Plastics Extruder Line Upgrades

Industry: Film & Plastics


A US-based company with over forty manufacturing facilities in North America, and one in Germany, underwent a merger with another large company in its same market segment. After about four months of new ownership with many capital projects underway, a layoff of almost one third of their 11,000 employees was done over a one week period. Optimation, a preferred supplier for a number of years, was brought in to support the immediate needs left by the sudden departure of internal engineering expertise.


The day after the layoff was complete, Optimation was on site at one of their plants to get a system running that had quit the day before, and now had no one to support it. The next week, after talking with people from the corporate engineering group, Optimation was issued an order for the programming portion of a rebuild project for a plastics extrusion line in California. The five-man corporate team that was scheduled to do it was now down to one, and with all the additional work resulting from the layoff, there was no way he could do the rebuild project alone. The plant had all the mechanical changes and mechanical contractors mobilized to make the necessary changes during the scheduled down time, scheduled to occur in two weeks. With very little time Optimation engineers completed the Rockwell ControlLogix PLC and Wonderware HMI programming changes, flew to the site, installed, debugged and tested the new operations. The Optimation engineer assigned to support system commissioning spent 76 hours onsite over four days to ensure that the modified line started on time.


Even with the layoff of the most of the project team, weather induced flight delays, typical mechanical startup issues, and an extremely tight shutdown schedule, the line was ready for production on Monday morning.
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  • Film & Plastics

  • Controls Engineering

  • PLC and DCS Systems
  • Project Coordination
  • SCADA and HMI
  • System Startup

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