5 Controls-Based Causes of Scrap

Often, when people think about causes of scrap, they think about something like a damaged fixture, or worn-out tooling.

Those examples are both mechanical issues, and can contribute to a large amount of scrap being generated in a system. Now the real question is, are there any other areas that can contribute to scrap?

The answer is yes, and one of those main areas is on the controls side of the system. While frequently overlooked, controls related scrap can start as soon as a system is installed.  Below are 5 sources of scrap and how they can be solved with controls solutions.

Analog

Certain devices, like many analog sensors, can be very sensitive to changes in temperature, humidity and other weather conditions. Not using a sensor in its correct environment can lead to inconsistencies in the feedback generated by the device.

Having the right type of device for the job is important, but making sure that the device is able to work accurately in your environment is crucial.

Electrical Noise

Electrical noise occurs when there are unwanted disturbances in an electrical signal. This can become a major issue, especially with analog signals and cause a system to react in un-intended ways.

Using the correct type of cable and shielding can help to reduce the electrical noise created in the system. It is important to not only look at the signal cables, but the communication and power cables as well.

Outdated Programming

Over the years, and sometimes even months, the conditions can change in a system. Maybe product was sourced from a new supplier, or a whole new product type was added to the line. It may seem more appropriate to make a series of quick patches to get the system back up and running, but you need to also look at the long-term implications.

Properly updating software for new changes and added complexity can help reduce the amount of time spent on adjusting just to make things work. When qualifying the added expense of the software updates, make sure to include the reduction of scrap in the ROI.

Inconsistent Hardware Controls

A lot of hardware in a system can have some degree of variability such as the speed of a motor, the pressure for a pneumatic line, or the amount of product dispensed per cycle. Improperly monitoring or controlling vital pieces of hardware can greatly increase scrap, especially between multiple shifts and newly trained operators.

Recipes are a great way to collect setpoints that can be used to drive the automation. With the added ability to save changes and load different recipes, you can reduce the amount of scrap between product changes.

Tension Control

Variations in the tension of your product can lead to rips, wrinkles, and/or printing issues. Not only can this lead to an increase in scrap, but also downtime to get the line back up and running.

Consider adding in one or more tension zones including a load cell or a dancer to gain greater control of your product and reduce the amount of scrap created. Making any adjustments to a tension process can be a trying process and, in most cases, it is beneficial to seek expert opinions on the subject.

 

EDC can help you diagnose your causes of scrap and create a solution to provide you with a more efficient process. For more information, contact us.

7 Common Problems with Slitting Machines in the Metals Industry

EDC Slitting Machine

Having decades of experience helping clients in the metals industry, our engineering team knows the slitting line process inside-out and are experts in automation and control system technology specific to the industry. Typically, when we start with one slitting line retrofit, the success of that first project leads to retrofits of their Metals converting equipment at multiple plants for the same client across the country.

Having implemented control systems for both new slitting lines and retrofitting a countless variety of older slitting lines, EDC has developed deep domain expertise to help our clients optimize production. Because of the complex and nuanced processes for this type of production equipment, there is no universal cookie cutter solution. Each new and retrofit project needs to be developed according to the manufacturers’ unique conditions and production goals.

EDC collaborates with plant managers and operators to evaluate the slitting line from loading the coil and set-up procedure through to the slitting and recoil process to tailor the optimal solution to improve production performance. Although each project is unique, there are 7 common problems we have encountered through the years which are triggers to consider a control system upgrade. In no particular order, here is our list of common problems and examples of solutions we deploy to solve these challenges:

      1. Tension Problems Create Quality Control Issues

        For slitting lines, tension is an important variable. If the tension is not controlled properly, material defects become a problem. Often the material is too taut going in and out of the slitter resulting in a host of quality issues from burring to scratching of the material. A slitting line makes a much better-quality cut at controlled low tension at the entry and little or no tension at the exit of a slitting head. To achieve optimal cut quality, adding a loop going in and a loop coming out of the slitter can solve the tension problem. If you have an entry and exit loop currently and are experiencing quality issues, the control system should be evaluated for potential adjustments. No matter what your problem EDC can help to improve your Precision width tolerances.

