DRAMATICALLY SHORTER CYCLE OF
MAGUIRE® LPD™ DRYER NEARLY DOUBLES OUTPUT OF TEST SPECIMENS AT LNP
ENGINEERING PLASTICS LAB
Solutions to Customer Issues Is One Benefit of Innovative Vacuum Resin Dryer,
Reports Head of Molding Technologies; Another Is 'Consistency, Consistency,
June 23, 2003 - EXTON,
Engineering Plastics, a GE Plastics Company, has nearly doubled output of
injection molded test specimens in the laboratory of its world headquarters
facility after installing five Maguire® Low Pressure Dryer™ (LPD™) units,
according to Charles W. Alexander, molding technologies leader.
The innovative vacuum dryers also performed with far more consistency
than conventional hot air / desiccant dryers, said Alexander, noting that this
improvement is of critical importance to LNP because it uses test specimens to
establish reliable material property data for customers.
lab headed by Alexander has four injection molding machines, used for molding
specimen plaques and "dog-bone"-shaped tensile test specimens, and for doing
trial runs for customers. Productivity is measured by the number of specimens
produced in an eight-hour shift. In
turn, specimen production is determined by the amount of time needed to pre-dry
the Maguire LPD dryers, we completed five to seven specimens per shift, based on
50 to 75 shots per specimen, but now we're up to ten to twelve specimens,"
Alexander said. "The reason is a
dramatic reduction in drying time, from four to six hours with conventional
dryers to less than an hour with the LPD dryers."
LNP develops information in response to an inquiry in as little as 40 minutes
after receiving sample compound, the long cycle of conventional dryers typically
meant an overnight turnaround. "Now
we can solve customer issues on the same day," Alexander said.
help LNP achieve a further increase in productivity, Maguire custom-built sealed
canisters that could be mounted atop molding machines, eliminating exposure of
the dried material to the atmosphere while making possible rapid switches from
the material in one dryer to the
material in another. "We are now
experimenting with this concept in some of our other U.S. sites," Alexander
important benefit of the LPD dryers cited by Alexander has been more uniform
consistency, consistency#--that's how LPD dryers have improved the quality of
our operation. Material properties
are affected by the amount of residual moisture and the uniformity of drying
within a batch. With conventional
desiccant systems, drying was too much of a hit-or-miss variable."
laboratory normally dries nearly every material it works with, though for some
pre-drying is only a precautionary measure.
"We run everything from polypropylene to PEEK and just about every
filler or reinforcement you can think of," Alexander said.
The LPD dryer
differs radically from conventional hot-air/desiccant dryers in two ways: 1)
instead of flowing hot, dry air over the pellets to slowly draw the moisture
out, the patented LPD dryer uses vacuum to reduce the boiling point of water,
quickly turn the moisture into water vapor, and literally pull the water vapor
from within the pellets; and 2) the LPD dryer carries out heating and vacuum
drying simultaneously in separate stations, making possible small batches while
in effect transforming a batch process into a continuous one that keeps pace
with the throughput of the plastics processing machine.
LPN ENGINEERING PLASTICS, a GE Plastics Company headquartered in Exton,
PA, U.S.A., is a global leader in the custom compounding of engineering
thermoplastics. The company operates nine manufacturing plants in the U.S.,
Mexico, South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. The LNP product line includes a wide range of specialty
compounds for information technology, automotive, healthcare, electrical,
industrial, and consumer applications. Visit
the website at www.LNP.com.
PRODUCTS, INC., headquartered in Aston, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is the world's
largest supplier of gravimetric blenders and liquid color pumps and also
manufactures loading systems, granulators, dryers, auger feeders, and related
equipment. Its customers include
injection, blow, and rotational molders, extrusion processors, and compounders.
Founded in 1977, Maguire operates five manufacturing facilities in Aston
and Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S.A. The company maintains a network of
distributors in the Americas and overseas.
Europe, a sales and service subsidiary that supports customers
throughout Europe, operates a distribution center in Tamworth, Staffordshire,
United Kingdom. Maguire Asia, based in Singapore, serves customers throughout
South Asia and the Pacific Rim. Visit the Maguire Products web site: www.maguire.com