Reduction of paint defects at a plastic bumper manufacturer
Case Study – AKIMist®“E” Dry Fog Humidification System in the automotive industry for manufacturing of plastic bumper
The automotive industry relies on several first-tier suppliers in the production of a car. By outsourcing the production of certain parts to a supplier, the car manufacturer requires a high-level of quality from them in order to provide a good quality product to their consumers. Therefore, first-tier suppliers need to keep up to the high-quality standard imposed to them.
In order to be productive and cost efficient, first-tier suppliers need to increase their production without delays and losses due to product defects. For example, they need to suppress airborne contamination to prevent particle adhesion (microfibers, dust particles, paint particles, etc.) to the paint or prevent static charge which increases the chance of dust-related defects on the product.
In other articles, we’ve explained how increasing the relative humidity level in a factory helps to decrease the generation of static electricity and therefore it’s an efficient solution to suppress airborne contamination such as dust particles.
This is why humidity control is important especially when manufacturing plastic products such as bumpers.
What’s the benefit of having a constant humidity level as a countermeasure against paint defects on bumpers?
In existing factories, the most common installation for temperature and humidity control, and dust adhesion prevention are:
- HVAC system (air conditioning)
- sticky tape and/or feather duster to suppress dust particles
- air nozzles to blow-off particles
- high-pressure humidification system or steamer
Common issues bumper manufacturers are facing:
- Static charge generated on the plastic increasing the dust-related defects
- Product defects rate increased due to dust particle adhesion
- Lost in revenue from a high defect rate and repairs
How can IKEUCHI help?
As “The Fog Engineers”, we offer our Dry Fog solution to solve our customers’ issues in the automotive industry worldwide. Thanks to our 60 years + experience, we’ve tackled different problems related to electric static discharges and dust particles adhesion.
In this case, our solution is aimed to decrease dust and static charge in plastic products (bumpers) in order to reduce the paint defects on bumpers.
We’ve introduced a proven solution: increasing the humidity level with a non-wetting fog (Dry Fog).
Customers rely on our technical assistance with the humidification system to advise the most suitable installation.
System used for this application
There are several types of humidifier existing on the market, some of them also promoting Dry Fog. Choosing the right humidifier is crucial to protect the production site and help solve the issues with the best ROI. Click below to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the most common humidifiers:
Our atomizing technology relies on the principle that when Dry Fog is sprayed, uniform sized droplets are scattered in the air with an average droplet diameter of 7.5 µm. No large droplets (bigger than 50 µm) are diffused like ultrasonic humidifiers, which can wet objects.
In this case, we installed:
Our Dry Fog humidifier AKIMist®“E” sprays a non-wetting uniform fog. It is the perfect solution for a factory that can’t afford to have water puddles / leakage and water droplets risking damaging the working stations and product quality.
Installation of the system
A total of 13 units of AKIMist®“E” were installed between the bumper storage and the paint both: above the conveyors in the unloading storage and the loading area towards the paint line.
- Goal: to reach around 55% relative humidity
Results and Assessment
Installed with a hygrometer and a control panel, our Dry Fog humidification system can be used 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in an automatic mode.
The results often exceed expectations as it helps to reach the level of humidity required without wetting the environment.
As it can be installed for ambient humidification but also spot humification directly above the machines, our solution provided flexibility to the client with the installation.
In this case study, the customer was very satisfied. Therefore, a second installation of AKIMist®“E” got ordered to extend the project.
Our solution help to decrease the paint defects on bumpers by tackling 2 problems at the same time:
- Reduction of particles in the air that cause painting defects (dust particle suppression)
- Prevention of static charge which decrease the number of particles that get stuck in the plastic products, therefore reducing paint defects
- Cost effectiveness by reducing efficiently paint defects to repair
- Non-wetting solution, no risk of damaging the products
- Flexible installation for spot and ambient humidification with the use of adaptors on the nozzle to fit the factory layout
- Better working conditions