        • EDC’s Entry Loop Solution – To solve for taut entry tension problems, EDC can implement controls to provide an entry loop section to the machine allowing for low tension slitter entry, which will assist in making a better split off. We can also add a sonic sensor above the loop for feedback to the control system to adjust the speed of the motors to maintain optimal loop position.
        • EDC’s Existing Exit Loop Improvement Solution – In many of the facilities that we have visited, an operator is manually manipulating the exit loop which is an art and a nuanced talent. As many longtime operators are approaching retirement, the knowledge and know-how is hard to replace. If an operator is not experienced or not paying attention, either they might run the take up too fast creating a taut web on the exit, or they might run it too slow causing the slit metal to become scraped up at the bottom of the pit. Leveraging the control system, EDC can provide a loop position feedback on the exit loop, eliminating the need for the operator to have to constantly make adjustments.
        • EDC’s No Exit Loop Solution – If you do not have an exit loop you would have to dig a pit that’s 30 feet deep which is not practical in many cases. Although not optimal, EDC can provide a controls solution to operate in a slip core configuration. Another solution can be the implementation of Traverse winding.
      2. Slow Slitting Line Setup

        Traditionally, slitting line setup is not a quick process and can hamper your ability to meet production goals. Setting up automated recipe management can significantly reduce setup time. Operators can easily select the appropriate recipe from a user-friendly touch screen, significantly reducing the setup process and improving product consistency between shifts.

      3. Extended Downtime for E-Stop

        There are cases when an e-stop is required during an operational anomaly. When this happens too quickly and is not controlled properly, it can cause extended recovery time and possible damage to the line.

        EDC can incorporate a coordinated, rapid stop utilizing safe torque-off, web break sensors, and control algorithms to maintain web integrity, saving valuable minutes in setup recovery.

      4. Difficulty Hiring Operators

        The National Association of Manufacturers’ 1st quarter of 2021 survey of manufacturers report ranked the inability to attract and retain talent second place behind the rise in raw material goods on the list of top challenges. It was noted by 65.8% of those completing the survey. Previously, the labor issue was the primary concern in 11 of the past 13 quarters prior to this release. With approximately one quarter of the manufacturing workforce being age 55 or older, the skilled labor shortages are very real and not likely to improve anytime soon.

        If you are too reliant on aging operators who have been with your company for a long time, it’s time to simplify running your manufacturing lines by leverage automation technology. Automating previously manual tasks (i.e., automating loop tension) will enable a less skilled operator to quickly complete training and smoothly transition into taking ownership of running the line. Automating allows new operators to achieve the same or better results of the retiring operator. Modern user-friendly touchscreen operator interfaces with built-in troubleshooting diagnostics will also help attract, train, and retain the younger generation of workers who have grown up with intuitive smartphones and computers.

      5. Bearing Wear in the Slitter Head

        Bearings in the slitter head will start to wear over time, causing loss of precision and other operational difficulties and quality degradation. To help our clients resolve this issue, EDC works with slitter manufacturers to facilitate an upgrade of the mechanical portion of the slitter to bring it back to original tolerances needed for precise slitting.

      6. Edge Trim Control

        All slitting lines produce some scrap due to edge trim. Whether you are using a scrap baller or a scrap winder to collect your edge trim, proper control of your edge trim motor can limit the amount of scrap produced. Limiting the amount of scrap adds to your bottom-line profitability. EDC can address this often-overlooked inefficiency by fine-tuning the motor and controls in your scrap winding section.

      7. Legacy Control System

        Many of the first six problems we have discussed could be related to operating your equipment with legacy controls. Slitting lines are true work horses; the physical equipment well exceeds the operating life of the control systems that run the equipment.

        Running your slitting line on a legacy control system retired by the original manufacturer is like dancing with the devil – you never know when you will get burned. The longer the control system has been retired by a controls manufacturer, the higher your chances of extended downtime. If you have resorted to looking for parts on eBay, it is only a matter of time before unexpected downtime will translate into a costly emergency.

