Germ-free and virus-free mould dehumidification with DMSterile

Clean Blue Air with DMSterile - Programme expansion for aseptic production

Bernhard Stipsits, Managing Director, Blue Air Systems, Kundl, Austria

For food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, sterilising the production areas is a common practice. When producing packaging for the same manufacturers, there is additional demand for sterile and lowparticle plastic production. Blue Air Systems has developed a new product for this sector: the proven DMS (Dry Mould System) dehumidifiers are now available in the germ and virus-free version, DMSterile.

The phenomenon of condensation on temperature moulds

When the surface temperature of an object sinks below the dew point of the ambient air, condensation builds on this object. This problem especially occurs on moulds of plastic processing machines that are cooled by chilled water. The cooling time, usually the longest part of the cycle time and one of the most sensitive steps of the manufacturing process, is an important figure that influences the cost factor of the entire production process. To prevent condensation on the mould and to run the production without depending on the ambient conditions has become a standard procedure in packaging production.

Waterless DMS (Dry Mould System) in a closed loop

The DMS (Dry Mould System), which was successfully introduced in 2016, dries air on the basis of the condensation principle. The main difference to the standard systems is that the DMS is not constantly dehumidifying hot and humid ambient air. Instead, dry process air is circulated around the mould in a closed loop, bringing the air back to the DMS unit. By doing this, there is no necessity to use high cooling loads to dehumidify air, as the air returning to the DMS unit is partially dried.

This procedure allows the DMS to work without a pre-cooler and therefore no chilled water is needed for the dehumidification.

A state-of-the-art refrigerant compressor of the newest technology automatically reduces the needed cooling capacity as soon as reduction of moisture in the air is detected. Therefore, the DMS only uses electricity for the actual cooling need of the refrigerant system.

Why germ and virus-free production

Requirements from consumers and packaging producers have increased, world-wide fear of threat of viruses makes it necessary to eliminate germs from the beginning of the production phase.

Micro-organisms thrive where moisture and heat are present. Both conditions are often found in production halls. In addition, outdated or irregularly maintained filters of air conditioning systems, ventilation systems and even production machines facilitate the multiplication of germs and viruses.

To achieve a clean environment around the mould, producers use high quality filters such as HEPA or electrostatic filters. The disadvantage is that the germs are not eliminated, only kept from entering the mould area and the air flow is reduced due to the resistance of the filters.

Aseptic dehumidification with Clean Blue Air

Aseptic dehumidification with DMSterile provides dry and sterile air quality without any micro-organisms in the production process by using highly efficient UV-C lamps. Before the dehumidified air exits the unit, it is diverted through the CLEAN BLUE AIR SYSTEM box that contains a certain number of UV-C lamps, depending on the overall throughput of air, ranging from 500 to 5.000 Nm3 /h. The inside of the box has been electro polished, to eliminate any shadows or hidden spots ensuring maximum use of UV-C rays.

DMSterile directly generates a germ and virus-free atmosphere during mould dehumidification. The end products, such as pharmaceutical containers, PET pre-forms or sealing caps, come into contact exclusively with sterile air during production within the partitioning.

With the DMS dehumidification technology, the energy requirement of the production process is reduced by up to 80% due to the known energy savings, while increasing the quality level and output.