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Winning Recipe: Indicator Helps Company Keep Tabs on Ingredients

Mon, 10/01/2007 - 12:09pm
Arch Wood Protection Inc., headquartered in Smyrna, GA, is a leader in producing wood preservatives, providing chemical treatments and additional services to lumber, architectural, and several other industries throughout North and South America. At one of its engineering facilities, located in Conley, GA, a new weighing solution was developed to ensure that the company’s batching operation can keep pace with increasing business demands.

“Our main customers are truss mills and handlers of large amounts of lumber in various sizes, and we also offer product packages for architectural applications,” said Jerry Matthews, project manager at the company. By providing spray applications for up to 14-foot trusses and other dimensional interior wood applications, along with offering a 20-year warranty on FrameGuard mold-resistant wood for protection of residential framing, Arch Wood has found a loyal market for its products. In August 2006, after employing equipment provided by American Weighing in Atlanta, GA, in the past, Arch Wood once again approached this company for a new kind of weighing solution.

Tracking Chemicals

The E1110 can store multiple recipes and perform process control for weighing applications without a PLC.
To keep better track of the chemicals used in Arch Wood’s batching operation, James Williams, territory manager at American Weighing, suggested the Evolution E1110 indicator by Avery Weigh-Tronix. The E1110 had previously been offered only in the UK, but after discussing its advantageous features, Arch Wood became the first U.S. application to utilize this solution. “The E1110 indicator was priced lower than competitive models, and it contained three configurable outputs, along with one output that allows for a manually added ingredient,” said Williams. “With the E1110, Arch Wood is able to run four different recipes, depending on what batch size they need. Plus, the recipes are easy to configure and adjust using the e-tools provided.”

This system contained all the ingredients Arch Wood’s batching operation required. “The E1110 had three outputs on it, and it lined up exactly with our needs because our batch has three key ingredients,” Matthews said. “Since we have no PLC, having three outputs configured by weight connected to the Avery Weigh-Tronix scale was perfect for our application.”

The E1110 can store multiple recipes directly in the indicator and perform process control for weighing applications, with no PLC required. In addition, the E1110’s “Totalizing” feature tracks and prints the running totals of each weighing transaction, allowing users to see and manage all data directly on screen. With this feature, Arch Wood can monitor how much of each ingredient is used in its batches of treatments — a benefit for both the company and its customers.

“To develop our ready-to-use treatment, we combine our ingredients into one batch tank on the scale to meet various application needs,” Matthews explained. “We start by adding water. The second ingredient is our Pack B, and the third is our ingredient Pack A. The fourth ingredient is manual, allowing us to add coloring or pigment by hand. The E1110 accounts for that and totals the weight of the entire batch. In between each of the steps, it will stop and print the results of each step, so customers know how many pounds of each ingredient are in the batch.”

Making Adjustments

A "Totalizing" feature tracks and prints the running totals of each weighing transaction.
Arch Wood began using E1110 technology in March, and now the company has three E1110 units in use at manufacturing plants across the country — with several more applications in queue. Since the equipment had been used previously exclusively in the UK, Matthews said he worked with Williams to make the E1110 adjust to U.S. operations. “There were some issues with the programming, which we believe we have resolved,” Matthews said. “And there were some issues with the language barrier,” he added with a chuckle.

Several months after these applications went into use, Matthews said the E1110 has proven to be a valuable tool for Arch Wood’s customers. “Our customers keep close track of their chemical costs, and with this indicator, customers can see and get a printout of which ingredient they’re adding to the solution and how many pounds of the solution are being used per order or production run. We offer quality components and chemistry to offer a great fit for our marketplace and provide many, many years of protection. The E1110 makes it that much easier for us.”

Technical Features
The E1110 indicator offers localized process control with three dry contact outputs and three logic level inputs. It stores up to 10 recipes, each with up to 50 programmable steps. It records the weight of each individual product in a package as well as total weight. In addition, it features dual RS232 serial ports for easy connection to printers, laptops, and remote displays; a rugged stainless steel enclosure rated NEMA 6/4X; and an easy-to-read eight-digit one-inch yellow LED display. It displays dynamic status information while the operation is running and provides an out-of-the box solution with no PLC or custom software required.

Technical information for this article was provided by Avery Weigh-Tronix, 1000 Armstrong Dr., Fairmont, MN 56031. Additional information is available by calling 877-888-1646, sending an e-mail to usinfo@awtxglobal.com, or visiting www.wtxweb.com.

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