WADSWORTH, Ohio—Goldsmith & Eggleton Inc. is nearing completion of a major renovation project of its polymer laboratory that includes the addition of new machinery and equipment.
The manufacturer of reprocessed elastomers and rubber masterbatches for the rubber industry, owned by Ravago Holdings America, began planning for the renovation two years ago as part of a long-term modernization initiative at the firm's complex in Wadsworth, according to Rob Eggleton, business manager for elastomers at Channel Prime Alliance, another Ravago company.
"We couldn't modernize the plant without creating a much more efficient laboratory," he said, adding that the renovation project will be completed in stages with the laboratory upgrade as the first phase. Financial details of the renovation and the additions were not disclosed.
Work on G&E's laboratory was launched in 2019 and included upgraded equipment, such as an RPA Elite machine, and three MV1 Mooney viscosity machines, he said.
A rubber process analyzer is used to attain key data on rubber and polymer molecular properties, said Gina Undicelli, quality manager at G&E and a chemical engineer. She also oversees the lab's operations.
"The RPA also can act as a moving die rheometer to test for cure properties," she said. "This piece of equipment is cutting edge for us and essential for what we do."
Undicelli said the new MV1 machines are used to conduct Mooney and stress relaxation tests.
In addition, a new ash oven has been installed, and the company's laboratory mill is being renovated. The physical remodeling of the laboratory is nearly complete, she said.
Another part of the project is the modernization of all information systems, infrastructure and data collection. Because of that, the laboratory will be virtually paperless, Undicelli said.
Test results and reports will go directly from equipment to a database, and written forms will be eliminated, she said, thereby reducing the chances for human error.
After work on the lab is complete, the next phase will be a plant upgrade, she said. Plans for that were not disclosed.
According to Eggleton, the renovation will create greater efficiencies in the laboratory and streamline the operation, noting that everything within the lab has been changed and is now better organized. "The lab is broken into two components, one for reprocessed elastomers and the other rubber masterbatches," he said. "Both sides are being renovated."