The lead-off speaker at our Processing Conference & Workshop in Chicago at the end of this month asks an important question: “What is your old auxiliary equipment costing you?” In other words, what is it costing you not to replace it? You won’t hear the answer until Oct. 28, but a few clues may be gleaned from a fascinating book I reviewed in this space in August (visit www.ptonline.com/articles/200808ed.html). It’s titled Energy Management in Plastics Processing (www.pidbooks.com), by Dr. Robin Kent of Tangram Technology Ltd., a British plastics consulting firm. Here are some tidbits:
- Dryers consume about 15% of the total energy used in plastics processing. Using best practices and the latest technology, drying energy could be cut by up to 50%.
- Cooling and refrigeration equipment uses 11% to 16% of the energy in plastics processing. Even a small plant could easily spend $75,000/yr to run a chiller. Can you afford more efficient technology? What if you knew that over a 10-yr life span, energy cost to run the chiller would be more than 10 times its purchase price?
- Material is too expensive today to throw away your scrap. But even a small granulator can cost you over $18,000 to operate.
- Perhaps most important, Kent points out that the costs to operate these and other auxiliary equipment are “hidden costs”—ignored but draining away profits all the same.
If you want to get a handle on those hidden costs and how to control them through better specification, management and maintenance, there’s no better place to start than at our two-day program on “Practical Solutions for Processing Productivity,” Oct. 28-29 in Oak Brook, Ill.. And if you want to know about more efficient technologies available in dryers, chillers, blenders, feeders, conveyors, robots, granulators, and other auxiliaries, we’ll have two dozen top suppliers on hand to answer your questions. It’s all about no-cost and low-cost ways to improve your productivity, profitability, and competitiveness in challenging economic times. It’s the first event of its kind ever, and you won’t want to miss it.