        Legacy control examples include Allen Bradley’s PLC5, SLC-500, Siemens’ S5 and S7-300, GE 90-30, as well as many other obsolete AC and DC drives.

Evaluating a retrofit is highly recommended and you may be surprised at how the advancement in technology can offset the cost, yielding a favorable return on investment. In one case study, our client reported a 40% improvement in productivity after replacing an outdated General Electric control system. EDC can help you evaluate and map out the highest value retrofit.

Contact EDC for a slitting line evaluation

3 Recent Manufacturing Intelligence Projects

Several manufacturers have reached out to us recently wanting to implement Manufacturing Intelligence in their facility.  This has been called lots of different names – Industry 4.0, IIoT, cloud computing, etc. – but we don’t care much for just the next trendy topic, or implementing new tech just for the sake of it.  What’s interesting to our Systems department at EDC is finding solutions that help our customers solve their problems.

Manufacturing Intelligence is not just gathering data but doing something with that data.  Manufacturing Intelligence projects contextualize the data so that it is meaningful and helps manufacturing teams make better decisions.

Alerts for Consistent Product Quality

A recent project featured collection of process data for a company that extrudes a non-woven web of absorbent padding, then cuts it into sheets for use by industrial customers. A data historian was created to capture and store 200 data tags for temperatures, line speed, motor speeds, and the status of safety devices such as interlocking door switches, e-stops and cable pulls.  Alerts were set-up for out-of-range process parameters, which will trigger e-mails and text messages to warn key plant personnel.  Actionable information such as this can be used to prevent product scrap, downtime and component failure. For this customer, a simple blower air temperature that was too low was their largest concern. The project was so successful that it was implemented across their other three production lines.

Downtime Monitoring

A metals converting customer wanted to easily monitor and display their production rates.  EDC utilized encoders and variable frequency drive (VFD) data from our previous slitting line upgrade to calculate line speed in feet per minute and display it on large character rate meter so it could be seen from across the plant floor.  The cloud-based solution also made the production rate and other contextual process points available wherever the plant manager had internet access and the proper authentication. Production managers use this information to help them monitor their plant by simply walking around.  They also receive text alerts if downtime is more than they expect so that they can troubleshoot in a timely manner.

Critical Sensor Monitoring and Alerting

A NYC high-rise needed to alert their maintenance staff when the level of their domestic water tank was too low. Usually, the facility will utilize a building management system (BMS) to perform the monitoring function. However, this building’s BMS was obsolete and adding the necessary system upgrades to accomplish this seemingly small but important task proved to be too costly. EDC installed a Samsara cloud-based data collection gateway and set-up text and email alerts for the low-level condition. A trend line graph was created so the facilities personnel could check the tank level anytime, anywhere they had internet access. The project was performed at a fraction of the cost of the BMS upgrade.

Ready to Implement Manufacturing Intelligence?

The above are just a sample of manufacturing intelligence projects EDC has performed as an end goal or as part of a larger systems integration project. EDC is adept at utilizing a variety of platforms and techniques including Samsara’s cloud-based gateways, Rockwell’s Factory Talk or simple data arrays in customer HMIs that operators can view or download.  These solutions provide actionable information that can help you increase uptime, reduce scrap and transform your production facility, no matter how large or small, into a state-of-the-art efficient operation.

Let EDC help you with your Manufacturing Intelligence project
Contact Us 

Spotlight: Zack Fischer

Zack Fischer has been with Electronic Drives and Controls for almost 8 years, starting with the Drives Service team in October of 2013, and then moving over to the Systems Integration team in 2016. Asked about how Zack started in Service, Chuck Dillard, vice president of EDC, said, “He took the initiative to buy his own PLC. He bought an enclosure and mounted the PLC in the enclosure, wired it all and then started programming PLCs just because he wanted to. And it’s still there in the back of the office. People still use it today for training.”

While working with the Drives Service team, Zack consistently showed that he would be a great systems engineer and an asset for EDC. On one project, Zack developed an idea for a modular rack that could be made utilizing Versabar, then mounted and wired all the drives to it, which Chuck said “came out so beautiful.” He then took it to the job installed the entire system with no problems whatsoever. And Chuck, referring to customers, summed things up by simply saying that “People love when Zack comes.”

