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Filling system provides the ‘perfect finish’ for leading industrial paint manufacturer

24 March 2010

Weightron Bilanciai has installed a bespoke ATEX certified semi-automatic liquid filling system at Leighs Paints’ plant in Bolton. Based around two articulated arm gravimetric filling machines, the installation is helping the company keep up with demand for its extensive range of industrial paints.

Bespoke filling system provides the ‘perfect finish’ for leading industrial paint manufacturer
Bespoke filling system provides the ‘perfect finish’ for leading industrial paint manufacturer

Leighs is a family owned leading UK manufacturer of industrial paint, including intumescent coatings and has its 150 year anniversary this year (2010). Leighs’ paint is used on everything from ships to oil rigs; from bridges to buildings. The indomitable Forth Rail Bridge and Heathrow’s showcase Terminal 5 Building are just two recent examples of where the company's products have been used.

The versatile gravimetric fillers are part of a bespoke ATEX Zone 1 filling system, specifically developed by Weightron to meet Leighs Paints’ requirements for flexible and accurate filling. The system incorporates a number of special features, including a custom-built ball valve manifold arrangement with quick release nozzles and special height filling arms to accommodate the larger containers.

To ensure the correct products are filled into the correct containers without any cross contamination, operators use a pre-programmed swipe card to initiate the automatic filling process. Vessels are filled at full speed up to 95% capacity at which point the machine changes over to trickle feed to ensure accurate target weights are achieved.

The system can be used for filling 20 kg containers, 200 litre drums and 1000 litre bulk vessels. Depending on the specific order requirements, containers to be filled are placed on one of two stainless steel platform scales fitted with ATEX certified load cells. The low profile 1500 kg LPS and 2000 kg pit mounted PRM scales are connected to Weightron’s D440i ATEX certified weight indicators. The D440i can operate directly in the hazardous area, without the need to install additional galvanic barriers through to the safe area. This not only saves cost, but also gives a much neater and professional installation.

Both scales consist of a robust one-piece steel sub structure, with the adjustable self-levelling feet directly coupled to the stainless steel load cells. This provides a simple and functional load transmission system, which offers a compact, low profile design requiring minimum maintenance. The top plate of the PRM is hinged at one end and fitted with gas lift cylinders, allowing the lid to be easily lifted for cleaning and load cell access.

Leighs Paints’ Engineering Manager, Andrew Gardner is pleased with the installation and as he concludes: "We needed a filling system that was easy to operate yet secure in terms of non-contamination. Weightron engineers worked closely with us throughout the project to ensure we received the optimum solution. The system has given us improved control over solvent dispense and stock accuracy."

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