Client – Condimentum Ltd
Location – Norwich
Application – Platform Weigh System
Platform Weigh System for Tote Bins
Condimentum Ltd, which operates from a purpose-built facility on the Food Enterprise Park near Norwich, was formed in 2018 to process locally grown mustard seed and mint leaf and to provide quality ingredients for the food industry. This has enabled farmers in East Anglia to continue supplying mustard seed and mint leaf for the Colman’s of Norwich brand – who they had supplied for generations – after the majority of the processing had relocated to Burton- on-Trent.
Procon has supplied Condimentum Ltd with two platform weigh systems for the mustard mill, for weighing tote bins or bags as they are being filled with mustard flour. Two model 1530 freestanding platforms were chosen in mild steel, each 1250x1500mm with 1000kg capacity and modified to include a barrier on three sides.
EP23 indicators were fitted with set point relays which operate indicator lamps (green, amber and red) and with an analogue output to the central control system.
Graham Muff the Site Engineer said “The weigh system gives us accurate measurement of the mustard flour and the lamps give the operator a clear indication of when filling is in progress, when process is nearing completion and when the bins or bags are full”.
Client – Food Manufacturer
Location – Home Counties
Application – Vessel Weigh System
Specifying Force Calibration and Working with Vessel Designers
Requirement: Procon Engineering was asked to provide a food manufacturing company, which was building a new plant in the South of England, with weigh systems for 36 vessels. Procon specified LP44 double-ended sheer beam load cells and stainless-steel mounting assemblies (with high anti-lift-off strength), EP400 panel-mounted digital indicators and stainless-steel load cell junction boxes.
Problem: Procon was also asked to specify and supply floor plates and bracketry so that calibrations could be undertaken whether vessels were full or not.
Solution: Procon worked with the vessel manufacturer on design so that the vessel support legs could be fixed to Procon’s stainless steel calibration brackets.
Outcome: This means that all calibrations will be undertaken using the ForceCal calibration method, without the need to empty the vessels.
More information about force calibration can be found in the Service and Support section of Procon’s website https://www.proconeng.com/service-support/ or by calling 01732 781300 for a free site survey or demonstration
Client – Chemical Manufacturer
Location – Manchester
Application – Weigh Equipment
Service and Supply of Scales and Balances
Since January 2019 Procon Engineering has been calibrating bench scales and lab balances for a UK company which specialises in the R&D and manufacture of fluorochemicals, and life science reagents and compounds for chemists, researchers, distributors and industrial applications across a range of industries.
Precision weighing is essential in this business. Shortly after the first calibration contract commenced, the client asked Procon to supply equipment as well. The latest item to be delivered is a precision balance with a diameter of just 120mm and capacity 3000g x 0.01g.
Client – Pharmaceutical Manufacturer
Location – Home Counties
Application – System Redesign and Installation
Overcoming Challenges Replacing Obsolete Load Cells
Problem: A major pharmaceutical company contacted Procon because old load cells in twelve vessels were beginning to fail and accuracy is critical to their operation. The load cells were obsolete and they needed replacements quickly.
There were two major challenges: firstly, mounting kits for the replacement load cells did not fit the existing leg design, but it was not possible to undertake mechanical modifications to the legs because these were extremely difficult to access – furthermore no pipework could be moved; secondly, whatever solution could be found, downtime had to be kept to a minimum: the customer stipulated that this should be two hours maximum per vessel.
Solution: Procon designed special mounting kits to fit the existing hole pattern and then carried out installations to each vessel one-by-one; this involved jacking up each leg, replacing load cells and mounting kits and calibrating, all within the two hours of allocated for each.
Outcome: The outcome was that all objectives were met so that the pharmaceutical company had all loadcells replaced on twelve vessels with the minimum of lost production time.
Client – Paint Manufacturer
Location – Lancashire
Application – Load Cell Weigh System
Replacing Sensor System with Load Cells
Problem: A paint company was using range sensors to measure the contents of its three large tanks.
It suspected that these sensors were not giving the level of accuracy needed for accurate stock control and approached Procon for a solution.
Solution: Procon proposed a load cell system.
Four 20 tonne load cells were installed for each tank. Model LP44s were chosen because the mounting kit incorporates automatic lift-off protection and jacking bolts for routine maintenance and calibration. The three weigh controllers were installed within a single control panel.
Outcome: This resulted in a well-designed and more effective weigh system
Client – Supplier to Foundries
Location – Midlands
Application – Weigh System Development
Development of Intelligent Weigh Control System
Problem: A UK foundry approached Procon because it wanted to be able to measure its mix of materials more accurately and also because it needed to increase the number of different metals it could use.
The measurement process is problematic both because of the different physical characteristics of these metals and because their bulk means they must be discharged directly into the furnace from a grab or a crane, rather than into a holding vessel.
