The most common application in the rubber industry is rubber manufacturing. The first step in most rubber manufacturing processes is compounding. This requires the accurate batching of ingredients together for further process. Most often to produce a rubber compound a combination of plastic resin (pellets, flakes, powders, or liquid) is combined with other materials, including liquids and/or bulk solid materials.
Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. has designed and supplied customized batching systems for rubber compounding applications where industrial hoses and fittings, as well as other products, are manufactured. The rubber batching systems typically include a minor ingredient batching system, a hand-add semi-automatic hand-add batching system, dust collection, automatic indexing of totes (also provided by Sterling Systems & Controls) 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.
Rubber Industry – Batching Example
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.
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.