Retrofit, Reprocess, & Optimize Paint and Dispense Systems
Encore’s capabilities in system integration, and its foundation competence in controls hardware and software engineering, mechanical engineering, machine design, robotic integration, process engineering and process control, simulation, application and dispensing, and material handling and conveying systems, as well as Encore’s lean cost basis, makes Encore a good choice retrofitting existing systems.
Laser Vision Upgrade
With the emphasis on updating and introducing products and while minimizing investment, automotive and other manufacturers are looking for the best ways to:
1. Investigate and determine the minimal and most cost effective changes to facilities and equipment
2. Use existing equipment and processes for the new or revised products, by reprogramming and optimizing existing
3. Make the processes more cost effective, achieve higher quality, and more reliability
Encore Automation specializes in complete programs to make the required facility and equipment changes needed, as well as to program and tune-in the processes for the new or revised products.
Encore has done several such programs and is experienced at managing and executing this work while working around current production.
With the emphasis on lowering capital costs and in reusing existing systems and equipment, as well as in enhancing flexibility to accommodate a number of different parts or models on the same line, customers are increasingly turning to retrofitting their existing systems and equipment. This activity requires a number of simulation, engineering and design, and software and hardware engineering skills, as well as a broad knowledge of manufacturing processes and applications. Encore Automation has much experience in doing these kinds of projects, and perhaps the best way to show that is to provide some examples of such projects:
Upgrading or replacing obsolete controls and software on existing systems and equipment
Obsolete Part Replacement
Modifying a system to accommodate a change in a key component that is no longer being supported by their manufacturer.
Adding inspection capability, process monitoring, equipment monitoring to ensure manufacturing quality is optimized.
Adding axes, with motion control to existing limited machines to allow them to reach areas required for new product to be manufactured
Replacing current applicators and dispensing equipment to accommodate a change in material technology and/or to upgrade the robustness and quality with more capable application technology
Adding robots to a manufacturing system in order to increase throughput, or process larger jobs.
Adding safety equipment to an existing system to make it comply with more rigorous safety standards.
Reprogramming an existing system to reduce cycle time and increase throughput, to accommodate a product change, or to increase the quality. This may involve upgrading process control or sensor technology.
Adding monitoring, reporting or process control technology to improve quality.
Working Around Production
The nature of the retrofitting of systems is that the retrofit must occur outside of production, since the system is currently in use. This requires better planning, more testing and inspection, and a great attention to detail in all project aspects.
Encore typically takes the following approach to retrofit projects:
Planning is key to the process. Encore looks at the actual downtime available and puts together a plan to retrofit the system within that allotted time at an acceptable risk.
This involves simulating, manufacturing, and testing all modifications to the largest amount possible. Inspection and testing of all key interfaces must be done prior to the downtime.
All enabling work must be done ahead of the scheduled downtime period.
An accurate and very detailed schedule is made for the downtime period, and all resources are planned and ready for the start.
Around the Clock
The effort during the downtime period is exhaustive and consuming, to enable a very large amount of work to be done in a short timeframe.
Encore is there during startup after the shutdown period, and for a period of time after, until the system is consistent and reliable, and the customer has been trained on the retrofitted system.
Encore then supports the retrofitted system just as if it was the original system supplier.