Polyurethane Process Industries, LLC


Where the customer comes first

14 DECEMBER 2013

PPI Introduces New Compact Chemical Storage and Transfer Stations

Polyurethane Process Industries (PPI) has introduced a compact, chemical storage and transfer system that makes it easier for manufacturers to condition and automatically feed chemicals to their blending or processing equipment.

The new, modular system can be used to fill day tanks automatically with pre-conditioned polyurethane components, leading to more reliable production and component quality, said Mark Clark, general manager of PPI.

Designed for use with 275- to 330-gallon plastic chemical totes, or intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), each stackable storage and transfer station is available in two designs: one optimized for isocyanate or low viscosity additives and the other optimized for polyol or high viscosity additives.

Both designs feature:

  • A framework with a small, 72-inch-by-72-inch footprint that allows you to stack one IBC above another.
  • An angled top platform that promotes maximum use of the material from the removable, upper chemical tote.
  • A permanent, 350-gallon, stainless steel, lower chemical tote equipped with automatic fill and a programmable alarm that notifies operators when the upper tote stops filling the lower tote.
  • A spill containment basin.
  • A diaphragm pump to transfer materials to a blending or metering unit. The pump can be started and stopped automatically using a signal from that unit.
  • A 110 VAC outlet plug.
  • All hoses, valves, fittings and wiring.
  • Each storage and transfer station also can be configured with heat exchangers, temperature control units, re-circulating pumps, air-operated agitators, and other options that may be required by the manufacturer’s process.

"This system is ideal for additive storage and transfer to a blending unit, which makes it great for large-volume chemical users who need to blend additives with polyol on site,” Clark said. “For low-volume chemical users, this is an economical storage and transfer solution for polyol and MDI.”

The removable upper tote automatically fills the permanent lower tote, which is used to store, condition and automatically transfer chemicals to day tanks for blending or metering into the processing system.

When the upper tote is empty, it can be replaced easily while the lower tote continues to feed the processing system. An alarm notifies the operator when the lower tote stops receiving material from the upper tote, reducing the possibility that blending or metering units will have to be shut down to change a tote.

The system is delivered in easy to assemble modules.

“The modular construction also enables us to provide economically efficient individual solutions,” Clark said.

For complete specifications, call 724-691-0551.


PPI Helps OMS Increase Sales in United States

Polyurethane Process Industries, LLC, (PPI), has helped the OMS Group steadily increase sales in several key U.S. markets since the two companies signed a 2008 agency agreement naming PPI the exclusive distributor of OMS equipment in the United States.

The greatest demand has been for equipment and systems to process rigid foam for roofing panels, garage doors, cold storage panels, and pipeline insulation, said Mark Clark, General Manager of PPI.

Regulatory and market pressures continue to push the construction and refrigeration industries to find more energy-efficient products, which has driven up demand for polyurethane insulation. Sales of production equipment for flexible- and rigid-faced insulating panels increased despite the U.S. recession and construction slow-downs, Clark said.

By actively seeking out new applications and markets, PPI also was able to expand the range of applications for OMS high- and low-pressure polyurethane processing equipment in the United States.

Over the last year, PPI and OMS have supplied:

  • Extremely low-output, low-pressure machines to manufacture fold-down food trays used on aircraft.
  • Low-pressure metering machines to manufacture archery deer targets.
  • A high-pressure metering machine to manufacture lightweight but extremely sturdy body boards for use in ambulances and air-lift rescues. The OMS EcoPlus metering machine provided a cost-effective solution to problems the molder was having maintaining consistent delivery of foam.
  • A low-pressure metering machine to manufacture faux brick and stone panels from polyurethane. The OMS system allows the company to use water instead of a solvent to flush the mixers, which provides a cleaner, safer work environment and reduces the cost of handling hazardous waste. The company expects to save enough money to pay for the new machine within 18 months.
  • A low-pressure metering system to produce foam darts used in the oil/gas drilling industry to guide drill heads into well casings. The company achieved significant cost savings, first by automating the process (they used to make each dart by hand) and second, by maintaining tighter processing parameters to ensure consistent mix quality with a difficult-to-mix polyester polyol.
  • A completely automated production line for manufacturing insulated commercial and residential garage doors. The line features metal roll forming, a high-pressure polyurethane metering system, cutting, material handling and fully automatic handling of changes to colour, type, surface pattern and dimensions of doors.
  • Completely automated high-pressure, polyurethane panel production lines with bulk chemical storage systems, in-line blending of polyol and all additives, high-speed double-belt conveyor capable of speeds of 60 meters/minute, cross cut and gang saws and material handling. The bulk systems include tanks, unloading stations, feed pump groups, piping, electrical control panels, and associated safety systems for the various chemicals used in the process, including hydrocarbon blowing agents such as Pentane.  
  • Several turnkey high-pressure metering systems with multiple mix heads, piping, valves and controls to manufacture cold storage panels, high-end under-the-counter refrigerators, medical refrigerators and discontinuous panels for building applications.

“The most unusual application probably was the manhole covers,” Clark said. “Manhole covers made with polyurethane are lighter, which reduces the chance for injury to workers, and are not subject to theft for the metal scrap market.”

PPI and OMS supplied a custom high-pressure production line for manufacturing composite manhole covers from polyurethane and fiberglass. The application required dedicated sets of pumps to each mix head, which had to supply variable material flow during the dispensing of the polyurethane to fill the circular mold correctly.

In nearly every sale of OMS equipment into the United States, PPI’s location and after-sales support capabilities was a deciding factor, Clark said. PPI began in southwestern Pennsylvania in 2004 as a technical service and parts business for the North American polyurethane manufacturers.

"Repair, service and parts remains an important part of our business," Clark said. "Our repair, service and parts sales have increased every year for 10 years. And I like being able to say we’re the only polyurethane processing equipment supplier in the U.S. that has more service technicians than sales people."

Last year, PPI moved into larger facilities in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to better handle the needs of its U.S. customers. The new facility provides room for demonstration metering machines, a larger inventory of spare parts and work areas for additional support personnel. The new facility also features a demonstration room that allows customers to inspect and try out new OMS high-pressure and low-pressure metering machines.