Compressed air is vital to automotive manufacturing and Honda relies heavily on a clean, plentiful supply where the new facility has increased available capacity to 250,000 automobile annually.Two compressors are in service at any one time in the new facility, driving up to 7,500 cfm of air through an eight-inch steel ring main suspended in the roof. Total compressor capacity on the site is in excess of 20,000 cfm.The task to supply the weld and assembly frame areas was to involve taking drops of 400mm Transair pipe work from the steel pipe to create sub ring mains directly over the production areas.
These would in turn feed machine and power tools through coiled tubing.In addition to almost two kilometer of the push-to-fit, Transair pipe work the project would require individual drops of over 300 double compressed air outlets to the work stations and the installations of some 80 ball valves.The various features of Transair such as speed of assembly, modification and interchangeability were to be particularly relevant to Honda’s new Weld and Assembly Frame areas.
A single run of 200 meter of Transair was installed in the Weld area with drops to 42 double outlets for machine and hand tools. The system can be isolated through six Transair ball valves.It was in this area that the unique “Swan Neck” design of Transair’s drop connector was to play an important part, allowing connection in either a vertical or horizontal position or still preventing condensate from entering the system.The swan neck is just one fitting and with a twin wall bracket Honda was able to replace its original design which called for four elbows and an equal tee. In addition to savings on costs, time and parts, the fitting offered better reliability and efficiency as there were fewer opportunities for leakage.After transfer from Weld to the Paint shop, the car bodies enter the Assembly Frame lines where the vehicles are transferred to finished, working automobile.