To get the proportion right the weigh controller must be able to measure how much of each material has been discharged by weight and be able to count down how much more is needed. It also needs to be able to calculate what other type of material can be selected, based on the types of material already added.
Solution: Procon first developed a program for its EP50 controller, supplied the weighing hardware and designed the process to integrate with the existing PLC.
Outcome: The foundry was able weigh raw material input with accuracy and the system allowed for adjustments to be made to the mix of ingredients during the input stage.
Over time the foundry needed to be able to use even more ingredients within each batch. Further development by Procon’s engineers increased to sixteen, the number of ingredients that could be controlled using the later EP52 model.
In this way the foundry was able to increase both the range and quality of its products giving it an edge in a highly competitive market.
Client – Fertiliser Manufacturer
Location – North West
Application – Beltweigher Redesign
Modifying Conveyor Design to Overcome Layout and Materials Issues
Problem: A major UK fertiliser manufacturer uses a conveyor system to receive raw materials and convey them to a packing plant or a despatch vehicle.
The accurate measurement of each batch had been a long-term problem at this site so the manufacturer wanted to find a new system to solve this.
Beltweighing accuracy depends on the load conveyor having sufficient length to stabilise the load before it reaches the weigh section and sufficient length beyond it, for discharge of the cargo.
Solution: The challenges facing Procon Engineering were firstly that the plant layout was restricted, yet the client still needed the high level of accuracy, repeatability and reliability that would be expected of Procon’s resometric beltweighers under normal conditions, and secondly the corrosive nature of fertilisers.
The solution was that Procon undertook the design not only for the weigh section but for the entire conveyor. Specially painted steel was used to ensure that the entire structure would remain exceptionally robust – and resistant to corrosion – and that the variables usually associated with standard design conveyor systems were avoided.
Outcome: The outcome was a stable beltweigher which gives accurate readings
Client – Paper Manufacturer
Location – Kent
Application – Replacement Controller
A Replacement Weigh System and Weigh Controller for Waste Conveyor
Problem: An old Datum DW3032 weigh controller failed at a waste recycling company where it was controlling the 30 tonne conveyor. This created immediate problems for the production process. Owing to space restrictions it was important to house the replacement instrument within the existing enclosure.
Solution: Procon was asked to specify and supply a replacement as a matter of urgency to get the plant running again and chose the EP52 batch controller.
The controller was adapted to fit the enclosure and the software was designed to interface with the PLC system. The plant/terminal points were retained to ensure quick turnaround, with minimum disruption and downtime on installation.
Outcome: The outcome was rapid installation and commissioning of an instrument that enabled production to resume with the minimum of delay.
Client – Food Ingredients Manufacturer
Location – West Yorkshire
Application – Batch Weigh System
Accurate Weigh System to Control Manual Addition of Food Ingredients
Problem: A food manufacturer in the north of England was experiencing inconsistencies in batches which required a large number of ingredients to be added manually.
This system was unreliable as the indicator only showed the cumulative total of ingredients within the vessel and depended on sustained concentration by the operator to add the correct ingredients in the right quantities.
There was no other means of checking, so the process was liable to error and inaccuracy.
Solution: Procon’s solution was to supply a high-resolution pit-mounted platform scale to support the vessel, linked to a recipe batch controller.
The controller now indicates how much of each ingredient by weight is required for any particular batch; the operator is then required to acknowledge each ingredient before the indicator counts down the amount to be added and signals the operator to stop. The process is repeated until the completion of each batch.
The accuracy of the mix is confirmed at the end of each batch with a printout of each ingredient by weight and a label attached to the packaging.
Outcome: The system has improved the quality of the product by minimising the chances of human error and by ensuring each mix is accurate.
Cost efficiencies have been achieved by avoiding wastage of expensive raw materials and the system provides accurate information for stock control which was not available before.
Client – Materials Handling Companies
Location – Worldwide
Application – Loss-in-Weight System
Development of Specialist Loss-in-Weight Controller
Problem: A company in Denmark had eight loss-in-weight feeds dosing materials on to their on-shore beltweigher. The complexity of the weighing process meant it was highly sensitive to noise and interference from local surroundings.
They recognised that with over 15 years’ experience in loss-in-weight systems, Procon had the design capability to develop a new specialist weigh controller to solve their problem.
Solution: A prototype was built which was demonstrated to a leading supplier of bulk materials processing equipment who were impressed enough to agree to work with Procon on development of the software and hardware.
Outcome: The EP50 loss-in-weight controller which constantly reviews the density of material, and applies highly sophisticated knowledge based algorithms to maintain an exact flow rate, even during periods of extreme interference from surroundings.
Procon has supplied the EP50 and its successor the EP52, to materials handling businesses and their clients throughout the world.
Client – Paint Company
Location – Lancashire
Application – Loss-in-Weight System
Design and Installation of Silo Weigh System to Replace Sensors
Problem: A paint company used range sensors to measure the contents of its three large silos. It suspected that these sensors were not giving the level of accuracy needed for accurate stock control and approached Procon for a solution.
