T G Robson BSc CEng MIET MInstMC

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  Glacier Vandervell Ltd
  Control and Instrumentation of a Bi-Metal Casting Line

Glacier Vandervell Bearings

Glacier Vandervell Whitehill, based in Bathgate, Scotland, is the group's Centre of Excellence for the manufacture of cast copper-lead bronze strip and heavy duty and racing bearings.


Major rebuild of a casting line to produce bi-metal for use in the manufacture of shell bearings for diesel and high performance vehicle engines.

Increase in throughput by a factor of four.

Major improvement in quality.

Improvements in support of maintenance and documentation.


  • Conceptual design studies
  • Scheme design for the PLC network to run the line
  • Functional design specifications
  • Project management during construction of new equipment and modifications to existing line control systems
  • Responsible for upgrading the line's induction heaters: a 500 kW MF unit and two 300 kW RF (300 kHz) heaters
  • Detailed mechanical designs for dancer roll, process gas piping, cooling systems etc
  • Witnessing factory acceptance tests
  • Supervision of contractors at site
  • Hands-on commissioning
  • Revising and re-writing O&M manuals
  • Training
  • Production tests

The line ran successfully, achieving its main production target speed on narrow strip (a record for a line of this type).

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  TGR 23 Nov 2004