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System Solutions By ESI

Report on a systems integrator for textile finishing, nonwovens and the carpet industry.

System Solutions By ESI Report on a systems integrator for textile finishing, nonwovens and the carpet industry.Electrical Systems Inc. (ESI) established its roots 30 years ago. Back then, it was conventional armature motors that the companys fathers rebuilt or replaced with better technology. Today, ESI is a high-tech systems provider for applications in the textile industry and other industries. For textile applications, the company concentrates on finishing, nonwovens and carpet manufacturing. The company headquarters is located in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the company has a service facility in Greenville, S.C.At the beginning of this year, ESI was acquired by the NSC Group (N. Schlumberger Inc., France), which, according to company executives, will give the company financial strength for growth and expansion into new areas, particularly the plastics, film and paper converting industries.Mike Mauney, ESIs director of sales, emphasized the acquisition will not affect the companys confidential cooperation with NSC competitors machinery manufacturers with which large projects were already underway at the time of the merger. We would be a dead duck if we abused the confidentiality agreements, Mauney said. ESI gets a wide range of customer orders because of its reputation for understanding the manufacturing processes, and the companys worldwide service commitment.Project Management PhilosophyESIs philosophy is to implement standardized project management procedures for every project, regardless of its size, to ensure 100-percent customer satisfaction. The following outlines some of ESIs key project-management procedures:

  • assignment of a project engineer to supervise the project from design to start-up;
  • charted project organization to determine bottlenecks and to minimize timing problems for delivery;
  • regular project status updates and meetings;
  • witness testing of systems prior to shipment;
  • professional field staff start-up;
  • complete engineering drawings for the system as installed;
  • operator training; and
  • spare parts recommendations.
ESI has grown and diversified over the years into different fields and kept up with the advancements of the latest drive and systems control technology. The company has made it its task not just to provide a system, but rather to evaluate the actual situation in a plant and to provide the best possible and most economical solution for its customers. A team of highly specialized engineers identifies and evaluates all control strategy options by analyzing the application and by consulting with customer personnel. ESI calls this a one-on-one service for clients. Personal contact is maintained with every client throughout the entire project. Because of this, ESI says it has improved the overall performance of many customer mill, machine efficiency and product quality.Modern Drive Technology: Latest Systems AppliedNo matter what drive technology is used on older or new machinery, ESI offers system solutions to better control the manufacturing process. With older drives, it is often much more economical to replace the conventional motors with AC or DC drive technology. A cost calculation with return on investment (ROI) can clearly show what modern drive technology can save on maintenance and service cost when compared to earlier technology. At the same time, product quality improvements, better supervision and feedback from the process are possible. Therefore, ESI has been a leader for many years in the integration of drives and drive-oriented systems that include AC and DC drive systems, as well as stand-alone PLC and automation systems. Lately the PC-based control systems have been in great demand because, compared to PLC systems, they are low cost, flexible and offer quick serviceability. PC systems are also much easier to expand than PLC based systems. ESI pointed out that the PC-based systems are still not the solution for every application, but since the introduction of the Windows NT operating software, the reliability of PC-based systems has improved significantly. In case of a fatal hardware failure, it may be as easy as replacing the failed hardware and reloading the software to get the system up and running again.Mauney emphasized that ESI is not strictly aligned with only one electrical component manufacturer. The company enjoys an excellent relationship with the worlds leading manufacturers of high-tech system solutions such as ABB, Magnetek, Reliance, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Toshiba, and many others. This gives ESIs engineers the freedom to use the best from the best in the design phase for specific customer applications.Nonwovens, Carpet And Finishing ApplicationsESI named a number of applications for which the company has installed drive and control systems.The nonwovens field is an ever- growing market segment for ESI. Even though ESI is owned by Schlumberger, which is also one of its largest clients, the company has executed many projects that incorporate the Dilo Group, Fehrer and other suppliers that are competitors to Schlumberger. At the end, what counts is that ESIs customer, the actual nonwovens plant, needs to be satisfied with the specific control setup. And so far, the company has received a lot of praise and repeat business.Besides nonwovens, which has typically been a dynamic industry, the carpet manufacturing industry has seen many changes over the past few years. ESI has helped these companies to stay productive through custom integration of sophisticated drive and control systems. The company provides motor/reducer combinations selected for optimum efficiency and durability. Further, ESI provides web-sensing devices and load cells to interface with process lines. For every application, the options range from simple armature, voltage-controlled DC drives to fully integrated systems with multiple PC-based MMI systems and state-of-the-art AV vector drives incorporated in custom enclosures.Also important to ESI are finishing applications for warpers, slashers, preparation ranges, mercerizers, tenter ranges, conventional dye ranges, indigo dye ranges, and sanforizers.Other growing fields of activities for ESI include the plastics and film industries and the paper converting industry. Especially in the plastics and film, the capital investment is very high and, therefore, requires efficient, smooth-running processing machinery.The Electrical Systems Inc. AdvantageIn summary, ESI emphasizes that for a customer they are the single source of responsibility that tailors equipment and services specifically to each customers needs. Usually, this permits a more efficient system layout with lower investment cost. All equipment and services come from domestic suppliers, which reflects in lower maintenance cost. As well, the company offers seven-day, 24-hour service for its customers. November 2000