Automation of Monomer Production Facility Boosts Efficiency

The Challenge

In 2005, our company was contacted by Coatings and Adhesives, a manufacturer of coatings (adhesives, water-based and UV) used on both consumer and industrial products based in North Carolina.

They needed to improve the efficiency of their old equipment through implementing a new automation system.

The Solution

After several project-scope reviews and meetings with the client, we determined that the automation system would need to achieve the following requirements, in order to meet the new efficiency requirements:

  1. Installation of instrumentation onto some of the existing equipment included adding new instrumentation ports to the equipment. This included new pipe nozzle openings on some ASME Code tanks.
  2. All instrumentation and automation components would be working in a hazardous class 1, division 1 location. Therefore all components of the system needed to meet the hazardous code requirements of the NEC and OSHA.
  3. The system needed continuous monitoring of multiple mix tanks, as a short temperature rise and/or fall could ruin the product and/or cause a possible explosive environment within the tanks.
  4. Reporting and data acquisition needed to be printed and stored for each batch of manufactured product within the system. Redundant backup of the data was also required.
  5. The software programs used within the automation system needed parameters that were flexible and easy to change, as multiple coating products were to be manufactured within the same existing equipment.
  6. Manual override of all automated equipment was also needed.

Our company’s automation specialist went to work and adapted our in-house E.A.S.Y Treat automation system to meet the client’s needs. As the software running our system was programmed in-house, it was easy to adapt it to include the needed flexibility the client required.

As our company is certified to manufacture, alter and/or repair ASME Code tanks, we also installed the new nozzle openings needed in the client’s existing ASME Code tanks.

Upon completion of building the necessary hardware and software needed for the automation system, our company went to the client’s site and installed the automation system. This work included the installation of instrumentation, automated valves, PLC, SCADA, and computer based software at the client’s site.

Later, the client added an additional automation system to another part of their facility. While this additional system was not designed, manufactured, or installed by us, we helped the company with a number of changes they needed to make to the system’s software.

The Results

Since 2005, the system has been in operation with no major issues, allowing the company to increase their productivity, lower the costs of production and maintain it without interruption. Our high-quality automation systems and processes have given this company a headache-free way to boost production. And working with one vendor instead of multiple companies allowed the project to run smoothly, requiring fewer internal resources from the client, saving them time and money.

“It was a pleasure to work with TankFab on this project. They communicated well and were sensitive to our needs while on site.”

Bob Worfel, Project Manager, Great Southern Wood

Talk to a Tank Fab expert today.