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What's new in materials handling.

Integrated dryer/loaders, microwave and honeycomb-desiccant dryers, gravimetric feeders, parts conveyors, pulverizers and shredders are just some of the categories of new equipment to look for.

Automation, cleanliness, quick changeovers, and energy efficiency are some of the themes to be reflected in exhibits of new drying, conveying, loading, granulating and parts-handling equipment.


The key words in dryer technology this year are smaller and integrated. Several suppliers say they plan to use NPE to unveil new units that are smaller than ever and combine drying and conveying equipment in a single system. Following are among the new dryers that will be shown for the first time ever:

A portable system that includes a dryer, hopper and closed-loop conveyor mounted on a compact, castered frame. Made by Dri-Air Industries, Vernon, Conn., these units can be rolled from one processing machine to another, facilitating quick material changes. New microprocessor controls let users monitor functions such as temperatures and times to produce the lowest dewpoint possible. Systems will be available for 15 to 300 lb/hr.

Multi Jet-II from Matsui America, Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill., combining a dryer, mold-temperature controller and two vacuum loaders in one machine.

A 20-lb/hr dryer with rotating desiccant beds, countercurrent airflow and a -40 F or lower dewpoint from Bry-Air Systems, Sunbury, Ohio. It can be either hopper or tabletop mounted.

A series of small dryers with capacities from 10 to 100 lb/hr, and a dryer designed especially for PET bottle regrind, from Universal Dynamics Corp., Woodbridge, Va.

A line of insulated drying hoopers from Premier Pneumatics, Inc., Salina, Kan.

A drying/conveying system designed specifically for PET and HDPE bottle chips from Carrier Vibrating Equipment, Inc., Louisville, Ky. The fluid-bed drying system has two zones with precisely controlled air volumes and temperatures to dry the chips but prevent melting or fusing, Carrier says.

A machine-mounted, self-regenerating desiccant dryer from Walton/Stout Inc., Lithonia, Ga. The Eliminator II reportedly provides continuous 25 or 50 cfm of drying air with a dew point of -40 F.

A series of carousel dryers from Conair Franklin, Franklin, Pa., featuring multiple desiccant cartridges that index from process to regeneration automatically. Following regeneration, the cartridges index into a closed-loop cool-down mode.

In addition to these first-time showings, Comet Automation Systems Inc., Dayton, Ohio, will show its recently introduced SD-50 dryer. The twin-tower unit has automatic regeneration, stainless-steel hoppers and diffusers, and provides -40 F dewpoint.


Motan Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich., will feature improved electronic controls for its MDS series of dryers. The new integrated controls eliminate the need for a separate vacuum conveying control panel by simultaneously controlling the dryer and loading of hoppers, central storage units and blenders.

Five new microprocessor dryer controls are to be featured by Novatec, Inc., Baltimore. The new MCD-1002 replaces the company's MCD-1001 controller on its MPC and MPS dryers. The unit maintains its predecssor's 80-character alphanumeric display, and it has other features such as quick-disconnect terminal blocks from external devices to the board. The new MCD-2002 is the newly designed controller for Novatec's MD Micro Dryers, and the MCD-2102 is new for the company's HB Heater-Blower Dryers. These units have a 40-character, alphanumeric vacuum fluorescent display, data-entry keys, and improved graphics. These dryers can also be controlled via Novatec's new MCD-2001 and MCD-2101 controllers, which substitute a seven-segment LED display for the VFD display on the MCD-2002 and MCD-2102.

Novatec is also showing a new series of modular, insulated and uninsulated stainless-steel hoppers with 15- to 1000-lb capacities.


A relatively new idea in plastics drying is the honeycomb desiccant, where a ceramic-based rotor is completely coated with a thin layer of molecular-sieve desiccant. As air passes through the slow-turning (about three revs/hr) roto, it's reportedly exposed to a greater amount of moisture-absorbing desiccant than in conventional beds, thus increasing the efficiency of the unit while reducing energy consumption. Three companies--Matsui America; HydReclaim Corp., Fenton, Mich.; and Cargocair Engineering Corp., Amesbury, Mass., will be showing dryers based on this technology.

Matsui combines a honeycomb-dessicant rotor dryer with its new Jet Loader vacuum conveyor and newest mold-temperature controllers in the aforementioned Multi Jet-II. Dryers in the system have either 15- or 25-lb/hr capacity and supply drying temperatures from 149 F to 220 F. Cargocaire will be exhibiting a new compact, lightweight desiccant-wheel unit; and HydReclaim is featuring a dual-circuit dryer with two closed loops in the drying system. The first, a convection loop, provides turbullent circulation and a relatively fast air flow over the resin pellets to remove moisture. The second loop circulates a portion of the airflow from the convention loop through a rotary-wheel desiccant dryer, removing the moisture from the air.

