Liquid Filling System Installed At Paint Plant

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 intended to help the company keep up with the demand for its range of industrial paints. Leighs manufactures a variety of industrial paints, including intumescent coatings, used on everything from ships to oil rigs and from bridges to buildings.

The Forth Rail Bridge and the Terminal 5 building at Heathrow are just two recent examples of where Leighs' products have been used. The 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 that 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 at up to 95 per cent capacity, at which point the machine changes over to trickle-feed to ensure that accurate target weights are achieved. The system can be used for filling 20kg containers, 200-litre drums and 1,000-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 1,500kg LPS and 2,000kg 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 saves costs and gives a much neater and professional installation, according to Weightron Bilanciai.

Both scales consist of one-piece steel substructures, 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 lifted for cleaning and load-cell access.


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