Like any great systems engineer, he also wanted to make sure he was prepared with whatever tools he might need for any type of job, even if it meant buying the tools himself prior to EDC implementing a tool program. When buying his own tools, Zack always made sure he had the best tools available. He didn’t take shortcuts or buy cheap or poorly constructed tools.

One of Zack’s favorite things about working with the systems team is the variety. Zack said, “You get to see a lot of different things.” Zack enjoys working with all of the different applications and learning about different types of production machinery. He has worked on projects including improving the manufacturing of potato chips, stranding of large power cables and slitting of steel strips, all very engaging projects. In addition to all the different applications, machines, and even wire and cable lines Zack gets to work with, this job also gives him the opportunity to see a lot of different places in the country.

Zack attended New Jersey Institute of Technology, receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering. Outside of work, Zack enjoys hiking and travelling with his fiancée Laura, and recently was helping to plan their wedding, being held July 22nd, 2022. He has also been helping out his future father-in-law with projects around their house, including rebuilding their back deck. Zack also helps out with electrical work because his fiancée’s father does not enjoy doing electrical work.

In addition to always being prepared for any job, the hallmark of a great systems engineer, Zack is a natural when it comes to documenting his work. Even more, he is an example of what you would expect from a great systems engineer –  solid electrical designs, accurate Bills of Materials (BOMs), and an excellent practitioner of EDC’s standards. Bob Pusateri, Director of Business Development for EDC, said that Zack has “an incredible attention to detail and a tremendous  level of high-quality standards.” In fact, Zack finished the Siemens Solution partner certification, or in his case, recertification exam. When asked how he did and what he scored, Zack humbly said “Pretty good. Ninety-nine and a half.”

Case Study: Upgrading an Obsolete Coating Line

PROJECT SUMMARY

A specialty media print company was having issues with one of their tape coating lines. The line had obsolete equipment as far as the eye could see. As problems with the line arose over the years, the issues were resolved with a quick fix rather than fixing the root cause. This triggered a loss in functionality of the line which ultimately led to automatic functions being controlled manually for the last decade.

As with most customers, there was a major concern with the amount of downtime that the upgrades would cause. The decision was made to split the system into two separate projects, to be able to break the downtime into more manageable chunks along with spreading the cost over a greater period of time.

CHALLENGE

The customer finally decided that they could no longer run the line the way it was. Long down times due to compounding problems were losing up to half a day in production. With minimal diagnostic information, inexperienced operators could spend hours trying to fix a simple issue.

The line was plagued with constant tension control problems as each of the 20-year-old drives had their own self-contained PID loop. The system was controlled by two separate controllers trying to work together to run the same line, which added to the unnecessary complexity of the line. Overcoming these issues became the target of the first project.

As this project was the first of two projects completed on the same line, EDC had to do more upfront planning. The upgrades completed in this project had to work with the equipment that was remaining on the line.

SOLUTION & BENEFITS

Since only some of the components were being replaced in this project, EDC could not build and test the full system offsite. The new equipment was prepped before installation so that it could be installed next to the existing components that were remaining. The prep work completed offsite ensured that the deadlines for the installation could be met on time.

EDC simplified the controls of the line by replacing the dual PLC controllers with a single Allen Bradley GuardLogix L81 PLC. This allowed for a single controller to run everything with integrated safety. EDC was then able to add in run permissive messages and safety alarms to ensure that operators had a clear understanding of what steps needed to be taken to get the line back up and running.

A full mechanical retrofit was completed for all of the motors. New AC Powerflex 525 and 755 drives replaced the existing DC drives. The tension control which was originally controlled in each drive individually, was centralized into the new PLC. With the updates in technology over the last 20 years, the amount of time to calculate the tension requirements in the PLC and transmit the speeds over ethernet to the vector drives was a fast and robust solution.

RESULTS

The amount of downtime of the system has been significantly reduced. The run permissive messages and safety alarms allow the operators, at all levels of experience, be able to diagnose the issue and recover the system at a much faster rate.