The honeycomb method is not the only new during technology expected to show up at NPE. For a few years now, dryer manufacturers have been talking about microwave drying. The idea has been slow to catch on because of questions about its cost-effectiveness (see PT, Oct. '89, p. 66; Feb. '91, p. 67). At NPE, at least one suppier will be showing a microwave dryer. Nissui Corp., East Lansing, Mich., claims the new dryer reduces energy cost and drying time by at least 50% compared with conventional dryers.


Since the inception of systems for quick material changes just a few years ago, suppliers of materials handling equipment have been focusing on ways to make the rapid change of resins even faster (PT, Oc. '89, p. 56). Matsui America's three new Jet Loaders use ring compressors powered by 1.1- to 4.5-hp brushless motors as a vacuum source. Following a trend that has accompanied the quest for faster material changes, the new loaders employ a small receiving hopper at the material destination to facilitate these quick material changes. Fewer filter changes reportedly are needed because the unit's filter surface is three times that of other integral hopper loaders.

Among the other products designed to aid quick material changes are several pieces of equipment from Andritz Sprout-Bauer, Muncy, Pa. The company's new product-handling fan delivers up to 6000 cfm at 95 ft of water static pressure. its quick-clean rotary valve is said to eliminate cross contamination of product and colors. To assist in rapid cleaning, the rotor can be removed from the valve housing and supported with a roll-out carriage.

Another new valve for speeding up material changes is being introduced by Motan. The multiposition proportioning valve is a switching device with as many as 10 air-operated inlets. The self-cleaning valve can be automated from a central control station. Motan is also introducing electronics to monitor operation of any materials delivery system. Called the Motan Visualization System, it uses a graphics-based display screen showing all system components and their operation.

For hard-to-convey materials such as abrasives and densely packed powders, Premier Pneumatics will introduce its Model 2420 Powder Receiver, the latest addition to its Series 2400 vacuum conveying equipment. The receiver has a 60 [degrees] cone and 6-in. gravity-discharge gate to ensure that material discharges freely. There are also 12 sq ft of filter bags to separate fine powders from the conveying air stream, and automatic blowback filter cleaning after each loading cycle.

Whitlock Div. of AEC, Inc., Wood Dale, Ill., will introduce new central vacuum conveying systems for automatic loading of free-flowing pellets. The new systems will provide mid-range conveying capacities and will be able to load one or more stations via a high-performance blower and sophisticated control system. The company is also set to unveil a new series of modular hoppers from vacuum conveying and drying. The hoppers will be available in volumetric and time-fill versions.

Conair Franklin is introducing the PowerFill Series of pumps it says provide a reliable and economical solution to material loading. In the past, the company says, processors were limited to using either an integral-motor loader, requiring a lot of on-machine filter maintenance, or converting to a centralized system. Conair is bringing out an independent loading system combining a three-phase pump, dust collector, control package, filters and hoses. The system is on a portable tilt-back stand with two casters for easy movement.

HydReclaim will unveil a new line of vacuum loading systems with cast-aluminum hoppers, computerized sequencing controls and ability to proportion regrind and virgin. And Novatec is introducing customized graphic control panels for its pneumatic conveying systems.

New metal detectors will be introduced by Safeline Metal Detection, Tampa, Fla.; Industrial Magnetics, Inc., Boyne City, Mich.; and Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan. UK-based Safeline plans to show five new microprocessor-controlled units. The company uses radio wave to detect metal particles, and the unusual twist is that it can be installed in convetional metal piping. One new product is a gravity-feed metal detector that can remove ferrous contamination down to 0.5-mm size. Another is a compact unit for use in restricted space. Two cascade systems of twin gravity-feed detectors (4500 and 18,000 lb/hr capacities) minimize metal contamination by inspecting the product twice. And a new conveyorized metal detector inspects 50- and 100-lb sacks of resin or regrind.

Industrial Magnetics' newest offering is a magnet to fit inside vacuum-loading lines. Bunting will show two new versions of drawer magnets with stronger, stiffer housings.


For delivering up to six ingredients, Premier Pneumatics is introducing its microprocessor-based ProController. Converting auger revolutions to units of weight, the ProController provides gravimetric recipe and inventory information by batch and/or ingredient. It can store as many as 150 six-ingredient recipes. Premier's ProRate II feeder, designed for hig throughputs, is also making its debut at the show.

K-Tron International's Vertech Div., Pitman, N.J., will introduce a low-rate modular feeder with a new mechanical design and to allow extremely fast ingredient changeovers. The company will also show new feeder modules for its Graviblend weigh-blenders, designed for materials such as powders, fluff and regrind.

K-Tron will also have new feeder controls, introducing an improved operator interface for its K10S family of microprocessor-based feeder controls. These new units feature a large color screen display, recipe storage and easy-to-configure communication to the host computer.

