Metal Finishing Guide Book

2011-2012 Surface Finishing Guidebook

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Page 579 of 707

finishing plant engineering Finishing System Efficiency Upgrades for a Capital-Constrained Market BY TIMOTHY KURCZ, DIRECTOR OF SALES, JESSUP ENGINEERING, ROCHESTER HILLS, MICH. During this furtive economic recovery, captive and independent finishers face the need to increase capacity, improve quality, and reduce resource consumption as rising production volumes stretch a downsized industrial base. This challenge is the result of wholesale market consolidation and continued global competi- tive pressure. Unfortunately, recently imposed government banking controls limit capital availability and the option to purchase new machinery no matter how strong the business case. With many new installations out of the picture for the short term, the too-often employed lowest cost solution is simply to increase demand on already stressed human/machine resources. This is risky given the operator-sensitive nature of the finishing business and finicky, well-worn machines. A better choice is targeted investment of carefully engineered upgrades designed to enhance existing plat- ing, anodizing, coating, and other types of finishing systems. Jessup Engineering,1 known as a leading manufacturer of programmable hoists and turnkey finishing systems, responded to customer demand for cost- effective, incremental machine improvements. Every customer installation requires careful analysis to fully understand, engineer, and prioritize improvement opportunity. Partnership work teams establish targets, and the customer selects the most cost-effective solution for each machine. Over the past year, the following upgrades achieved specific productivity goals for Jessup customers' existing plant and equipment. 1) An intuitive touch screen industrial personal computer/human machine interface (PC/HMI) is the heart of every Jessup controls upgrade (Figure 1). Available with single-touch toggled bilingual language format, it displays system overviews, recipe options, hoist programming, load/unload monitoring, process functions, load tracking, fault diagnostics, and pre-programmed maintenance schedules. For convenience, it also includes imbedded drawings, schematics, operations manuals, and spare parts lists. Control features include monitoring and control of hoist equipment, process tanks, and accessory equipment. Quick scan input devices may include bar code or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. PC-controlled programmable logic controller (PC/PLC) systems provide load-by-load output data in a simple comma separated variable file (CSV) format for interface with customer quality and business management systems through Ethernet communications. Performance monitoring includes shift reports for total time and cycles, automatic vs. manual operation, load/unload delay, and fault data. To speed correction of unexpected stoppages, the control system provides automatic system diagnostics. Detailed screens display fault location and actions needed to quickly 578

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