With the upgrades to the PLC and the tension control, the unwind tension is now an automatic process again for the first time in over a decade. This has also helped to reduce the overall runtime of the machine, as the operators do not have to manually step through the process.

The line now runs better than it has in a long time. EDC was able to use their extensive experience with these types of lines to understand what needs to be done and what resources need to be available in order to get production running again in a timely fashion.

Parsippany Sanitary Sewer Utility Gives a Customer’s Perspective on Preventive Maintenance Services Provided by EDC

In a recent customer interview conducted by an independent third party, Steve Vetrero, the operations supervisor at Parsippany, NJ’s 9 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) wastewater treatment plant discusses his plant’s operations and how EDC saves the municipality money and is a critical partner in keeping the facility running at peak performance.   

Background

The Parsippany Sanitary Sewer Utility operates and maintains a 16 MGD advanced wastewater treatment plant, which currently has an average daily flow of 9 MGD. The Sewer Utility also operates and maintains approximately 370 miles of sewers and 28 pump stations which make up the Collection System.

In 2012, an OEM completed an upgrade to the plant’s control system, removing the standard drives and adding 14 variable frequency drives (VFDs) and new motors.  The drives are critically important, running the facility’s pumps.  Prior to the upgrade, the facility was spending $1.5M annually on electric costs with the standard drives, which operate at a constant speed, continually consuming a large amount of electricity.  The decision to upgrade to VFDs, which vary their speed based on the changing requirements of the system, offered tremendous cost savings on utilities.  After the upgrade, the annual cost of electricity dropped to just $400,000, a savings of more than 70%.

“With this upgrade, we realized a tremendous savings for the taxpayers of our community,” said Vetrero.  “VFDs save in combination with the specialized motors.  The fact that our electric bill went down so much, proved it works.”

The Need for Preventive Maintenance

Vetrero, who has managed millions of dollars of equipment for the community for over 30 years, explained that the energy savings came with the tradeoff of moving from standard drives, which do not require much maintenance to VFDs, which are sensitive and need regular preventive maintenance (PM) by a qualified technician.  VFDs require proper cleaning, testing, and maintenance so it is important to use a partner for these services who specializes in maintenance of your specific VFD technology.

“While we were saving a lot on our electricity cost, the PM service on the new VFD drives was proving to be rather expensive and our accounts payable department was complaining about the rates we were paying,” said Vetrero. Having experience with EDC in the past, they made the decision to switch their PM services to EDC. “I like EDC for the dependability and price; about four years ago when we switched to EDC for PM services, we saved the taxpayers even more money.”

“EDC plays an important role at our facility. We rely on them for both emergency drive repairs and our annual VFD PM,” said Vetrero.  “EDC is very thorough with their drive PM, and an employee with expert training does the delicate drive cleaning work and specialized diagnostic tests.”

“EDC did an infrared study at our annual PM and you could see the three phases in the drive and three components allowing the electricity to flow through.  You couldn’t see this with the naked eye, but one of them was glowing, and we knew we had to fix it because it was going to fail soon.  With the infrared technology EDC utilized, they helped us prevent a critical downtime emergency situation which could interrupt services to our residents.”

Emergency Service

EDC’s 24-hour emergency repair service is an insurance policy customers can rely on.  “Like everything, the drives do break down from time to time,” said Vetrero.  “I just call up Jessica and someone comes right over to help us out.”

EDC services more than 40 brands of drives and has highly trained employees to meet clients’ needs. “VFDs are complicated, and EDC has a lot of smart people there with many different backgrounds so they can support all our drives with the ability to fix every problem we have run into,” said Vetrero.  “Other vendors we tried were fair, but they didn’t specialize; they could not fix all the different equipment and issues we have at our plant.  EDC can tackle them all.”

Summary

For the Parsippany Sanitary Sewer Utility, substantial cost savings were realized by upgrading older drives to VFDs and new motors.  With the upgrades came an additional responsibility to use a highly-skilled partner to maintain this sensitive equipment and avoid excess downtime. In addition to the savings on utilities, the sewer plant also realized added savings by switching to EDC for preventive maintenance (PM) services.

