Rubber Industry

Handling The Dust Problem

The first step in most rubber manufacturing processes is “compounding“. This requires the accurate batching of ingredients together for mixing and further processing. To produce a rubber compound a combination of chemicals and raw rubber is combined with other materials, including oils and other bulk ingredients (carbon black, clay etc.)

Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. has custom engineered and manufactured batching systems for rubber compounding applications where industrial hoses and fittings, as well as other products, are manufactured.  The rubber batching systems typically include an automatic minor ingredient batching system, a semi-automatic hand-add batching system, dust collection, automatic indexing of totes and a state-of-the-art automation control system including standard Allen Bradley PanelView+ touchscreen HMI’s and PLC, and a Sterling Systems customized FactoryTalk ME software application.  Electrical controls are also provided.  Mixer control is also often a custom engineered application for the rubber industry provide monitoring and control of Banbury mixers.

Rubber Industry – Batching Example
dust collection screen for ingredient batch system
Dust Collection HMI Screen

In this application example, the automated rubber batching minor ingredient system supplied by Sterling Systems & Controls will consist of coated 18 mild steel storage bins and augers, an industrial TEFC electric motor for each feeder, 18 bin vibrators, 6 mild coated steel tubular frames supporting bins and a conveyor system (infeed conveyor, scale 1 conveyor, scale 2 conveyor, scale 3 conveyor, checkweigh scale conveyor, exit conveyor, and return conveyor), stairway, and stairway landing stand, and a double pallet stand. Also included are two scissor lifts and a pneumatic bag hoist.

Controls

The controlling software for a rubber batching system, as in our above example, is typically a Sterling Systems customized software system running on either a PC or a HMI.  In the HMI case it is usually a Sterling custom Rockwell Software FactoryTalk View ME running on PanelView+ Touchscreen HMIs located in the operator control panels where formulas and ingredients are created, and scheduled to batch. Up to 25 formulas containing up to 75 ingredients each are able to be stored simultaneously in the PLC of this rubber batching system. Sterling Systems & Controls also included the WebCentral supervisory control application software to provide remote access to data and reports.

The example rubber batching system produced accurate ingredient weighments to within +/- 0.05lbs for 0.5lb weighments, and +/- 0.1lbs for 1.0lb weighments.

Each process control and/or batching system is customized to meet the exacting requirements of each specific customer. Typically, no two systems are the same.