Auxiliary Equipment: Insulation Blanket Beats the Heat, Improves Safety
Blankets are also said by processor that uses them to be easy to use and remove.
Shannon Global Energy Solutions has developed and tested a proprietary thermal removable and reusable insulation blanket, LT550SG, to improve safety for owners and operators of plastics processing machinery. Airlite Plastics Co., an injection molding and extrusion processor, recently installed the Shannon reusable insulation blanket on one of its extrusion lines in Nazareth, Pa., to improve safety and reduce ambient heat.
The reusable blankets cover a Davis-Standard extruder, extrusion die and related piping. Associated Steam Specialty Co. a Shannon representative based in Aston, Pa., spearheaded the project. Airlite’s Pennsylvania facility is one of three plants the company operates, which collectively process 65 million lb of material/yr.
The project started with Associated Steam designing and installing a Shannon reusable blanket on the processor’s boiler and steam system, recalls Tony Alfieri, v.p. and g.m. for Airlite Plastics Co.’s Nazareth facility. That lead to a “sidebar discussion about extruders,” adds Ron Sibulsky, a manufacturer’s representative for Associated Steam. “Airlite’s sheet extrusion dies are a pretty big chunk of metal that heats up to 400 F; their operator stands above the equipment, so the dies put a lot of heat into the air,” Sibulsky says.
Alfieri notes the reusable blankets’ design includes openings to adjust the extrusion line without removing the blanket. The blankets eliminate temperature swings in the area around the equipment. Operators no longer need forearm protection for safety because the blankets serve that role.
“The best compliment for the reusable blankets come from our machine operators who continue to remove and replace these blankets once a month to make routine adjustments and perform maintenance,” adds Alfieri. “The blankets aren’t required for processing; my guys would have put them in a box after the first time they removed them if they weren’t beneficial, easy to take off, and easy to put back on.”
Airlite says it plans to purchase and install Shannon reusable insulation blankets for the Pennsylvania plant’s remaining lines.
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