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The Challenge:

The problem for the Quality Metal Finishing plant in Byron, Illinois was that the proper temperatures were not holding on several of the zinc die-casters. Without the proper temperatures, the molten metal could not be molded properly and production for that particular die-caster came to a standstill.

The source of the problem was determined to be the Barber-Colman temperature controllers. “We had been experiencing non-stop reliability problems for quite a while, due to the age of the Barber- Colman temperature controllers, and then they started to fail. That’s when we found out that direct replacements were no longer available,” says Dave Carlson, Maintenance Supervisor for Quality Metal Finishing. “We needed to replace the failed controllers immediately. We just didn’t know what to replace them with!”

Carlson contacted Industrial Controls for assistance. “We had done business with Industrial Controls for a long time and they helped us out with some temperature controls for our water storage tanks, so it just seemed like a natural to go to them with our problem,” recalls Carlson.

Whatever replacement product was selected, it was expected to be reliable, cost effective, available, and user-friendly (easy to use for the maintenance staff), besides being the appropriate industrial controller for Quality Metal Finishing’s die-casting application. “Industrial Controls has been very helpful in the past with other industrial control problems. We talked about our needs and wants, and they came back with a solution.”

The Solution:

Industrial Controls ultimately cross-referenced over to and recommended the Honeywell UDC industrial controller also providing the tuning parameters for the field installation.

This type of assistance is typical of Industrial Controls – not only can they select the right products for the application, they have had factory training on most of the equipment sold, which greatly aids in trouble-shooting and field support. Armed with extensive information resources, they have the technical and application expertise needed to provide stand-alone solutions for their industrial customers.

“Industrial Controls provided us with the UDC controllers and we did the installation ourselves,” says Carlson. “The programming was pretty straight forward and they gave us whatever support we needed along the way. They also provided training for the maintenance staff.”

“This Honeywell controller is doing a great job of maintaining the metals at the designated temperature. It also has high and low limit and alarm settings so we know immediately when we have a problem with a particular die-caster. And it has password protection so that only authorized operators can go in and make programming changes. The maintenance staff is in agreement that these controllers are more user-friendly and easy to operate (than the Barber-Colman controllers).”

Carlson adds, “Pricing is right there, and as far as availability, they made sure that the product was ‘off the shelf’ so that’s not even an issue. We’re real satisfied with this solution.”

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