A small-capacity minor-ingredients controller will be introduced by O.A. Newton & Son Co., Bridgeville, Del. The new Mini-MIC modular unit reportedly provides batch-to-batch consistency via a two-stage weighing/checkweighing system. In operation, minor ingredients are released from the unit's agitator basket into a weigh basket until the formula-defined weight is reached. The basket slide gate then automatically closes and the ingredients drop from the weigh hopper into a pneumatic conveyor, joining other minor ingredients prior to mixing with the formula's major ingredients. Throughputs, Newton says, range from 0.16 to 13 cu ft/hr.

Another small feeder making its American debut is from Colormax of Telford, England. The new Micro Additive Doser can feed at rates as low as 15 g/hr.

AccuRate, Whitewater, Wis., will be showing a new heavy-duty volumetric feeder for high-load applications. The recently introduced model 1200 feeder can reportedly convey dry materials at rates as high as 965 cu ft/hr with volumetric accuracies ranging from [+ or -] 0.5-2% and loss-in-weight accuracies from [+ or -] 0.25-0.5%.

Schenck Weighing Systems, Fairfield, N.J., will show three new feeders, a new feeder control system, and a mass-flow meter for solids. The feeders--one for chopped fiber; a micro-feeder for extremely low-rate applications; and a twin-screw feeder--are all loss-in-weight models.

AEC's new additive feeder/blender is also expected to be unveiled at NPE. The unit features a new control package, including feedback, adaptive controls and built-in intelligence, a company spokesman says.


Miller Manufacturing Co., Turlock, Calif., will introduce a new feed chute and pulverizer it says can reduce to powder PVC scrap and pipes up to 23 ft long and 36 in. diam. Because the unit uses impact grinding rather than knife cutting, there are no knives to sharpen. The quality to the regrind, Miller says, results in less wear on extruder barrels and better quality parts from the crecybled resin.

Herbold Granulators USA, Inc., Sutton, Mass., will introduces its PU800 "super pulverizer." Aimed at extruders of reground PVC for window profiles and pipe and those who rotomold polyethylene, the new pulverizer can reportedly convert 1800-2000 lb of regrind/hr into a 20-mesh powder. The pulverizer, believed to be one of the largest of its kind, uses grinding rings (one rotating, one stationary) rather than blades.

Herbold will also introduce a heavy-duty granulator for thick purgings and in-line reclaim of film scrap. The new SMS 80/120 has a 22 x 62 in. feed opening and an automatic nip roller for feeding continuous strips of wide film. Three bed knives ease reduction of large lumps of scrap.

Condux, Inc., Rockford, Ill., will introduce a large granulator, the CS 800/1200-IIIA, capable of reducing 1/2-in.-thick polyuerthane foam at rates up to 3500 lb/hr.

Other size-reduction news at the show will include:

Demonstration by Gloenco-Newport Div. of Battenfield Gloucester Engineering Inc., Gloucester, Mass., of a new beside-the-press granulator for bottles.

A new 20 x 30 in. bottle grinder with tangential-feed cutting chamber, from Nelmor div. of AEC inc., North Uxbridge, Mass. Its 1000 lb/hr is reportedly double the output of a similar model without tangential feed. Nelmor will also shows its recently introduced Micro Knife double-edged blades that fit into clamps on the rotor. Blade reversibility, plus a harder alloy, reportedly provides five times longer cutting life (PT, Oct. '90, p. 50).

New twin-shaft shredder from Franklin Miller Inc., Livingston, N.J. It has a split-body configuration for easy maintenance.

Two new beside-the-press grinders from Rapid Granulator, Rockford, Ill. Model 1012KS, has a 10 x 12 in. cutting chamber and three-segmented, staggered rotor. It's designed for both sprues/runners and heavier-wall parts and small purgings. The other unit, Model 912CK, has a 9 x 12 in. cutting chamber and is soundproofed to operate at less than 85 db on most materials.

A new tangential-feed granulator and new microprocessor granulator controls from Granutec, Inc., East Douglas, Mass. The new Model 1624 granulator has tangential feed and double-scissors cutting action.

A new shredder/granulator system for fulky plastic waste from SSI Shredding Systems, Inc., Wilsonville, Ore. A slow-speed rotary shredder ingests baled or bulky scrap and discharges it into a granulator for high-speed size reduction. The system can handle large drums, purgings and molded parts. Shredded feed openings can be as large as 100 in. x 45 in.

A new granulator from Conair Wor-Tex, Bay City, Mich., for bottles, milk jugs and other bulky items. The 1624-TF has a tangential feed chamber, 16 x 24 in. hopper opening, and three-knife, open rotor.

A rotary regrind screener with antistatic blower for removal of fines and dust from regrind or virgin material, from LaRos Equipment Co., Inc., Portage, Mich.
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Title Annotation:National Plastics Exposition '91
Author:Monks, Richard
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:What's new in controls, CIM & CAD.
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