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Manufacturer Realizes Benefits of Single Product versus Discrete Components

Background:ez zone

RTP Company is a global leader in specialty compounding. Specialty thermoplastic compounds from RTP Company provide conductive, structural, wear resistant, flame retardant, soft-touch and color properties in over 60 engineering resins.


To remain on the cutting edge of engineering plastic compounds, RTP needed to expand their business with a new research and development (R&D) center. As part of the R&D center expansion, the plastic extrusion equipment used within the R&D lab needed to have state of the art technology.


RTP needed to increase data acquisition capabilities on their plastic extrusion equipment. The engineering effort of new plastic compounds required a lot of intimate process control information. The project time required to bring the R&D center online was on a very tight schedule.

Solution:temperature controller operator

The extrusion machine was specified to utilize 15 EZ-ZONE® ST integrated control loop products to control and monitor 15 zones on the extrusion machine. To meet the desire for process and equipment related data acquisition, the EZ-ZONE ST with digital communications capability was identified to provide a system performance data to a PLC (15 registers x 15 zones). The EZ-ZONE ST delivered intelligent and distributed temperature and power control switching to unburden the PLC. Since the EZ-ZONE ST was an integrated control loop, it offered greater ability to monitor system related information within the thermal control zone.

EZ-ZONE® ST value added benefits identified by the customer:

  • Overall lower cost of ownership
  • Was simpler to build panels
  • Did not have to run wires from the back of the machine all the way to the inside front door of the panels
  • Less wiring and less termination was required saving time and money during installation, as well as improving the reliability of the system
  • A tight project schedule could be supported. Using all of the following integrated functions resulted in less engineering time and expense to specify the solution.
  • Limit control for over-temperature protection
  • Mechanical contactor for safety shut-down
  • Solid state relay for heater power switching
  • Heat sink
  • PID temperature control
  • Current measurement diagnostics
  • Less components to mount as panel space was limited.
  • Advanced tuning features EZ-ZONE ST offered TRU-TUNE+, an adaptive PID control algorithm to meet tight temperature control requirements in this dynamic and challenging process application
  • Did not have to struggle with the time and expertise required with writing PLC temperature tuning algorithms.