Four New Developments in Plastics Drying
These four short videos provide a snapshot of what’s going on in plastics resin drying technology. Yes, there’s Industry 4.0, but also lots more to bring higher quality and efficiency to your injection molding and extrusion processes.
There is so much buzz in the plastics industry about Industry 4.0 and IIoT, but there is also a lot going on to enable the drying process itself—as well as the plastics processes it serves—to become more efficient and produce higher quality output. Here are four top drying products developments on both from Novatec.
1. Automatic Moisture Control for Press Side Dryers
To dry highly water-sensitive materials such as nylons, polyurethanes and PVTs, it’s critical to get the right balance between dewpoint and temperature. Even seasonal changes in the ambient humidity on the plant floor can make a difference to material in the dryer hopper, adding a process variable that can degrade product consistency and quality. Automatic moisture control is the answer, and now it’s available in press-side dryers.
2. Oxygen-Free Drying Without the Need for Supplemental Nitrogen
In polymer development, the drying is often done in a nitrogen environment. Sometimes only after rolling the resin out to the plant floor do processors discover discoloration problems caused by oxidation as the material is heated. You have no choice but to go back to nitrogen drying, but that’s a pain. Novatec has come up with an ingeniously simple solution called NITROdry—an air input filter with a membrane that removes the oxygen, CO2 and water vaper from the air—that creates an oxygen-free environment in a conventional dryer.
3. Predictive Dryer Maintenance Monitors Process and Machine
While there are lots of claims out there on Industry 4.0 equipment monitoring, all are not created equal. Alarms are sufficient, but most only provide information after a negative event has occurred. Novatec’s DryerSense is different in that it analyzes both process and machine component data to identify electrical or mechanical issues that can be addressed before they become a problem.
4. Digital Dryer Monitoring with Predictive Maintenance
Want to see some real Industry 4.0? Novatec’s DigiTwin is their concept of the future of plastics auxiliaries maintenance. With the plastics industry’s first X-ray telemetry diagnostic tool, this “digital twin” is a virtual replica of a machine that looks much more deeply at machine performance and component health. Born in the aerospace industry for real-time monitoring of aircraft engines, this technology is the future of predictive maintenance incorporated into plant-floor equipment.
These videos and more can be found in Novatec’s Plastics Drying Knowledge Center, right here on PTonline.com.
Three questions about drying plastics that everyone should know how to answer.
Other than polyolefins, almost every other polymer exhibits some level of polarity and therefore can absorb a certain amount of moisture from the atmosphere. Here’s a look at some of these materials, and what needs to be done to dry them.
To dry your polymer correctly you need a dryer that is properly designed and working properly. Here are my suggested specifications, for a two-, three- or four-bed desiccant dryer, the most common types used.