By Sam Stone, Vice President of Technology & Polymer Capital Sales
For over 60 years, Anderson International has worked side-by-side with hundreds of synthetic rubber manufacturers worldwide to improve their polymer processing. Anderson engineers invented many of the synthetic crumb rubber processes used by today’s polymer manufacturers, and most of the patents registered to Anderson are process patents. As the inventors of these technologies and with decades of experience in polymer plant commissions, equipment installation and inspection, and troubleshooting, Anderson engineers have the expertise needed to resolve the most challenging polymer quality and throughput issues.
How Anderson’s Process Focus Drives Customer Success
When our polymer manufacturer customers reach out to Anderson, most of the problems they’re working to solve with our engineers involve either quality, throughput, or both. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how our process-driven approach and detailed assessments of polymer operations lead to customer success.
- A polymer manufacturer was getting only 50% of the production rate, and polymer quality was suffering. As a process-driven company, Anderson engineering teams build flexibility into polymer equipment to align with numerous processes for different applications. With detailed process defined for each use, the Anderson service technician was able to determine which steps of the operation could be adjusted or eliminated to increase product throughput and improve quality. Anderson expellers and expanders are multi-dimensional versus competitors with one-dimensional machines. The engineering that goes into Anderson motors, for example, provide different sizing options of 800 hp, 1000 hp, up to 1500 hp motors, each driven by a variable frequency drive. This feature gives service technicians one more adjustment to meet ever-changing polymer operational demands. For this specific issue, the Anderson engineer advised adjusting the chokes to increase the die opening, allowing for increased throughput.
- A manufacturer in East Asia had problems keeping their polymer operations up and running and had only been able to attain a maximum uptime of 17 hours. Since Anderson is process-focused, service technicians are trained to assess the entire polymer process. During the assessment, the Anderson engineer noticed issues in the process stream feeding the Anderson equipment. By eliminating unnecessary and inefficient steps and making adjustments to machine performance, Anderson was able to increase process runtime to 84 hours straight, vastly improving running conditions while upgrading quality. Over time, the company was able to double throughput and increase their profitability.
- A polymer plant startup engaged Anderson at the request of their supplier of a specific type of rubber because of Anderson’s process knowledge. Anderson began the plant buildout project by training their staff on the complete polymer process, what’s acceptable in the feed coming in, and the acceptable running and operating conditions. The company’s engineers and operators then learned everything about an Anderson finishing line, how to control it, how to produce the maximum rate, how to avoid any safety incidents or accidents, and how to make the best quality product. With detailed knowledge of all startup, operating, troubleshooting, and shutdown procedures, the company was prepared to work side-by-side Anderson engineers to design a plant layout to maximize production and achieve the highest-quality product for their application.
- At a US plant, an Anderson engineer was brought in to perform a detailed assessment of their operations because of excessive wear of their equipment, forcing a wholesale change-out every nine months. After examining their issues, Anderson advised a series of changes to their operating parameters, and over time, increased the quality of their metallurgy. The adjustments were implemented on a small scale at first, and once proven successful, expanded to full-scale changes in their operations. As a result, the company extended equipment replacement requirements from nine months to 27 months, saving millions of dollars.
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At Anderson, our engineers encourage customers to reach out at any time with your process questions. Throughout our 130+ year history, Anderson is known as a collaborative company providing training and sharing information to help our customers improve polymer quality, throughput, and profitability.
If you are experiencing any problems with your polymer plant operations, Anderson is here to help 24/7/365.
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