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Custom Machines Case Studies

Machinery Fabrication Shortens Project Timeline by 40% over Competition

A client’s machinery fabrication supplier announced an 8-10 month delay on a custom rotating drum, essential to an ongoing project. EPIC was able to design, build and integrate a custom solution in five months, shaving 40% off the projected timeline

CLIENT: Fortune 500 Company

INDUSTRY: AG Chemicals

KEY ENGINEERING FEATURES:

  • 35,000 lb gas-fed, rotating drum treating five tons of product an hour
  • Rate adjustment, height adjustment and tilt controls
  • Integration with packaging equipment and conveyors
  • Runout measurement
  • Pilot assembly and natural gas main

CORE CHALLENGES:

  • FEA analysis and mechanical design were critical because, if completed incorrectly, the drum could spin off its base at a high velocity.  The sheer size and weight of the drum, added to the fact that it rotated a relatively fast speeds for its size, made this a critical challenge to overcome with design
  • A race to finish the drum before it was needed on site created a time-crunch that had to be balanced with the complex nature of the design. EPIC’s engineering team was able to design, fabricate and install the drum in a five month window, just in time to be integrated into the facility and avoid delaying the over-arching upgrade
  • Site managementthe drum was part of a larger plant upgrade that EPIC managed for the client. Conduit and field construction were completed while the machinery fabrication and integration took place in EPIC’s shop. EPIC used ISO’s to make the field installation quicker

AN EPIC SOLUTION

Front-End Engineering/Design Engineering

Machinery fabricationAutomated Fabrication Machines

Instead of providing a fixed-bid quote, EPIC uses a front-end engineering (FEE) approach. During FEE we are solely focused on providing you an accurate bid based upon fully extracting your requirements, completingdue diligence at the critical stage of the project. This guarantees the projects will be delivered on time and budget. At the end of the front-end engineering stage, we provide a contract with a fixed price to complete the design, integration, installation and startup of the complete line.  The key benefits to front-end engineering are:

  • Risk is minimized for both the client and the supplier because “unknowns” are turned into “knowns”
  • Contingency is drastically reduced in the quotation
  • Issues surrounding technical feasibility are uncovered early
  • The careful, informed development of an accurate project schedule based upon actual equipment lead times results in a high probability that the system will be producing product on the agreed upon date

The client brought the facility upgrade project to EPIC when it was discovered they couldn’t source the drum from the usual supplier without waiting 8-10 months. EPIC immediately started working on front-end engineering and design, outlining the five-month design-to-installation schedule for the machinery fabrication. This planning stage allowed the whole project to run smoothly, and resulted in the client placing site upgrades in the hands of EPIC’s project manager to guarantee success.

EPIC’s Proven Solution: IN-HOUSE MACHINERY FABRICATION

gas fired drying drumFull control of the entire project scope allowed EPIC to deliver a solution in five months, shaving 40% off the project schedule. The 35,000 pound rotating drum was engineered and fabricated at EPIC’s fabrication plant in St. Louis while on-site upgrades were completed at the out-of-state facility. Packaging lines were also installed by EPIC, and the drum was integrated into these lines. EPIC managed all the field contractors for mechanical, civil and electrical upgrades, utilizing local contractors.

Conduit and field construction took several months, during which the machinery fabrication progressed. FAT testing for the drum was completed in EPIC’s plant before shipment. ISO’s were used to make the field installation quicker by simplifying the whole process and making it easier to manage. A full week of training for plant operators and maintenance personnel was conducted.

The final system treats five tons of product an hour, and is fully integrated with the following features:

  • Moving water bed
  • Burner management system
  • Natural gas main and pilot assembly
  • Dust collection system
  • Raw material load station
  • Box dump into bucket elevator
  • Processing feed tank
  • Packaged boiler
  • Heat transfer system on a processing tank
  • Dual bank filtration
  • Product contact timing and dual incline conveyors
  • Neutralization system
  • Wet product conveyors
  • Dryer drum in-feed
  • Gas-fired drying drum
  • Rate, height and tilt adjustment for the drum to control drying rates
  • Dry product discharge
  • Tramp material reject conveyors
  • Bulk weigh feed system
  • Bulk weigh controls
  • HVAC and utility systems

IMPACT

  • The client can accurately treat five tons of product daily, a process that was previously manual and significantly smaller in scale.
  • The project stayed on time and on schedule, avoiding major work-site delays and keeping costs low
  • EPIC’s simultaneous management of the custom machinery fabrication at the St. Louis plant and the out-of-state onsite upgrades allowed a high degree of coordination of schedules, further shortening the timeline for project completion. Forty percent was shaved off the project timetable.

 WHY EPIC CUSTOM MACHINES?

A good custom machinery fabricator builds a reliable solution that gets the job done. A better fabricator understands the manufacturing challenges you face and helps integrate your solution in the larger picture. EPIC believes we can help you “Make It Better” by:

  • Utilizing Front-End Engineering to ensure that the proper steps are taken during project scope development
  • Appointing a single point of direct contact during the entirety of the project
  • Applying our plant engineering experience to assist clients in identifying needs, pinpointing objectives and providing the most appropriate manufacturing equipment
  • Maintaining an open door client policy to promote innovation. We invite clients to visit EPIC to experiment with new processes, technologies and techniques that push the limits of traditional engineering.
  • Imparting a transfer of knowledge (not just a basic training) for the systems and equipment we provide

Find a better solution. Contact EPIC or learn more about custom machinery fabrication.

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