“EDC has always played an important role at our facility, and we currently rely on them for emergency drive repairs and VFD annual preventive maintenance (PM).  EDC is very thorough with their drive PM, and an employee with expert training does the delicate drive cleaning work and specialized diagnostic tests.  I like EDC for dependability and price; when we switched to EDC for PM services, we realized a substantial cost savings.  VFDs are complicated and EDC has a lot of smart people there with many different backgrounds so they can support all our drives with the ability to fix every problem we have run into.”

 – Operations Supervisor Steve Vetrero, Sanitary Sewer Utility, Parsippany, New Jersey

To learn more about EDC PM services and/or infrared study services, contact our service team today.

Featured in Processing Magazine, EDC Discusses Upgrading to Digital Controls

In a recent issue of Processing Magazine, Bob Pusateri wrote an article entitled “Is it Time to Abandon Your Analog Controls?

Even if legacy analog controls are still running your manufacturing process, upgrading to digital can be a game changer, says Bob Pusateri, Director of Business Development at Electronic Drives and Controls.

 

Why Should I Switch?

“Older analog controls do not offer the same flexibility as their digital counterparts, because there are only a few adjustments, there are only a few things in the process that can be optimized,” said Pusateri. As today’s quality demands are ever increasing, variations in operating conditions often can’t be addressed. An analog drive may no longer be the resolution you need to meet your goals.  If that is you, there are a number of benefits and opportunities you could have by switching to digital.

 

The Benefits of Digital

While analog controls’ feedback is primitive, upgrading to digital could bring you more flexibility, greater control of the process, reduced changeover time, reduced downtime, reduced expense with issues, and improved quality. Also analog controls are susceptible to environmental conditions because parts’ resistance changes with temperature and humidity, while digital are not. “The cost and relative complexity of upgrading analog drives to digital is far outweighed by the many advantages and potential cost savings of having a better-controlled process,” said Pustari.

 

Want to learn more?

In his signature relatable style, Bob thoroughly considers the pros and cons of analog vs. digital controls, including capabilities, time requirements, and cost, complete with pictures and diagrams.

Download the full article. 

 

Download

If you’re interested in establishing digital controls solutions into your business,  contact EDC here.

 

Bob Pusateri is a 30-year industrial controls veteran with positions in engineering, sales, management and now business development for manufacturers, controls distributors and systems integrators. He is a Mechanical Engineer by education (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Electrical Engineer by vocation.

 

 

When the Water Breaks, You Better Have a Deep Bench

When the water breaks blog

Unexpected hiccups don’t only come from debugging and equipment delays.  A recent project hit a series of inopportune personal events at a critical moment, but installation finished smoothly (and on time!) due to careful planning and EDC’s deep bench.

EDC was performing a major controls overhaul on an early 1980’s Prandi Coating Line for ADM, an industry leader in the manufacturing and supply of high-quality pressure sensitive envelopes, packaging and shipping products. This upgrade included converting 1990s Indramat servos and AB SLC 500 PLCs to a Siemens S120 vector drive system and Siemens S7-1500 PLC with ET 200SP Remote I/O and Comfort Panel HMIs. Scores of analog controls, relays and other electrical components were also being replaced or eliminated, cleaning up a rat’s nest of wires and chaos.

In-depth mechanical design was required for a load cell roll addition and pneumatic brakes to be integrated into the two unwinds, replacing the older electro-magnetic brakes. Even more difficult was converting the OEM’s integrated rewind spindle DC motors and gear train to off-the-shelf AC vector motors and gearheads utilizing the existing cast housings. Since the turret’s slip rings could not carry all the signals needed for the new controls, wireless ethernet communications were used between the rewind drives, mounted on the turrets themselves, and a nearby remote I/O enclosure.

Veteran Project Engineer Joe Maloney took the helm early in 2021 with an expected August start-up. Explosive customer demand, supply chain issues and later, September’s Hurricane Ida, forced ADMs availability into the New Year. Two additional constraints “arose” – one with a Joe Maloney project start-up for a different customer slated for April 2022 in Virginia and another Joe Maloney joint venture – the impending birth of his first child in February! With that news, EDC pushed for ADM to begin the Prandi retrofit in early January. EDC added two assisting project engineers to ensure that the complex changeover would be completed and back in production in just ten days. 

