KWS Manufacturing

Copper Pellet Leakage Problem Solved at Encore Wire Plant in McKinney, Texas

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Plant Name and Location

Encore Wire
McKinney, TX

General Description of the Application

Encore Wire is a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial building wire. Started in 1989, Encore Wire has grown from a 68,000 square foot industrial warehouse in McKinney, Texas to over 2 million square feet under roof which stretches across 425 acres today.

Much of the copper used to produce new wire comes from scrap copper in the form of tubing, pipe and old electrical /telecommunications cable after the insulation has been removed. The copper is then chopped into small pellets and conveyed to a melting furnace just before a rod mill. The rod mill produces 8-mm copper rod. Various gauges of copper wire are drawn from this rod.

The small copper pellets are dumped into a large hopper and discharged into a screw feeder which then feeds a bucket elevator that elevates the copper pellets to the melting furnace. Originally, the screw feeder was located in the horizontal position and had been designed to meter the copper pellets from the hopper to the bucket elevator. The original design had worked satisfactorily for over 3 years. In early 2017, the decision was made to change the position of the screw feeder from horizontal to a 40-degree incline to improve layout issues. The only change to the screw feeder at that time was to replace the 1150-RPM motor with an 1800-RPM motor which increased the screw feeder speed from 14-RPM to 23-RPM. The new arrangement worked well for a few days until copper pellets began to leak out of the lower end of the screw feeder causing production and housekeeping issues.

Design Parameters of Application

  1. Product Type – Copper Wire Pellets
  2. Material Density – 353 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Capacity – 7,000 Lbs. per Hour
  4. Duty – 16 Hours per day, 5 Days per Week
Copper Pellet Leakage Problem Solved at Encore Wire Plant in McKinney, Texas - KWS

Existing Screw Feeder is Located on 40-Degree Incline to Feed Bucket Elevator

Advantages Provided by KWS

A Regional Sales Manager from KWS visited the facility and met with Encore Wire’s Maintenance Manager to determine the source of the product leakage and the exact needs of the plant. While onsite, dimensional information was gathered on the existing equipment to determine solutions which would resolve the issues with the most economical, least invasive solution.

Special Features of KWS Design

KWS modified the existing screw feeder by relocating the drive unit to the discharge end. A pedestal trough end was installed on the inlet end (lower end) with a pillow block bearing. Pedestal trough ends provide an 8-inch space between the trough end and bearing and prevent contamination of the bearing. An adjustable split gland seal was added to the tail end to eliminate the leakage of copper pellets. Split gland seals are easily adjusted and the seal packing is very inexpensive and easy to change out.

Testimonial

"The new arrangement is working quite well! The housekeeping and leakage issues have been eliminated. Thank you for the cost-effective solution."

Darrell Breitling, Maintenance Manager – Encore Wire, McKinney, TX

Copper Pellet Leakage Problem Solved at Encore Wire Plant in McKinney, Texas - KWS

Copper Pellets are Discharged into Screw Feeder Hopper. Copper Pellet Spillage Caused Production and Housekeeping Issues.

Copper Pellet Leakage Problem Solved at Encore Wire Plant in McKinney, Texas - KWS

New KWS Pedestal Trough End and Split Gland Seal Eliminated Copper Pellet Leakage.

Copper Pellets

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