ACP ThinManager helps Shurtape plan for the future

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Evolving out of a business started in 1880 near Hickory, North Carolina, Shurtape Technologies, Inc. today manu- factures a wide range of quality paper masking, polypropylene, coated vinyl, metalized cloth and duct tapes. These products service a variety of adhesive tape applications in many markets, including automotive, HVAC and construction, power and utility and military and aero- space industries.

Why a change was necessary

To meet the growing needs of their customers, Shurtape invests aggressively in new technology and equipment. Using automation, simplicity and effi- ciency as guiding principles, Shurtape reviews their process with the goal of producing the finest tapes in the indus- try, while satisfying customer require- ments for highly competitive pricing, dependable quality, reliable performance and rapid delivery.

Constant expansion and improve- ment bring continuing change and sys- tem enhancements. Delivering new machine interface screens and display stations on a regular basis is difficult at any time, but in an active manufacturing facility this must be done with as little disruption in production as possible. There are also unusual physical con- straints faced when new displays and computers are required around an exist- ing production line.

Finding a way to rapidly bring new dis- plays online under these conditions meant that Shurtape had to find a system that would install in limited space and in less time than a traditional PC. And the solu- tion had to be both cost effective and reli- able. ACP’s Thin Client solution meets all of these requirements.

Implementing ACP Technology

The move to Thin Clients started in April 2001 and has continued to evolve. The clients are located throughout the facility and use Wonderware to display information from as many as eight different PLC’s. Because of the centralized software model inherent in the Thin Client architec- ture, new display stations go online in record time. Each time a new interface point is identified it is only a matter of installing another Thin Client, touch screen, and cable. No new software has to be installed.

Five Windows 2000 Servers host all of the Advantech industrial Thin Clients used at the plant. The small size of the Advantech clients coupled with their resistance to vibration and heat makes them easy to mount almost anywhere – a must when working in cramped condi- tions.

Thin Client Benefits

Before switching to Thin Clients it took approximately three hours to load and configure the appropriate PC software each time a new display was required. With Thin Clients a new display can be added by simply plugging in a new Thin Client and turning it on. A new Terminal Server can even be configured in less than four hours. Also in the unlikely event of a Thin Client failure, downtime is drastically reduced compared with the time required to correct a PC failure.

Switching to Thin Clients resulted in project cost reductions of 40%, and Shurtape now has the ability to display information across the plant with a very low cost effective solution—one that is also very easy to configure.

One of Shurtape’s business principles is to invest in the most cost effective manu- facturing technology that will produce value-engineered products. ACP is proud to be able to help them meet this goal by providing a Thin Client solution that will save them money year after year.

Tom Jordan

V.P. of Marketing - Automation Control Products