Joe Maloney devised a detailed project plan for mechanical and electrical facets to keep the install team on track. A meeting with the customer was called right after New Year’s. Everyone from operators to production supervision participated in the review of the plan to ensure all technical and delivery goals would be met. “We started the job on Friday, January 14th,” said Project Manager, Bob Pusateri.  “By Monday morning, we were halfway into ripping out all the old equipment (way past the point of no return) when one of our engineers received the call that his parents, with whom he had spent the weekend, had tested positive for COVID. He immediately quarantined.  While we were arranging for another engineer to head to the site that afternoon, Joe Maloney’s wife called.  Her water broke, five weeks early.  In just a few hours, our lead engineer and a key back-up were out of commission!  EDC went to their bench for two more engineers. The first stepped seamlessly into place the same day, and the second joined him shortly after.”

After a week of family leave, Joe was able to step back into the leadership role and see the project through to its final days. Solid planning and a deep bench of quality project engineers helped EDC to ensure that ADM’s project goals were met, despite a different kind of, er, delivery issue! All three: mom, new baby Maloney, and the customer are doing great.

Find before and after photos below!

EDC’s Remote Monitoring Projects Streamline Operations and Avoid Costly Downtime

EDC Remote Monitoring

Recently, EDC has completed a number of diverse projects featuring remote monitoring systems.  From a golf course to a power plant to a traditional manufacturing facility, remote monitoring systems can streamline operations and help avoid costly downtime while providing a quick return on investment.

Remote Monitoring for Golf Course Watering Systems

The Wild Turkey Golf Course at ​​Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ, was facing a problem. If their automatic watering system pump went down in the middle of the night, their ground crew wouldn’t be able to see the alert until the morning. At that point, golfers are already on the greens and watering can’t be done as thoroughly and heavily as needed. In the golf industry, a course’s grass health and quality is one of the most prominent, defining factors of the golf course itself. An intricate watering and irrigation plan is essential to the course’s success.

Joe Luna, an Electrical Project Engineer at Electronic Drives and Controls, was tasked with designing and implementing a pump monitoring system for the golf course to record all the watering data. He implemented equipment failure alerts to notify employees so they can fix the issue more promptly and ensure the grass gets the water it needs before employees and customers arrive each morning. Joe maintained feedback from the programmable logic controller (PLC) and the variable frequency drives (VFDs) on the pump motors and used Banner Engineering’s wireless communications to implement a web-based dashboard complete with alarms to remotely monitor these irrigation systems. If the new system detects a pump failure, it instantaneously sends an automated text alert to the point of contact. The failed pump will now have enough time to be repaired before the morning hours, ensuring enough water to keep the course healthy and in good condition.

 

Remote Control & Monitoring for NY Power Plant 

A local power plant in Middletown, NY was experiencing communication outages to their offsite pump house.  An integral part of the plant’s operations, the pump house utilizes treated water from a local wastewater treatment facility as makeup water for the steam generator in order to make power. The power plant already had cellular modems in place, but they weren’t able to efficiently hold a sustained signal or recover well from the occasional cell tower outage. When the PLCs would lose communications with each other, the pumps would need to be started manually, delaying the critical supply of make-up water.

To solve the problem, EDC added two different cellular network modems to facilitate communication between the plant and the pump houses to turn on the pumps for the makeup water. The pump house can now remotely control operations and communicate with the remote PLCs via cellular network.  If the main cell network goes down, the system seamlessly switches to the backup network.

This was a unique remote monitoring and control solution because instead of setting up a dashboard with information, EDC engineers linked up an effective cellular solution, allowing the communication to withstand any kind of cellular issues that arise.

