Pegler Yorkshire designs and manufactures innovative and reliable branded connect & control solutions for the worldwide plumbing and heating industry. The company has invested heavily in their manufacturing facilities at an average rate of £3.5m per annum. These developments, involving significant capital equipment investment, have resulted in major customer benefits including shorter lead times, improved response and reduced costs.
One recent upgrade project was completed at the manufacturer’s plant in Leeds, UK. The original requirement of the project was to replace the drive system of a cold forging press. It had given great service for 20 years but was becoming problematic due to the obsolescence and unreliability of the control equipment. The press punches out copper tube billets from solid copper rod which are used in the manufacture of various sizes of fittings. These fittings are used in the plumbing industry for connecting copper tube together in water, gas and central heating systems. Optima Control Solutions, the Blackburn-based systems integrator, came up with a turnkey solution to integrate into the existing control system.
A new AC motor from TECC replaced an obsolete DC motor. The old DC motor required frequent maintenance to keep the machine in production. In addition, new AC drives from Parker Hannifin were configured to use existing control signals to operate the press in the same way as the existing drives. The control system design was compliant with the latest EN60204-1; EN954-1 safety standards and the EN61800-3 EMC Product Standard. Upgrading to the new AC motor and control system realised a 25% uplift in availability, resulting in significantly increased production output.
Tony Lepecha, Electrical Systems Engineer at Pegler Yorkshire, explained: “As a result of this upgrade project, we are enjoying a number of improvements. The new system increased the press production availability by 25 %. We have not had any downtime problems since install. The new control system also improved our energy efficiency by 3 to 5% and the upgrade significantly lowered our maintenance requirements – from 2 hours per week to mere 10 minutes per month! In addition, our maintenance costs are down as well – the old motor required regular repairs costing approximately £1500 per year. Currently, the new motor has incurred no cost.”