Carousel™ Plus dryers made locally in Shanghai will be exhibited for the first time by The Conair Group in Booth # E3G31 at ChinaPlas 2008, April 17 – 20, 2008. The company will also feature its EnergySmart™ drying system, which gives PET processors precise control over their material while cutting energy consumption by up to 67%.
Two different CarouselPlus models will be on display at ChinaPlas: a standard machine-side configuration designed for throughput rates from 60 to 200 kg per hour, and a mobile drying and conveying (MDC) system offering throughputs from 5 to 60 kg per hour. The MDC combines dryer, material hopper and loader on a handy wheeled cart for maximum mobility.
Carousel Plus dryers from Conair use an efficient and cost-effective desiccant-wheel design that makes the dryer more reliable, easier to operate and maintain, more energy efficient — and, thus, more affordable — than other dryers. Carousel Plus dryers are also more compact, with a footprint 40 to 60% smaller, depending upon the model size. They weigh less, too — as much as 85% less. In fact, they use only a fraction of the number of major components used in conventional desiccant dryers.
The standard microprocessor control system ensures rock-steady temperatures and dewpoint levels, which are critical to processing many of the moisture and temperature sensitive polymers in common use today. The operator selects a particular dewpoint value and locks it into the control, which then adjusts various functions to hold that dew point precisely. This is particularly important when running some of the moisture-sensitive polymers that are subject to degradation if they are over-dried.
ENERGYSMART™ DRYING SYSTEM TO MAKE ASIAN DEBUT
The EnergySmart Drying System was developed to give PET preform molders and other high-volume PET processors the highest level of control over the drying process while reducing energy consumption by up to two-thirds, compared to conventional desiccant dryers. In fact, energy audits of in-plant EnergySmart systems have confirmed consistent energy consumption levels as low as 0.069 kWh/kg. A detailed interactive model of this ingenious system will be on display for the first time at ChinaPlas 2008.
To achieve quality results in PET processing, temperature and airflow must be controlled exactly to ensure that the resin manufacturer’s specifications are met. In the EnergySmart system, the patented Conair Drying Monitor™ helps provide that precise control. A long probe in the drying hopper extends through the material bed and six integral temperature sensors register the temperature at each position. Data is sent to the EnergySmart controller, where the temperature profile within the hopper is continuously updated and displayed on the operator screen.
The temperature readings from the Drying Monitor are also used to adjust and fine tune the volume of air in both air circuits, so that just enough heat energy is added to the bed of material to maintain the optimum temperature profile throughout the hopper. Too much air-flow will result in wasted energy, too little air-flow will result in poor drying performance. The EnergySmart drying system controls have the ability to fine-tune the airflow and dewpoint to achieve optimum drying performance. Additionally, alarms within the Drying Monitor control will signal an alert for any change in drying hopper conditions. This allows the operator to react in time to correct the cause or otherwise prevent manufacturing losses caused by bad product.
The EnergySmart drying system gets its name from its unique “two-stage” design, which has a hot-air circuit to preheat fresh material entering the hopper and a dehumidified-air circuit to achieve the low moisture levels required for PET processing.
In the hot-air circuit, some of the return air exiting the top of the drying hopper is channeled through a filter and then reheated to 177°C (350°F) and reintroduced to the drying hopper through a unique inlet cone located in the middle of the hopper. The dehumidified circuit is comprised of a standard, although smaller, Conair Carousel Plus™ dryer. Air is dried to a -40°C (-40°F) dewpoint and heated to 177°C (350°F), as recommended by PET resin suppliers. Then it is introduced into the drying hopper through an inlet cone at the bottom of the hopper. The hot, dry air rises through the material bed, which has already been preheated in the hot air circuit, maintaining the optimum drying temperature and reducing the moisture content of the material to manufacturer-recommended levels.
After using the pilot EnergySmart system in a lengthy beta test, a major PET bottle producer estimated it could save half a million dollars per year in energy costs if their entire operation was converted to the new Conair drying system.