Drying 4.0 with Dri-Air
Dri-Air's NPE2018 plans include the launch of an Industry 4.0 enabled line of dryers: Dryer 4.0.
Dri-Air Industries will introduce its new Dri-Air Dryer 4.0 line of dryers at NPE2018 (Booth W971), which the company says is designed to function autonomously using sensors that monitor the changing material throughput to inform changes in operation. Dri-Air says this dryer complies with Euromap’s evolving communication standard and will be able to “talk” with other equipment in the cell once that protocol is fully developed. Each dryer can report to a common station normally located in the maintenance department to monitor its status and transmit any alarms requiring assistance. As dryers are added, they automatically are sensed by the central station and added to the system.
Dri-Air’s booth will feature small volume, portable dryers, as well as large-volume equipment. On the small throughput side, portable dryers combining the dryer and hopper on a common caster-mounted stand and ranging in throughput from 2 to 350 lb/hr. Saving floor space, the company will also feature hopper mount dryers that mount to a machine’s feed throat. Capacities range from 30 to 150 lb/hr. Dri-Air notes that these models are ideal for long runs where cleaning is not a factor.
Dri-Air will also feature its dual-hopper dryers. The PDII model incorporates 2 hoppers with the dryer for quick material changes. Various sizes of these models will be on display, and Dri-Air says all are energy efficient, reportedly using 50% less energy compared to wheel-style designs.
To prevent moisture pickup while blending dried resins in standard gravimetric blenders, Dri-Air has combination units that incorporate volumetric feeders into the PDII dual hopper dryer. This system blends materials only as needed, conveying the mixture to a receiver on the molding machine’s feed throat. With this design, Dri-Air says there is no moisture pickup, no layering of materials and no mixture left after completing the job.
A variety of hopper banks will also be displayed showing the different set ups that are available on a portable stand. These are ideal for pre-drying resins for JIT processing with manual material handling or they can include one of Dri-Air’s central conveying systems for automatic operation. Hopper sizes can range from 5 to 300 lb/hr capacity when mounted on a common frame. Larger hoppers are mounted on individual stands that bolt together and include the manifolds, heaters and loading system piping.
Dri-Air notes that it also provides central drying and conveying systems from small to large amounts of machines and throughputs. These systems can be supplied from the silos, rail car unloading, conveying to day bins and central drying station, and distributed to individual molding machines. Throughputs can range up to 3000 lb/hr for PET applications. Using a similar design as its other dryers, these models are said to be more efficient than other designs on the market, with longevity boosted thanks to the fact there are no moving parts.
PET is extremely hygroscopic, highly moisture sensitive, and one of the toughest challenges to dry. Here are the basic principles of doing it right for rigid packaging applications
In the search for ways to dry hygroscopic resins faster and more efficiently, infrared energy is an approach that many dryer makers find intriguing and potentially promising.
PPA is being used more frequently by molders for demanding high-heat applications in automotive and other markets. While in the nylon family, it does not dry quite like nylon. Follow these tips.