For Industries Worldwide, Production is Heating Up
Factories across the country — and in many countries across the world — are continuing to recover from the impact of the coronavirus. In mid-Q3, data experts put the global manufacturing output for 2020 at -7.8%. Only a few months later, this figure now stands at -4.8%. For the U.S. specifically, the initial projection of a 10% contraction has been reduced by more than half. Needless to say, the manufacturing industry is working its way back onto its feet.
Many manufacturers — including foundries and forges — across the country produce their respective goods using extreme heating and cooling as well as various wet processes such as paint and coatings. For these companies, the need to keep these products moving forward in the production chain is essential, but often, they simply don’t have the time for normalizing (allowing heated materials to cool in room temperature air) or manual drying and cooling. Equally important, many products require faster cooling or drying to achieve specific properties, such as hardness, ductility, or a particular grain structure.
It all comes down to achieving quality goals, maintaining a consistent production rate, and reducing unnecessary operational costs. That’s where cooling conveyors factor in. A key part of industrial automation, cooling conveyors not only provide the advantages of conveyance between phases of production but also expedite the cooling and drying processes by eliminating manual efforts and reducing the time needed to help products achieve their desired properties. Let’s explore several ways these automated systems benefit the bottom line.
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3 Advantages of Cooling Conveyors for Production
1. Cooling and Drying Are Controlled
If you cooled or dried parts via normalizing, you’d be subjecting each part to environmental conditions that aren’t always consistent. For example, the room used may be subject to sudden temperature shifts, which can cause adverse reactions in the materials being cooled or dried. They may have higher humidity levels or even contain airborne particulate matter that can come into contact with the material, resulting in defects.
The advantage of cooling conveyors is that the process is entirely controlled. Each part moved through the cooling chamber is individually and rapidly cooled, ensuring a more homogenous material structure. This leads to higher quality, improved performance and reliability, and ultimately greater customer satisfaction.
2. In-Line Speed is Improved
If you’re manufacturing parts and components that may be wet after a previous stage in production, or if those parts have some type of coating applied, it’ll be essential to conduct drying as rapidly as possible. This ensures the coating application dries with greater consistency. It also prevents particulate matter or other unwanted effects from damaging or modifying the coating, creating quality and satisfaction challenges, which in turn lead to greater expense.
With a cooling conveyor, your parts and components are dried faster rather than relying on normalizing processes. Additionally, parts are dried in-line. The efficiency and cost savings of this advantage can’t be ignored:
- Parts don’t need to be manually removed from the line
- Parts don’t need to be transported/temporarily stored for normalizing
- Less manual effort and time are needed to keep production moving
- Product consistency isn’t put at risk by manually handling/moving parts
- Production moves forward at a faster pace, increasing overall output
- In-line drying and cooling means parts are ready for the next step sooner
3. Hardness Can Be Verified In-Line
An additional in-line benefit of cooling conveyors is that Brinell hardness checks can be integrated into the system, allowing you to verify that parts meet the necessary specifications automatically. This is essential for industries where metal components’ performance — particularly when it comes to their load-bearing ability and resistance to deformation — depends on how hard or soft it is. The Brinell hardness check is an indentation process in which a material is indented until an impression is made.
Achieve Your Production Goals in 2021 with Cooling Conveyors and More from Feedall Automation
Cooling conveyors are an essential tool for many industries, but they’re just one of the many industrial automation solutions available at Feedall Automation. For more than 70 years, we’ve been developing the world’s most advanced and highly customized part feeding systems available with the aim of revolutionizing productivity and increasing customer up-time in manufacturing operations worldwide.
Every system we design starts with one of our high-performing chassis as a foundation. After learning your production goals, our engineering team customizes the machine to help you efficiently and effortlessly achieve them. Your Feedall machine will be unlike any other, designed exactly to your production needs in order to help you realize significant benefits to your bottom line.
Ready to put our expertise to work for your success in 2021? Connect with our team today to tell us about your application goals.