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Wheland Foundry Company | Warrenton, Georgia

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Introduction:

The Wheland Foundry, in Warrenton, Georgia, poured its first gray iron in October of 1995. They are a major manufacturer of brake rotors and drums for the automotive industry. Production is between 9 and 10 million castings per year with an average casting weight of 25 lb.

The Wheland Foundry Bulk System was installed and became operational in May of 1999 by receiving two, 4,000 gallon tank wagons of phenolic urethane coldbox binder.

Binder: Phenolic urethane coldbox

Project Objectives:

  1. Reduce the cost of resin products by purchasing in 4,000 gallon tank wagon loads instead of 300 gallon totes. A price discount is offered when purchasing resins in bulk tank wagons.
  2. Eliminate the cost of handling totes: Unloading full totes, storing full and empty totes, loading empty totes for return shipment and return shipment costs.

Solution:

Install the MT Systems' bulk resin system. The system consisted of the following:

  • Two, 6,000 gallon storage tanks and tank hardware: vents, manways, dryer, nitrogen regulator, strainer, thermometer and site glass
  • Electrical cabinet containing a programmable logic controller (PLC) for monitoring the state of the bulk resin tanks
  • Instrumentation: tank level sensors, tank temperature sensors and tank pressure sensor
  • Safety Equipment: Intrinsically safe barriers for all instrumentation and fire safe valves
  • Heat tracing and heat tracing control for Part I tank
  • Documentation package: Drawings - mechanical, electrical, and P&ID, MT Systems' bulk system user manual and user manuals for supplied hardware

Cost to Foundry:

  1. MT Systems' bulk tank system with above hardware
  2. Structural work consisting of a steel base for the tank, ladder and catwalk. A concrete, truck unloading spill containment pad was also needed. A diked containment area was already in place.
  3. Piping work consisting of two - three inch pipes from tank to loading station, process piping from bulk tanks to the day tanks and vent pipes
  4. Electrical installation consisting of 480 VAC drop, intrinsically safe wiring for instrumentation and explosion proof wiring for the heat tracing
  5. A rented crane to unload and position the tanks
  6. Implementation of a truck unloading procedure and training of employees

Results and Benefits from Wheland Foundry Personnel

Reduced cost of resin:

The cost differential is $.035 per pound. @ 40,000 lbs per month this equates to a savings of $1,400 per month

Increased cost of shipping:

Shipping and return shipping vs. shipping and truck cleaning. $850 and $850 vs. $2500 = - $780 per month

Reduction in residual left in containers:

The residual in the tank wagon is much less than the residual in totes. Also, some totes are returned with a visible amount of resin in them that can not be removed without use of excessive labor by the supplier..
Est. residuals per month:
Given: 3,000 lbs. per tote x 0.5 % loss = 15.0 lbs. per Part I tote
Given: 3,000 lbs. per tote x 0.25% loss = 7.5 lbs. per Part II tote
15.0 lbs. x 8 totes + 7.5lbs. x 7.5 totes = 176 lbs. of resin

176 lbs. @ $1.00/lbs (est.)= $176 per month

Note: Residual was handled by supplier. In many cases, the residual must be drained and handled by the purchaser which can add a significant disposal cost.

Reduction in handling costs:

Each tote is moved 3 to 4 times before empty. The estimated labor hours to handle totes are:
Est. 2 hrs. to unload + 2 hours to load old totes x twice a month = 8 hours per month

Eliminated the need to change totes and monitor the level of the current tote:

This costs is estimated at 8 labor hours per week or 64 hours per month.

Eliminated material wasted from spills:

Estimated at 30 lbs. Part I and 30 Lbs. Part II @ $1.00 per lb. = $60.00 per month savings

Eliminated the need to clean up the spilled resin:

Elmination of labor hours and materials. Est. 3 barrels per month X 3 hours per barrel = 9 hours per month.

Reduced amount of waste disposal charges:

Before the bulk system, 36 to 48 barrels of waste per year were disposed of at $100 per barrel. After the bulk system, it is estimated 4 to 5 barrels per year will be needed for truck lines. Approximately $300 per month savings

Eliminated stock rotation and inventory labor needs:

Labor hours reduction of 4 hours per month

Eliminated the hazard of resin spills and employee exposure in totes:

Reduced danger and exposure to employees translating to goodwill and smart business savings

Savings Summary:

  • Raw material cost savings:
    The direct difference of receiving resin in bulk as compared with totes is a $620 per month savings
  • Manpower savings:
    The reduction in manpower associated with the bulk system = 85 labor hours per month @ $18.00 per hour (direct labor cost for wages only) = $1,530 per month
  • Waste disposal cost savings:
    The company saves approximately $536 per month by the elimination of waste disposal costs
  • Total monthly savings:
    The company saved approximately $2,686 per month the first year.
  • The company is of the opinion that the system will pay for itself in approximately 30 months based on a total system cost of $100,000. Depending on system features and total project cost, the pay back period can vary from 18 to 36 months.

 

Other Notables:
One employee stated, "I remember what it was like before. Now, with the bulk system in place, the operation is transparent".