decline

Old Technology. New Technology.

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New vs Old
Why use 40-year-old technology in your new paint system?

Why Use Old Technology on a New Finishing System?

Are you still using old technology when painting parts? We invite you to take a look at some of the new technology that is out there and apply the benefits it can bring to your particular situation!

Visit www.intellifinishing.com where you can take a look at what new technology has to offer when you require a turnkey liquid paint system, powder coating system or an automated paint system.

Alternative to Power and Free Conveyor

IntelliFinishing Complete Paint Systems are an exciting alternative to power and free systems.

We want to share with you a few of the advantages you can expect when replacing your traditional power and free or monorail systems with the newest technology for industrial paint system replacement.

Floor Space Savings

One of the benefits that our customers and potential customers talk a lot about is the amount of floor space that can be saved. In some cases, as much as 43%. By eliminating bulb turns, shuttles used in new technology can decrease your footprint exponentially, which can add up to thousands of dollars of savings. If you are processing large parts, our shuttle demo should move to the top of your “to-do list” right now.

No Chain

picture of IntelliFinishing conveyor
Conveyor is propelled with spinning tube – no chain

Our industrial paint systems are “chain free”. (They are also awesome). No chain means no extra space is needed for the return chain as in a power & free system. Awesome because, your footprint just got smaller again!

On this same note, no chain means the ability to reverse – AND – no messy oil dripping on your parts or collecting dust.

Virtually Noiseless

Another cost-saving benefit, especially for large manufacturing companies, could come in the form of dollars spent supplying employees with hearing protection. One of our customer’s finishing systems is less than 75db, which resulted in the removal of employees from a hearing conservation program. Being a “no chain” system means no dogs or buffer zones, and that equates to: no metal carriers crashing into each other, further reducing noise.

Variable Speeds

A turnkey powder coating system provided by IntelliFinishing makes part sway a thing of the past! New technology with variable frequency drives (VFD) controls the conveyor’s motion, and Smart Controls allow for variable speeds and independently controlled zones for different recipes. New technology gives you the ability to monitor and track parts at ANY point in the system. (Seriously, you need to take a look at one of our demos of an automated powder coating system).

Layout Options

Our switches provide layout options just like the old technology, but additionally, a switch in a complete finishing system provided by IntelliFinishing can be used to deadhead, providing even more layout processing options. (Have you picked up the phone to schedule a demo yet?)

Energy Savings

With the new technology used in an IntelliFinishing complete finishing system, the conveyor runs only when the carrier is present. Additionally, the supporting process equipment, like a washer, also only runs when a part is present.

Modular and Expandable

We all intend for our business to grow. Will your “old” technology grow with you? Our “new” technology will. The modular design of an IntelliFinishing system allows for easily expandable floor plan. As your company grows, your production levels change. Our turnkey finishing systems grow with you and additional processes or applications can be installed quickly. Call us.

A Plan for Every Part

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A Plan for Every Part©

Ever wish you had a different finishing line for every type of part you have to paint or powder coat? Large heavy parts take more time to process than small thin ones. Some parts require additional masking and others don’t. Different chemistry is required for different types of metals… the list seems to be endless.

IntelliFinishing has presented to a variety of audiences recently and manufacturers are impressed with the “Plan for Every Part©” technology. Each item you process gets the best finish available, just like the system was built specifically for that part.

Unlike traditional finishing systems where the system is built for your longest or heaviest part, which results in over-baking of other parts; the IntelliFinishing finishing system provides capabilities that are unmatched in the finishing industry.

With conveyors that move load bars of parts at varying speeds which are based on the parts’ unique size and material, an IntelliFinishing system offers capabilities in ONE LINE that would take MULTIPLE LINES for traditional systems. Customers have been amazed at what can be accomplished with layouts that are not limited by a one-way, one-speed conveyor.

The IntelliFinishing system is not for everyone.

  • Do you finish a variety of sizes of parts?
  • Do you finish parts that are made from different materials?
  • Do your processes for finishing ever change?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then you may want to see how an IntelliFinishing system is rocking the world of finishing. Contact us at info@intellifinishing.com.

Part I: Changing the “Game”! – Improving Paint System Design

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Part I: Changing the “Game”! – Improving Paint System Design

IntelliFinishing has had a great start in the introduction of our new industrial paint system. We’ve had a fantastic response from numerous companies that do industrial coating. I think our favorite comment so far has been, “Wow! Seriously,…I can do that?” It was a great “ah-ha” moment.

IntelliFinishing is really changing how people think about finishing systems. We know it is hard to pull your mind from the way a finishing system has always been; stationary, single speed, single direction, take it or leave it type systems. Once you understand the IntelliFinishing system, it will shatter your preconceived notions and known limitations of what a paint finishing system has been. 

Here are some highlights from the Paint System Designs we’ve created:

  1. Opened up three bays of floor space, that’s 1200 sq. ft., utilizing our advanced conveyor and system technology, while also adding additional process equipment.
  2. Fit an entire Powder Coating system; load/unload area, 3-stage washer, dry-off oven, cooling areas, powder booth, cure oven and bias banking into a 2,540 sq. ft. area to process a 19’ long part.
  3.  Designed a complete liquid and powder system as one singular system; giving the customer ultimate flexibility to run their ever changing parts. When their customer demand needs more liquid painted, it wasn’t a problem; and if that afternoon they needed to run parts through powder for another customer, it could all be done on the same system.

We have had a fantastic time developing these paint system designs and implementing them for our customers.  It has allowed us to share our knowledge and excitement about the IntelliFinishing system, as well as expand our technology to meet the ever changing needs industrial finishing companies face, and trust us; there have been some interesting challenges!  The solutions we have developed due to the flexibility of our system have brought about a number of “ah-ha” moments from our customers as their conventional understanding of conveyors and finishing systems is quite suddenly thrown out the window.

Give us a call at 888-886-6363 or email us at info@intellifinishing.com and let us know about your challenge!

Rachel Snyder

Engineering & Sales Coordinator

IntelliFinishing