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Simple system solves downtime for roofing tile manufacturer

A new batch weighing system from Avery Weigh-Tronix has eliminated downtime, simplified production and reduced the man hours needed for the production of coatings for clay tiles for Marley Eternit, one of the UK's leading roof tile manufacturers.

The new system consists of a programmable indicator, software and two existing load cell systems. It controls pumps, which dispense precise amounts of sand, pigment and binding agents from storage hoppers. This is mixed to produce a coloured coating for the company's clay tiles.

Previously the company used a programmable logic controller to control the process. Using this system an operator had to reset a recipe for each batch. Also it would not indicate whether pigment, sand or the binding agent was running low in a hopper. This could result in an inaccurate recipe, which would then need adjusting by hand.

Says Lee Kempson, Planning Engineer for Marley Eternit: “Using our old system we would have a significant downtime period about once a month. Too date we have had no inaccurate batches or errors with the new system and therefore no downtime.”

The L788 programmable indicator stores all 18 recipes for Marley Eternit. A supervisor can edit the recipes or add more via a password-operated screen. Up to 50 can be stored in total.

To use the system, an operator selects the required recipe and the number of batches needed using the touch screen. They can then add more recipes and batches before starting the process.

If the pigment feed runs out the system will stop and the operator has the option of entering 'ratio', which scales the sand and silicon binder to suit the quantity of pigment, and thus maintain the recipe formulation.

Once the target weight for a batch is reached, the system checks that the mixer time has expired and that the mixer conditions are met. If a second pigment is needed it is then added and mixed.

When the batch is complete, the system prints a report and the program loops onto the next batch or resets to the main screen if it has finished the last batch.

Continues Kempson: ” Using the Avery Weigh-Tronix system we have found that we can redeploy the operator onto other tasks. This has made the whole process more efficient and cost effective.”

The system is included in Marley Eternit's service contract with Avery Weigh-Tronix. This covers regular servicing and calibration for all of the company's weighing equipment and systems for processing, plus its onsite laboratory scales.

Marley Eternit came out of the merger of Marley Roofing and Eternit building products and is now part of the Etex Group.

For further information contact:: Avery Weigh-tronix, Foundry Lane, Smethwick, West Midlands. Telephone 0870 9050060. Email: info@awtxglobal.com or visit the company's website www.averyweigh-tronix.com.

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