Manufacturer Realizes Benefits of Single Product versus Discrete Components
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.
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.