Thomas Instrumentation has over 30 years of experience in industrial electronic design and manufacturing. We understand the operational demands of this market and have proven design solutions for them. Some of the key elements we keep in mind during our design phase include:
Harsh Operational Environments
This can include any combination of the following items: unstable power sources, external electromagnetic interference, unsterile conditions (dust, dirt, etc.), hot and humid temperatures, etc.
Ease of Use
Typically the equipment operators are not technically savvy, so we want our devices to be straight forward in how information and alerts are displayed, how settings are programmed, and how issues are diagnosed.
Many of our devices need to remain in active operation for at least an 8 hour day for periods of over 7 years. This means we want to use reliable designs with parts that aren’t going to become obsolete in 10 years.
The majority of our industrial systems are produced for a single customer who is a global technology leader in material management systems for plastic molding, extrusion, and compounding. We have been designing and manufacturing this customer’s embedded control systems since 1981. The collaboration between our two companies has distinguished our customer’s products from their competitors in terms of accuracy, ease of use, and low cost. It has also helped them become the world’s largest supplier of both gravimetric blenders and liquid color pumps.
Some of our industrial control products include:
This handheld tool allows workers to quickly, accurately, and safely measure how much pipe they have in their inventory. It was originally designed as a tool for pipe yards, drilling rigs, and fabrication shops and is thus designed for harsh conditions. The gun works by sending a series of signal pulses down a tube and timing how long it takes to get a reflected signal. This time measurement allows the gun to calculate and display the length of this pipe.
[ Gravimetric Blenders; Low Pressure Dryers; Extrusion Control;
Gravimetric & Volumetric Feeders; Loaders; Color Pumps ]
These systems are all developed for a long-standing plastic’s customer. Each system is designed to be reliable, highly accurate, low in cost, easy for end users to operate, and rugged enough for harsh factory conditions. Many of our products have been in operation for over 10 years and we receive a minimal volume of repair work. The basic functionalities included in these products are:
- control of pneumatic systems often through solenoid valves
- control of AC, DC, brushless DC, and stepper motors
- control of vacuum pumps or venturi systems
- control of blowers
- control of heaters
- measurement of weight with load cells
- measurement of pressure/vacuum
- measurement of temperature with RTDs, thermocouples, and solid state sensors