 

Improving Manufacturing Visibility with a Remote Monitoring System 

The SPC Division of the Brady Corporation, a global leader in safety, identification, and compliance solutions makes absorbent products for their industrial customers. The management team at Brady/SPC wanted better visibility into what was happening on the plant floor and to have the ability to pull historical information from their manufacturing information system over an extended period of time. Prior to this project, if a component wasn’t performing properly and operators didn’t happen to notice it, the line could go down for an extended amount of time. For example, a key sub-process is the supply of heated air to the extrusion die. A heating element failure or the supply air not at the proper temperature would lead to failure of the die, significant downtime and the loss of thousands of dollars.

EDC was contracted to implement a remote monitoring system which gathers all run data for more than 200 parameters, the most notable key performance indicators (KPIs) being line speed and extruder temperature and pressure.  For more accessible viewing of this data, Brady/SPC installed a large TV screen on the plant floor to view EDC-created dashboards. This information is also available on a web browser so management can monitor production from anywhere with an internet connection on computers, tablets, and phones assuring no productivity is lost. 

EDC’s remote monitoring system has been a huge success.  With the added historian function, plant personnel have the ability to look at past manufacturing data to increase efficiency and plan preventive maintenance.  EDC Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring gives operations better visibility and control of equipment which lowers cost and downtime.  To learn more about EDC and our remote monitoring services, contact us for your remote monitoring requirements.

 

EDC Supports Local Charities Through American Legion Golf Outing

Team at the American Legion Golf Outing
Bob Pusateri (EDC), Adam Kirshbaum (Turtle & Hughes), Jim Petto (Rockwell Automation), Ed Sefcik (EDC)

Electronic Drives and Controls continues to actively support local charities by sponsoring and participating in the American Legion Post 86’s 3rd Annual Golf Outing in Montague, NJ.

Electronic Drives and Controls was a proud sponsor of American Legion Post 86’s 3rd Annual Golf Outing at High Point Country Club on Thursday, June 9, 2022. EDC has been sponsoring this annual golf tournament since its inception in 2019.

Multiple representatives and partners of EDC’s team played in the golf outing, making a foursome of Bob Pusateri of EDC, Ed Sefcik of EDC, Adam Kirshbaum of Turtle & Hughes, and Jim Petto of Rockwell Automation (see above). Another EDC foursome included Ben Dillard and Terry Greely with their significant others, Jill and Will.

“EDC loves to provide sponsorship for this event. It helps the American Legion boost their ongoing effort to support the veteran community,” says Chuck Dillard, Vice President at EDC.

Ben Dillard (EDC) & guest Jill

Want to join EDC next year?

Stay tuned for all the details on next year’s event! This annual outing is open to the public and golfers can pre-register by calling the Legion Post at 973-383-2386 or by emailing Chuck Dillard. Proceeds support several local events. Hole sponsorships, catering packages, and banquet packages are also available.

 

Learn more about the American Legion here!

 

Electronic Drives and Controls Presents the ABB Drive Expo

EDC is hosting the ABB Drive Expo in late August 2022, featuring VFD technology, industry experts, local food and drink vendors, and a free CEU/PDH class highlighting the advanced ACQ pump drive.

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives & Controls (EDC) is always excited to have the opportunity to introduce our customers to the latest in drive technology to help their facilities achieve new levels of optimization. This exciting event will take place on August 24, 2022 from 10am – 6pm and August 25, 2022 from 8am – 1pm. The ACQ580 pump drive class, Wednesday from 10-11 and 2-3, is eligible for continuing education units (CEU) / professional development hour (PDH) credits.

This expo will feature the latest VFD technology in an air-conditioned mobile demo space while providing networking opportunities with industrial, pumping, and harmonic mitigation applications experts. The all-compatible ACQ580 drives for water and wastewater increase energy efficiency by simplifying your pumping processes and motor control with built-in pumping functionalities, including multi pump and level control, an energy saving calculator, soft pipe fill, dry run protection, quick ramps and pump cleaning. These drives are compact and wall-mounted to complement usability with a Hand Off Auto control panel and PC tool Drive composer.  

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives and Controls has alliances with world class hardware and software providers. 

Want to learn more? Join EDC at the ABB Drive Expo for an unforgettable event that could lead to the advancement of your water and wastewater technology and effectiveness. 

Come have a bite to eat and a drink on us. No RSVP needed and please contact us if you have questions.