Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Plastics and Rubber

The NPE 2018 International Plastics Showcase was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, May 7-11. Setting all-time records, the Show attracted 2,180 exhibitors — including Chiller & Cooling Best Practices and Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazines! Over 1,200,000 square feet of exhibition space was used, breaking the all-time NPE record. Held once every three years, NPE 2018 registered attendance was 56,000.
A common misconception in plastics injection molding is that coolant temperature is the one true path to achieve productivity and profitability. The reality, however, is that turbulent flow is the primary force behind efficient cooling and a key driver in the ability to achieve operational efficiencies, increase profits and consistently produce high quality products.  
One of the most important steps in the mold making process is a consistent and proper cooling cycle. This is due to the fact cooling rates can have a significant influence on the overall quality of the finished item. The cooling cycle must remain consistent throughout the entire production run to ensure all items are equal in quality.
Plastics processors are looking to advanced process cooling equipment to lower operational costs, and in many cases, improve the quality of products and achieve sustainability goals. But it’s more than just a matter of finding a better mousetrap and putting systems to work. Instead, it requires a keen understanding of the processes involved, followed by the design and installation of advanced technology in combination with the right process cooling systems matched to a company’s goals.
Controlled cooling is an essential part of manufacturing polyethylene stretch film.  The process starts with granulated polyethylene raw product with very low strength, and develops thin, clear, strong film used in a variety of applications.  It does this by melting, extrusion, “casting” and winding.  See Figure 1 for a typical system diagram.  “Casting” is forming and cooling at the same time.  The extruded polymer is stretched and cooled on large, chrome-plated rollers with cooling water flowing inside.  Thinner film is for manual use, like wrapping around food products.  Thicker, stronger product is made for machine use, like automatically wrapping pallets of concrete bags.
Intelligent process cooling describes an approach to cooling in beverage production and packaging that moves beyond evaporative cooling towers and the use of traditional central chiller systems that rely on ammonia as a refrigerant. Unlike traditional methods, it intelligently matches process cooling systems to individual cooling loads without an evaporative process or the use of ammonia to gain verifiably better results in energy efficiency, water use, and safety.
No matter what your application, there is a single formula for determining the size of chiller you need. There also industry-specific, rules-of-thumb for chiller sizing. These may vary depending upon the application. These guidelines and formulas may be used for sizing chillers for plastic process cooling applications.
Market demand for plastics machinery continued to grow in the third quarter of 2014, according to statistics compiled and reported by SPI: the Plastics Industry Trade Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES).
Chiller & Cooling Best Practices interviewed Michael Jones, Corporate Energy Team Leader, from Intertape Polymer Group (IPG). Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) is a manufacturer of tapes, films, woven fabrics, and complementary packaging systems for industrial and consumer use. The company operates 10 production plants and employs approximately 1,800 people. IPG has developed a robust energy management program by using ENERGY STAR energy management tools and actively participating in the ENERGY STAR partnership. IPG is receiving ENERGY STAR recognition for the growth of its energy program and leadership as a medium-sized manufacturer.