Solution: Procon proposed to replace the sensors with a load cell system.
Four 30 tonne load cells were installed for each tank. LP44s were chosen because the mounting kit incorporates automatic lift-off protection and jacking bolts for routine maintenance and calibration. The three weigh controllers were installed within a single control panel.
Outcome: Significantly greater accuracy was achieved and this also enabled tanker deliveries to be verified without the need to use a secondary weighbridge, saving both time and money on all subsequent deliveries.
Client – Pharmaceutical Company
Location – Berkshire
Application – Replacement Load Cells
Replacing Obsolete Load Cell and Mounting Kit
Problem: When the old load cells at a pharmaceutical company failed and the same model was no longer available an alternative solution was required.
The challenge was to find a load cell that would fit the available space and to design a mounting kit to fit the existing vessel feet, ensuring the replacement was fit-for-fit, thus minimising installation downtime and disruption to production.
The client required Procon to use a load cell type that was readily available to future-proof the design for the next 10 years. In addition the vessels had heating jackets as well as an agitator so these needed to be taken into consideration in the final design.
Solution: Procon selected the 7188 shear beam load as the most suitable load cell type, as it has a high accuracy hermetically sealed all stainless construction suitable for the harsh working environment. Two mounting kit designs were adopted, not only to fit the available space but also to take into consideration thermal expansion of the vessel and provide anti lift-off for mechanical security. Procon’s engineering team completed the design and manufactured the parts ready for the installation.
Outcome: As the replacement load cell and mount design were fit-for-fit, the installation process was simplified and downtime was kept to a minimum. Each load cell and mount could be installed one at a time avoiding the need to fully lift the vessel. All vessels were installed and then calibrated by the Procon service team and successfully put back into production use.
Client – Food Manufacturer
Location – Yorkshire
Application – Total Site service contract
Replacing Multiple Suppliers with a Single Procon Total Site Service Contract
Problem: A major food and drinks manufacturer in the north of England had over thirty suppliers visiting its sites each year to carry out calibrations on a range of equipment.
Procon was one of these and was responsible for the maintenance of 500 scales and balances.
Solution: In order to improve efficiencies and because of Procon’s good track record on site, the manufacturer approached Procon to take over all calibrations at the site, including responsibility for all scheduling and record-keeping. A two year transition period was agreed during which time Procon’s engineers were trained to maintain and calibrate a wide range of both weigh and non-weigh equipment.
Outcome: Within two years the supplier base was reduced from thirty companies leaving Procon as the one supplier with responsibility for all weigh scales, checkweighers, metal detectors, temperature probes, pressure gauges, and flow meters under a ‘Total Site’ contract.
The manufacturer reported a cost saving of 50% as well simplified administration and easier access to documentation.
Since then Procon has been able to offer Total Site contracts to all kinds of businesses throughout the UK. Multi-site manufacturers know that the same calibration methods and standard of administration will be applied across their entire operation.
Client – Food Manufacturer
Location – Yorkshire
Application – Breakdown callout
Major Production Breakdown at Christmas Resolved by Procon Engineer
Problem: On a Sunday evening, the last but one day before the Christmas shutdown, with production at full capacity, a Scottish food manufacturer had eleven weigh controllers terminally damaged due to a major water pipe fracture in the roof void. This brought the plant to a standstill.
Solution: While the pipework was being repaired, a Procon engineer collected 15 amplifiers from its northern depot and travelled to the production site where he was met by a team of site engineers.
Outcome: The replacement amplifiers were installed during the night by the Procon Engineer resulting in full production being restored by the time the morning shift arrived.
Client – Major Coal-Fired Power Station
Location – Hong Kong
Application – Replacement Boiler Leak Detection System
Calibration and Commissioning of a Boiler Leak Detection System in Far Eastern Power Station
Problem: One of the largest coal-fired power stations in Hong Kong hasn’t had it’s Leak Detection systems upgraded since they were installed in the 1980s and couldn’t afford to lose the supply of power to Kowloon and the New Territories.
Solution: Procon was appointed to upgrade the existing Leak Detection systems on its six boilers. The work is being phased over several years commencing in 2018 when the original equipment on the first of the six boilers was replaced with the latest Procon T96 system. All the boiler side sensors and head amplifiers were replaced and special interface enclosures were supplied so that the existing cabling could be retained.
Outcome: The start of the calibration/commissioning of the systems is being undertaken during 2019. A Procon Service Engineer is providing support and on-site training during commissioning of the first two boilers. This will enable Castle Peak’s own engineers to carry out the commissioning work on the remaining four boilers themselves.
Procon Engineering provides Boiler Steam Leak Detection Systems for Power Stations all over the world. These systems provide early warning of any potential boiler tube leaks and prevent expensive secondary damage and unscheduled outages.