The thesis was taken as a practical case study for a Fibre-Reinforcement Cement Pipe Plant at James Hardie FRC Pipes, Meeandah (J.H.). This company is part of the James Hardie Industries LTD, which is a specialist in fibre-reinforced cement. The thesis was carried out at JH’s plant and involved integrating into their engineering department, which is highly experienced in FRC processes and machine automation.
The thesis encompasses three projects and a technical report. The projects taken were all part of modifying production machinery used for manufacturing of fibre-reinforced cement pipes. All projects had priorities from the stakeholder but were partly started adjacent to each other to obtain an overview of the tasks, and gather information needed form suppliers and other time demanding resources.
There were mainly two reasons for these projects. On the first project the reason for the modification was to attain better control of the system, which resulted in the reduction of compressed air used and improved productivity. The objective for the two other projects was to make the operation of a pipe lathe safer. Only one of these two projects was completed. The last project was to gather enough information to be able to do the modification, and the costs related to the installation. On the project that was completed, the modification resulted in an increased productivity of the lathe and it made the work place safer. The aim for both of these projects was to make the operation of the lathe safe.
The technical report was prepared to have a base line description of the performance of two steam chests. This was done because JH is not satisfied with the existing performance of the steam chests and has decided to modify them. Therefore, when the new modifications are completed, they are able to compare the before and after performance related to the modifications done. The main purpose for the baseline report was to obtain the temperature and humidity inside the steam chests and to gather as much relevant data of the chest as possible. Previous collected data was also used in comparison with this report.