Cutting Costs in Blown Film Extrusion
Retrofitting Measures Boost Energy Efficiency
Several thousand euros can be saved every year in blown film production through simple measures such as the enclosure of certain line components. The amount of saving largely depends on the component selected. This has been shown in trials with different raw materials and production parameters conducted in the Technology Center of Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion GmbH, Worms, Germany. The most effective measure proved to be enclosure of the barrel and heater bands.
Just by fitting insulating sleeves to the barrel and heater bands, it was possible to save 20 to 50 % of extruder heating energy. In more specific terms, this means that in a 5-layer machine processing 500 kg of raw material per hour, barrel insulation saves up to 100,000 kWh energy per annum, which equates to around EUR 12,000, depending on energy costs.
Insulating the blown film die is far less effective. Here, the benefit is only obtained during the starting and heating up phases of the extrusion line. A medium-sized blown film line would only generate cost savings of some EUR 1,000 per annum. The effects achievable for both insulation applications largely depend on the material used, the process parameters, and the output rate.
Reifenhäuser Kiefel has grouped the most effective energy efficiency measures under the brand name Blue extrusion. Many of the measures can be retrofitted relatively easily at reasonable cost to boost energy efficiency and production profitability.
Translated from Kunststoffe 12/2014, p. 58.
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