Our customer was a global tire manufacturer. He was facing the familiar risk of the tire sticking to the bladder during the curing process, but what made this case unique was the space constraints that forced the plant to put the green tire spray machines in the same areas as the tire build machines. This proximity posed severe contamination risk of mold release getting between the rubber layers, so spray containment was critical.
Another challenge was the variation of tires through the spray system. To minimize Work-in-Process, the tires would no longer be produced in batches stored on tire carts but enter the system completely randomly via a conveyor system.
Thankfully, our customer had been introduced to Pioneer Industrial Systems at a recent trade show. They reached out, and within a week, a sales engineer was on-site to further understand the challenges, constraints, and requirements of the system. Even though this plant built both passenger and truck tires, this system would be dedicated to truck tires. Therefore, the RTS2000i model was the best choice.
Our engineers have been working with the tire industry since the late 1980s, so we understood the importance of keeping the mold release away from the build machines and what a mess the overspray could make.
Since the plant had several old Dial Index Tire Spray machines, that was the direction of the original RFQ. Due to the complete containment required, a DTS machine was not a feasible option. But Pioneer had experience incorporating robotics into the tire industry, and this application was ideal for a material handling robot in combination with our PFDS.
A project that we had completed about four years prior had involved a fully enclosed spray booth that included many other benefits.
Pioneer had completed several successful tire spraying machines and white wall spraying machines that operated in a dual-mode, with both recipe and adaptive intelligence. This dual-mode and PFDS resulted in a precise spray and maintained consistent uptime, with tires entering the system entirely at random.
After providing the customer with a proposal that included a 3D Concept and Simulation, the customer was able to effortlessly sell the robotic system to leadership over the originally requested dial machine. It was approved within the budget and a PO was issued for two machines.
Pioneer started its defined Machine Building Process. After the customer runoff, the machine was disassembled, shipped, and Pioneer’s assembly crew went on-site to install the equipment. The programming engineer was on-site the following week to connect our system to the plant conveyors and higher-level server. After a few days of commissioning, several days of training followed.
The customer was given support documents and was well taken care of after the startup was completed.
Overall, the project was very successful. The system was installed on schedule. The spray was contained with minimal to no overspray getting outside of the spray booth.
Cycle times were better than initially anticipated.
The plant engineer was involved throughout the project, so he was always aware of status, any obstacles and felt comfortable throughout the entire process.
Mold release consumption was considerably lower than comparable machines due to our Precision Fluid Delivery System, which was a substantial cost savings.
The machine performed so well that the plant returned and ordered 10 more robotic spray systems.
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