Bradford White

Feyen Zylstra has maintained a positive working relationship at Bradford White for several years. Bradford White is an industrial manufacturer of hot water heaters, based in Middleville, MI.

FZ electricians installed main power feeds for Kent Companies to the new commercial tank fab and finish area before the shutdown. They also installed feeds and panels for the new SE compressor room.

One of the major challenges for this job was disconnecting the old commercial fab and finish area and relocating it to a new commercial fab and finish area during a one week shut down. This job required 22 electricians working long week days and two weekends! The service crew did four weeks of work in one week.  They had to disconnect and then re-install wiring for welders, lift tables, base presses, dust collectors, and overhead cranes. They also disconnected and reconnected the complete hydro system including pumps, HMI control stations, valves, and sump pumps. Hardware and software upgrades to the coil blast system were also installed during the shutdown.  

Feyen Zylstra Automation experts helped Bradford White meet new efficiency standards in their production process by fabricating control panels designed for maximum functionality and standardization.

Four new production lines were built to produce residential and commercial water heaters. The addition required a 34,000 square foot expansion to the manufacturing facility. Prototypes were built in the Feyen Zylstra UL 
panel shop in collaboration with Bradford White. The control enclosures were then preassembled and mounted on stands for fast installation on the production floor once the conveyors were set in place.

Variable Frequency Drive
Feyen Zylstra Automation experts built, designed, and installed Variable Frequency Drives for the new product lines. 200 motors were programmed for three of the four production lines, controlling the speed of the lines and pacing the system according to the volume of product needed and whether the product being produced is labor intensive or simple in design. For the fourth line, a commercial line, our experts provided the design, program, and implementation of the motor controls.

Network Design
The network was designed by the FZ Automation team with a fiber optic backbone to provide improved data transfer for the new addition of Bradford White’s production plant. This addition included the four new production lines and involved interfacing with multiple suppliers.

The network coordinates between the four lines and connects all the VFD drives to the motors which in turn are controlled and managed by the Allen-Bradley Control Logix 1756-L72S safety PLC. In addition, the network monitored and managed the Safety IO which is distributed through the network fiber optic backbone and communications with the six HMI stations on each line.

HMI—Fully animated 6 HMI stations on each line. 
-Displays all values as animation
-Provides operator status, troubleshooting aides and operator 
-Promots for production
-At a glance alarm display for the system

PLC—AB Control Logix 1756-L72S
-Provides extensive networking
-Controls and monitors all safety functions on the network
-Communicates with all four other machines online and passes 
critical commands to them

Bulk Foam
FZ Automation experts designed the controls for the bulk foam tankard delivery system at Bradford White. The system takes raw materials from the unloading process and brings them into tankers that are unloaded into bulk tanks. The bulk tanks store the foam. The design encompasses the level controls, transfer pumps, and various types of safety systems to accommodate the high-risk explosion areas.

For More Information, Contact:

Jim Ebels  



CUSTOMER: Bradford White

LOCATION: Middleville, MI