DC drives improve Renolit Cramlington’s embossing line | Automation.com

DC drives improve Renolit Cramlington’s embossing line

DC drives improve Renolit Cramlington’s embossing line
June 17, 2009 - DC drives manufacturer Sprint Electric has supplied DC drives for retrofitting an obsolete embossing line for laminate manufacturing.

Renolit Cramlington Ltd. in Cramlington, Northumberland, produces a range of decorative surfacing materials. The laminates are applied to domestic furniture such as speaker cabinets and kitchen cupboards. Many of these PVC-based laminates are embossed with a wood-grain finish and the embossing line is an important part of the production process. Recently, Renolit Cramlington’s existing embossing line’s control system was becoming obsolete and difficult to maintain, which meant downtime was becoming a problem.

After an engineering survey, Oracle Drive Systems, a variable speed drive specialist based in Batley, West Yorkshire, presented two ways to upgrade the drives and the control system: One using AC drives and motors and another using DC drives sourced from Sprint Electric - nineteen 10KW and two 20KW digital PL/X DC drives.

“The DC solution offered the best value for money. And because of Sprint Electric’s small drive footprint, the drives were retrofitted into the existing control panel”, explains John Mullins, Oracle Drive Systems’ Technical Director.

The retrofit took place within a shutdown period of two weeks, replacing single-phase DC drives, a Leonard and Bauer digital phase locking unit and a Dingden unit, which was a large rack of analogue and digital control cards used to control the line drive system. Bardac Ethernet cards were fitted to the DC drives and a Bardac Smarty, which also sat on the Ethernet network, a DIN rail mounted processor unit, was used to control the phase locking. The functionality of the Dingden unit was replaced by utilising the software within the Ethernet cards and the built-in software blocks of the DC drives.

The whole retrofit and re-commissioning of 21 DC drives and the control system refurbishment was completed in two weeks, with Oracle Drive Systems working with shift engineers from Renolit Cramlington. The wireless network allowed commissioning to be done quickly and easily because it was possible to check in/out signals directly using a laptop computer. And because Renolit Cramlington’s shift engineers were involved in the commissioning process, they could get hands-on experience with the new equipment from the start. John Mullins concludes, “Renolit Cramlington’s new digital emboss line has much improved repeatability, is less prone to variation and is much easier to maintain.”

Increase in accuracy and productivity, and lower energy consumption make DC drives ideal for retrofits when a more effective, modern drive system is required. Sprint Electric offers a full range of PLX digital DC drives from 12 Amps up to 1850 Amps, with all models available from stock. Whether in retrofits or original equipment, DC Drives from Sprint Electric are being used in many different applications including metal processing, the pulp and paper industry, rubber and plastic processing, lifting equipment, food processing, leisure industries and many more.

About Renolit Cramlington:
Renolit Cramlington Ltd. is an internationally successful organisation with over 60 years of experience in manufacturing decorative surfacing materials. Renolit Cramlington supplies decorative laminates into three main market sectors: furniture components, exterior windows and doors and the consumer electronics industry. Renolit Cramlington also manufactures a range of PVC products for flooring, panel lamination and mobile home applications. Renolit Cramlington is part of Renolit AG, an international leader in the manufacture of high-quality thermoplastic films and products. The family-run business, which has been setting benchmarks for quality and innovation for over 60 years, now employs a workforce of approximately 4,300 employees at more than 30 production sites and sales companies. The Renolit brand enjoys a worldwide reputation for technical expertise, modern product design and customer-orientated service.

About Sprint Electric:
Sprint Electric Ltd., based in England and founded in 1987, offers a wide range of DC motor control, with over fifty models covering both single phase and three phase, regenerative and non-regenerative applications. From low voltage servo performance controller to highly sophisticated fully digital three phase DC variable speed drive of many hundreds of amps, Sprint Electric products meet the demands of countless industrial applications around the globe. Sprint Electric is committed to providing innovative products backed up by a high level of customer service to the world-wide industrial market. In the USA, Sprint Electric products are available through Bardac Corporation.

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