Sticky problems: ASP can solve them

Located in Middletown, NY, tesa tape is a global leader in the manufacture and supply of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes for industrial and commercial applications. The company was challenged to keep costs down while maintaining a high level of service delivery to customers. Problems The reliability of tesa's process line equipment needed to improve, which made its objectives difficult to a...


Located in Middletown, NY, tesa tape is a global leader in the manufacture and supply of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes for industrial and commercial applications. The company was challenged to keep costs down while maintaining a high level of service delivery to customers.


The reliability of tesa's process line equipment needed to improve, which made its objectives difficult to achieve. Some of the challenges were:

  • It could not detect process line problems in real-time

  • It was difficult to track and maintain up-to-date process line settings and machine performance history

  • It was unable to spot waning functionality in advance of equipment failure

  • It needed a safe, centralized and universally accessible place to store its most recent process line settings.

    • "When manufacturing cost-competitive products like masking tape, eliminating pennies-per-roll in production costs can make all the difference in terms of profitability," said Michael Marvin, tesa tape's plant manager.


      Working with ei3Corp., a provider of hosted applications that specialize in maximizing manufacturing productivity, tesa tape upgraded its process line equipment, and deployed a system to monitor, report, alert, and store data from key process line metrics. The upgrades also included ei3's 24-hr, 365-day online engineering expertise.

      The first step in the optimization process was to modernize tesa's process lines with Allen-Bradley PLC-5 controls and digital drives. After the equipment was installed, ei3established an automated connection to monitor more than 100 process line metrics, giving tesa maximum visibility into its machinery components and process controls. Viewed from a PC or wireless device, ei3's SiteWatch productivity tool displays real-time parameters such as tension point, line speed, waste, and temperature. These parameters can be viewed from anywhere in the world. Since ei3is an application service provider (ASP), its SiteWatch service monitors key process parameters from the moment raw products are introduced to the line. As the raw paper substrate moves down the line to be coated and later dried, SiteWatch monitors tension points, line speed, temperature, and thickness to ensure that product is meeting tesa's stringent quality specifications.

      ei3's services also include SiteTeam, which provides process-and-controls-specific engineering expertise. Since its implementation at tesa tape, SiteTeam has eliminated 2 hr of downtime per day.

      By using ei3's SiteSave service to store its system software and machine settings, tesa engineers are able to make and save setting adjustments to a single data location in real-time to ensure that the process line is running the most current settings.


      As a result of these optimizations, championed by Marvin, tesa not only increased its manufacturing productivity, reliability, profitability, and efficiency, but also reduced downtime and improved environmental compliance.

      "SiteSave not only introduces an efficient means of keeping software and machine settings up to date, but it also ensures that these data are backed up offsite to protect against electrical failure, disaster, or system lockup," said Marvin.

      Because tesa is required to recover 80% of the toluene it produces, ei3's monitoring and recording services accurately document reuse of this key masking tape ingredient in a central data location. Its services have significantly shortened what was previously a very labor-intensive process.

      "Modernization of our process line equipment and deployment of these productivity tools have enabled us to dramatically improve every aspect of our masking tape manufacturing process," said Marvin. "We have reduced scrap materials and downtime, improved safety and compliance monitoring, and established just-in-time service delivery.

      "ei3provides real-time monitoring, data analysis and problem-resolution of virtually every process parameter, from the application of our sophisticated coating technology to the precise climate created in the process line's inert ovens. Close monitoring of setpoints not only allows our engineers to perform preventive maintenance to avoid failure, but it also allows them to keep the line running at optimum capacity."

      These benefits enabled tesa to achieve 97% service delivery, while reaping $1 million/yr in cost savings from reduced downtime alone.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me