Production system for paints, varnishes, stains, fillers and oils, including large tank storage
SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Corporation is a chemicals company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The company produces paints, varnishes and building materials, and sells them in its own approximately 4,000 paint and varnish stores. SHERWIN-WILLIAMS is the largest manufacturer of paints, varnishes, stains, fillers and oils around the world. The group’s brands include, among others, OECE, Sayerlack® Innovative Wood Solutions, ARTI, Lineablu Sayerlack.
From the wish for drum systems to the completely automated production with large tank storage
Originating on the EUROPEAN COATINGS SHOW specialist trade fair in Nuremberg with the request for own drum systems, this project quickly became a comprehensive investment with far-reaching consequences for SHERWIN-WILLIAMS.
Those responsible in the production factory in El Salvador had imagined just a few individual adjustments of a FÜLL drum system. However, after the first probing interviews and a week-long visit to Central America, it became clear to the customer and the FÜLL sales and development team that comprehensive construction, modernization and automation measures were required for production of the paints and varnishes. With the technical option now recognized, the wishes, demands and targets at SHERWIN-WILLIAMS increased as well:
- Reproducible quality of solutions and varnishes
- Radically improved safety conditions and EX protection according to the international standard, as well as storage of the liquid semi-finished products in closed tank systems
- Integration of the system into the existing ERP system
- Cleanliness and thereby much increased safety in production
- Automation of processes in the essential production areas.
For target achievement, FÜLL was charged with development of the process-technical facilities and their turn-key implementation.
Custom engineering based on tried and tested FÜLL systems
About the method: FÜLL has sophisticated system technology and software that is modified individually for each customer. After thorough analysis of all production processes on site, process engineering and all processes were developed, produced and programmed for the systems of SHERWIN-WILLIAMS, Central America.
The project started with the phase of project development in March 2011 and took about 18 months. Several on-site meetings with the FÜLL sales and development team were required during this time. It became clear that parts of the building had to be built anew for the new system. The detailed planning effort during that time ensured that the following implementation phase went smoothly and efficiently:
- 1 Automatic 64-component dosage system with complete 64-component tank storage for color pastes, additives and solvents for water- and solvent-based paints;
- 1 system with fully automatized processes for production of solvents for the entire bandwidth of the paint industry were developed and built, and
- 9 further dosage systems for solid and liquid auxiliary materials were connected to the central FÜLL control with EX-protected terminals.
FÜLL connected the entire automatic and manual dosage systems to the central computer of SHERWIN-WILLIAMS with the smart software. This means that all orders are centrally loaded on all FÜLL terminals for processing of the orders. Every employee can view the precise status of order processing centrally and on all terminals. Every input/work step of an employee at a FÜLL terminal can only be started/ended via password and confirmation of each step. FÜLL also took over the basic and detailed engineering for the customer’s own large tank storage with 25- to 50-ton tanks.
An essential demand of the corporate management of SHERWIN-WILLIAMS was the subject of safety, and specifically EX protection. After all, the boiling point of some of the solvents is at only 21 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is exceeded every day in El Salvador! All produced systems and equipment provide maximum safety for the EX area and are built according to the strict specifications of ATEX. Concerning safety and environmental compatibility, the new system is “state of the art”.
All production processes have been linked with each other and integrated into the existing ERP system of the company. This was the prerequisite for complete reproducibility of the processes, and thus the warranty for a consistently high-quality end product.
Environmentally compatible, economically demanding and with reproducible quality of the end products
From the point of view of customer SHERWIN-WILLIAMS, all formulated goals and expectations were more than fulfilled.
Reduction of manual times: The conversion of production to fully automatic operation means that the employees only have few and simple tasks to complete by hand, which avoids errors and minimizes the risk of damage to health.
Batch reproducibility: No dosage errors or other deviations in the production process. Every batch is like the one before it. This way, the end customer can be certain that the paint used by him will still be available in identical color even after years have passed.
Operator safety: The systems are closed systems. Work orders and recipes are called online from the ERP system; the work process takes place fully automated.
Operational safety: All delivered system parts are designed for the EX area and are ATEX-compliant.
Cleanliness of system and operation: The closed systems makes the new plant clean all around, which minimizes cleaning costs and maximizes operational safety.
Return on Investment: The investment paid off from the customer’s point of view. “It offers the highest efficiency, cost reduction and investment safety.”