Processing epoxy is tricky. Just like Goldilocks and the three bears' porridge, if it is too thick or too thin, it doesn't satisfy.
Chromalox, a manufacturer of heat and
control products in Pittsburgh, was called in to help the maker of skid-mounted
epoxy spray systems reduce the footprint and expense of its controls that maintain
Controlling temperature is critical,
because providing proper viscosity allows the adhesive to flow at the proper rate.
And there's another heat-critical factor: Epoxies have a short "pot life,"
which means the coating must be applied within a prescribed amount of time or the
batch becomes unusable.
The solution was Chromalox's DTS digital
heat trace thermostat, which took up just 25 percent of the space that was used
by the original control panel, and reduced the customer's production costs by nearly
60 percent. The DTS provided temperature control from the system's compressor to
the nozzles, maintained minimum temperatures for proper flow rate and eliminated
clogging. It also provided existing process temperature information, plus high and
low temperature alarms, and sensor-failure alarms. The solution allowed the manufacturer
to add a "soft start" function to the spray systems, reducing the size
of the power supplies, which added another cost benefit.
DTS gave the equipment manufacturer a smaller footprint that reduced its shipping
expenses and costs, yet added features, with an end result of more reliable operation.