Challenge/Solution Case Study: Redesigning the Cooling Section of an Asphalt Roofing Line

Susan Bishop Challenge/Solution Case Studies

Result

As a result of EFI Group’s analysis, recommendations, design and implementation oversight, this manufacturer was able to resolve a variety of technical and profitability issues that had their root causes in the coating and cooling sections of its asphalt roofing line.

EFI Group’s solution not only enabled the cooling section of the asphalt roofing line to operate at a consistent tension at higher speeds, but also to achieve a consistent temperature range at the cutters. This resulted in increased productivity and improved quality.

Challenge

Issues involving the cooling section of the client’s asphalt roofing line were resulting in damage to the end product, increased downtime and numerous customer complaints.

Specifically, the original configuration of the cooling section was deluging the asphalt sheet with water without regard to sheet or ambient temperature variations. This often resulted in wet product arriving at the cutters either too hot or too cool causing product jams. Additionally, tension control issues within the cooling section were causing frequent web breaks, resulting in significant productivity losses due to unscheduled downtime.

Solution

EFI Group worked closely with plant leadership and engineering personnel to explore potential options for solving the client’s cooling section issues. After extensive thermodynamic analysis of methods to effectively cool the sheets, as well as in-depth discussions with OEM’s, controls integrators and other vendors, EFI Group recommended the client adopt an evaporative cooling solution operated by smart technology.

The new smart system is able to accurately sense sheet temperature and adjust newly designed (and more appropriate) fine-spray nozzles and airflow system to apply the correct amount of water and air for effective and timely evaporation. Now, each sheet arrives at the cutting heads dry and at the ideal temperature.

Once the client agreed to the proposed solution, EFI Group managed the challenging task of determining the most effective way to mount the new cooling section within the existing space.

EFI Group perfected the design and oversaw the construction of a frame that would position the top rolls 20 feet above the ground, allowing for the correct length-to-speed ratio for evaporation to occur.

Additionally, EFI Group worked directly with vendors and contractors to ensure successful installation of each component of the new system, including plenums, spray nozzles and smart technologies.

Deliverables

  • Mathematical and engineering analysis to arrive at the most effective solution for solving the client’s challenges.
  • Vetting of OEM’s contractors and other vendors.
  • Detailed design of the new cooling section.
  • Completion of the general arrangement of new equipment.
  • Oversight of existing system demolition.
  • Oversight of new system installation.
  • Overall project management – schedule, budget, management of project issues and technical challenges.

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