FRP Enclosure Manufacturing Systems


FRP enclosures are used for a wide range of applications, e.g. Transportation, Municipal Water, Irrigation, Landscaping, Electric, Communications and Substations. The materials of construction of these enclosures vary as well. FRP enclosures (FRP = Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) are common in all these categories and FRP Enclosure Manufacturing Systems are required to efficiently make these quality FRP enclosures.

FRP enclosure manufacturing systems include batching of dry and liquid materials in a mixing control system. In one such manufacturing system, there are about 15 ingredients, and a dozen are liquid. Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. custom designs and manufactures dry and liquid material weighing and batching systems into specialty mixers, and controls the mixing process. Liquids include resins and pigments, and dry material includes various-sized fiberglass.

The PC-based batching control system uses .NET technology with a Sterling Systems & Controls custom-engineered automation system.  This system allows for the creation and editing of a virtually unlimited number of recipes, each dependent upon the specific enclosure application. For each formula, there can reside several revisions within the system. For each formula listed, there will be the Formula, Description, Discharge Time, Mix Speed, Discharge Speed, Minimum Batch Size, Maximum Batch Size, etc.

An Ingredient Screen is also available that will show ingredient usage and inventory data. As the system runs the inventory is reduced and the usage is incremented automatically. Ingredient parameters include Ingredient, Description, Lot Number, Bag Size, Audit Inventory, Over Tolerance, Under Tolerance, Fast Cutoff, Slow Cutoff, Adjust Cutoff, Upper Limit, Lower Limit, Jog Time, Minimum Jog Time, Adjust Jog, Rate, Adjust Rate, Usage, Inventory and Type. Ingredients can be created and deleted and revised.

Ingredients are assigned to Bins. Each bin assignment includes Location, Name, Correction, Speeds, VFD Fast, VFD Slow, Vibrator On/Off, Vibrator Mode, Capacity, Bin Inventory, Live Inventory, Active, Low Warning Level and Low Alarm Level. A Lot Table screen is also provided.  Multiple lot numbers can be assigned to a single ingredient. As ingredients are consumed, inventory is reduced automatically.

Batching Process

Batching screens graphically display the equipment used in the batching process of the FRP enclosure manufacturing system. It is divided into three sections, each having its own detailed screen. The sections include:

  • Status Overview
  • Scales Screen
  • Mixers Screen

The Status Overview screen is divided into two sections that show the batch information for each device, such as a scale or a mixer. The Scales Screen shows the scales along with their transfer equipment.

The Mixers screen is similar in color coding and graphical representation to the Scales Screen.  The Liquids have a batch block that contains formula information, ingredient information, and bin information. The surge bins below the liquid meters will show high and low-level indications with an H and L flag. The Mixer shows a clock that counts down to zero, and both the mix and discharge times use this clock.

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