Automotive asset-specific solutions: Paint fans

2022 best practices guide

Optimize Your Manufacturing Performance in 2022

Table of Contents

Paint Fans

The Problem

Within automotive paint shops, millions of dollars in downtime costs can be attributed to fan failures. Eyes-and-ears maintenance practices and dedicated routes are not enough to predict failures, even due to common issues like fan imbalance. 

When issues are caught early enough, simple maintenance practices like cleaning fan blades and replacing discharge cones can save the entire asset from failing and causing unplanned downtime.

Exhaust fan at Ohio Assembly Plant

Cost of Asset Failures

  • $900,000/hour downtime cost
  • 8 hours downtime, on average

Savings Potential

  • $7,200,000 per asset
  • Elimination of route-based maintenance
  • Decrease in power consumption
Asset Blind Spots

There are several inherent challenges related to monitoring paint exhaust and supply fans.

When simple maintenance practices like impeller cleaning or cone replacement are not maintained over time, it can create common problems like fan imbalance.

Even when these practices are implemented, maintenance errors can create asset damage. Example: improperly balancing healthy equipment for the sake of maintaining a route.

A New Approach to Paint Fan Monitoring

Some automotive plants follow a preventative maintenance route where fans should be balanced and inspected. However, it is also possible that this maintenance causes more damage due to a lack of standardization across paint fans.

By implementing KCF continuous machine monitoring, it is possible to not only track asset health over time, but also ensure that preventive maintenance is done correctly. This allows for company-wide standardization across plants as well as documenting maintenance practices in SMARTdiagnostics.

Chart showing velocity vibration before and after impeller cleaning and cone replacement
Velocity vibration before and after impeller cleaning and cone replacement


  • Eight V3 sensors per ASH fan
  • Exhaust fan: motor inboard, motor outboard, inboard bearing, outboard bearing
  • Supply fan: motor inboard, motor outboard, inboard bearing, outboard bearing


  • Threshold settings
  • Indicators
  • Sensor configuration
  • Dashboards
  • Reporting

Customer Input

  • Run speed and asset information
  • Work Orders for maintenance records
  • Schematics of systems and equipment
  • Downtime cost information


  • Sentry quarterly site visits
  • Sentry in-person training
  • KCF Academy
  • Customer training and handbooks
  • Asset playbooks

I am excited to drive change in partnership with you, find new efficiencies, take on complex challenges, and increase uptime across the Ford network while making your team's work life more engaging and fulfilling. Please contact me to discuss your unique asset challenges!

Book a Call With Me


Chalice Walther

Sr. Strategic Account Manager