Case Study - D6 Inc
D6 Inc.: Fast Problem Solving at a New Production Facility
When D6 Inc. opened a new packaging material manufacturing facility in Paris, Texas, they came to Fluid-Aire Dynamics for a compressed air solution for their production lines. After the system was installed, they quickly realized that the compressed air specifications provided by their production equipment supplier were incorrect. The Fluid-Aire technical team diagnosed the problem, redesigned the system and got their lines up and running in time for their grand opening.
Challenge: An Unexpected Problem on the Production Lines
D6 Inc. manufactures custom packaging materials for the food and beverage and consumer goods industries. Austin Willis, the Production Manager for the new Texas facility, says they pride themselves on their rapid design and prototyping abilities. He says, “We can get a prototype for a new container in less than 48 hours.” They opened the Texas facility in 2019 to meet the needs of a large food and beverage client and reduce shipping costs for their east coast customers.
In the summer of 2019, they installed new thermoforming equipment for the first two manufacturing lines. Based on the specs provided by their Turkish supplier, they ordered a 40HP compressor from Fluid-Aire. However, after installation of the compressed air system, their manufacturing equipment was not operating correctly. Austin says, “If we don’t have compressed air, we can’t do anything. For every twenty-four hours our machines are down, we’re losing fifteen to twenty thousand dollars.” With the plant opening just a few weeks away, Austin needed answers—fast.
The Fluid-Aire Dynamics Solution
Austin called the supplier for the thermoforming equipment for help. Their technicians flew in but were unable to
determine why the lines were not working and suggested the problem may be a faulty air compressor. Austin then called Glen Walker, his Fluid-Aire Dynamics Systems Engineer. Glen responded immediately to diagnose the problem.
Based on the feedback from the thermoforming OEM—and with reassurance that their specs for airflow requirements were correct—Glen first tested the compressor itself. But pressure and airflow (CFM) tests showed that the PneuTech 40HP compressor was performing beyond the rated capacity. The OEM suggested increasing the size of the air drops, but this also proved not to be the answer.
After a long day, it was agreed that the thermoforming line demanded more airflow than was specified by the OEM. To prove this, Fluid-Aire Dynamics returned the next day with a portable diesel-powered compressor. With two compressors producing more than 300 CFM, the production lines ran smoothly. Glen calculated that the lines needed 260 CFM of airflow to run properly. The 40HP compressor D6 Inc. had ordered was only rated for 166 CFM.
Results: A Quick Turnaround for a Larger Compressed Air System
Based on Glen’s calculations, D6 Inc. ordered a PneuTech Ri-100VSD compressor for their operation. The new compressor arrived in just two business days and was installed in less than a week. Fluid-Aire gave them full credit for the return of the 40HP compressor toward the purchase of the 100HP unit. The 127-509 CFM capacity of this new variable speed compressor gives D6 Inc. room for future growth, and their manufacturing lines are now running perfectly. The whole process took less than three weeks, and D6 Inc. was able to open their new facility as planned. Austin says, “Glen is so knowledgeable. I learned so much from him while he was here. And he was there for me when I needed him, even at night. Fluid-Aire got things done when they needed to get done.”
D6 Inc. plans to open at least 15 more production lines at the Paris, Texas facility, and will need a lot more compressed air to keep them running. Austin says the new systems “will come from Fluid-Aire, without a doubt.”
“I would recommend Fluid-Aire to anybody. Your people are so responsive-You don’t leave your customers hanging.”
Austin Willis, Production Manager