04/11/2005, Madison Heights, Michigan



Name Keena Toth
  Business Unit and Brand Communications
Phone 248-589-4828
Email Send E-Mail

Henkel Smart Control (TM) Technology Ensures Quality, Efficiency of Painting, Coatings Lines

Henkel today announced that its SmartControl (TM) advanced personal computer (PC) based process control systems have the potential to help paint and coatings plants reduce material usage 5 to 20 percent, while increasing efficiency up to 10 percent and lowering defect costs between 2 to 5 percent.
Madison Heights, MI, April 11, 2005 -- Henkel today announced that its SmartControl (TM) advanced personal computer (PC) based process control systems have the potential to help paint and coatings plants reduce material usage 5 to 20 percent, while increasing efficiency up to 10 percent and lowering defect costs between 2 to 5 percent.

The Crown Group, one of Henkel's SmartControl development partners and an early adopter of the technology, recently reported similar successful results. The SmartControl system was initially installed two years ago at The Crown Group's Shelby Township, Mich. facility, controlling the plant's 12-stage phosphating process.

"Our experience with SmartControl was positive right from the start," said Ron Haught, The Crown Group's Shelby Township facility/system manager. "Our OEM customers produce some of the top luxury brands in the industry, which require reliable quality. This system helps us consistently meet those requirements."

Henkel's SC 1000 SmartControl and SC 2000 SmartControl series of process controllers can be easily customized to fit the needs of individual paint and coatings lines as well as other manufacturing operations.

The SC 1000 model handles all pretreatment, electrocoat paint and waste treatment product feed and controls. The SC 2000 model handles those requirements as well as motor controls necessary to completely run most paint lines. The SC 3000 model handles the same functions as the SC 1000/2000 models, in addition to providing network connected Auto-Titration analysis.

Unlike traditional programmable logic controller (PLC) or solid-state process control systems, SmartControl is based on a standard PC powered by Henkel's proprietary control algorithms, developed over decades of providing surface treatment and coatings expertise. In contrast to other control systems, SmartControl uses these sophisticated algorithms to process input from separate manufacturing stages, interpret the data and make decisions and necessary corrections to the line. The end result is technology that delivers repeatable quality and addresses unpredictable challenges in crucial coatings processes.

"SmartControl technology is valued by customers for its ability to ensure processes remain within specifications, preventing costly manufacturing interruptions," said Steven Moore, Henkel business director. "As factory paint and coating lines grow older and require new process control systems, SmartControl is a cost effective option for the next generation of manufacturing plants."

SmartControl systems cost about 10 to 30 percent less than solid-state or PLC based systems. Unlike these traditional systems, it can be quickly expanded to include more workstations and is easy to update and enhance through new software.

How SmartControl works:
The SmartControl process control system uses a series of compact remote process input/output (I/O) panels located at coatings or surface treatment stages within a plant. In most cases, one panel can handle two process stages. These versatile panels keep costs low by reducing the need for additional wiring and conduits. All input devices, such as sensors measuring conductivity, temperature and pH levels, are connected to a remote process I/O panel. The chemical pumps are connected to a central chemical feed panel.

SmartControl links all these devices through common protocols including Ethernet and Profibus DP, and can work within most existing plant data communication systems. This translates into a much lower investment in equipment to link monitoring technology.

The SmartControl detailed onscreen displays enable operators to quickly monitor and control all process variables - including trend charts - along with control events such as alarms, set-point changes (SPC) and current operating modes using precise, real-time information on plant operations. In addition to this, the system provides SPC charts for all monitoring variables, with automatically calculated upper and lower control limits, Cp and Cpk values. Cp measures how wide the spread of process control variables have been over a period of time. Cpk calculations demonstrate how well centered control is within the spread of measurements.

Operators can enter manually collected readings from titrations, spray pressures and production and use information from these readings to remotely set or adjust controls for each machine to achieve optimum manufacturing quality and efficiency.

"SmartControl is designed to optimize highly automated paint and coatings lines, without being complicated to use," said Moore. "While this technology is extremely sophisticated, it is also very reliable, effective and simple for plant employees to operate."

Henkel is the market leader in adhesives, sealants and surface treatments to the transportation industry. Backed by extensive design capabilities, a broad product range, specific application knowledge and technical expertise, the company delivers solutions to all segments of automotive development - automotive body, interior, chassis, electronics and powertrain production. Through powerful brands like Autophoretic®, Bonderite®, Frekote®, Loctite® and Multan (TM), Henkel provides significant economic and environmental advantages for today's vehicles, making them safer, more comfortable and extending vehicle value.

The Henkel Group operates in three strategic business areas: Home Care; Personal Care; and Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatments. The automotive group is an integral part of the Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatments business sector, which also serves the transportation, electronics, aerospace, metal, durable goods, consumer goods, maintenance and repair and packaging industries, and offers a broad range of products for the craftsman and consumer. With brands and advanced technologies, Henkel makes people's lives easier, better, and more beautiful. 50,000 employees work for the Henkel Group worldwide. People in 125 countries around the world trust in brands and technologies from Henkel - "A Brand like a Friend."