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Worms/Troisdorf, September 2014 | Depending on the country, 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 savings strongly depends on the component chosen. Tests conducted in the Technology Center of Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion with various raw materials and different production parameters have shown this result. The enclosure of barrels and heater-bands has proved to be the most efficient measure.
The engineers were able to save extruder heat energy between 20 and 50 percent alone by providing the barrels and heater-bands with insulating sleeves. In more specific terms, this means that energy savings of up to 100,000 kWh per year can be obtained when encased barrels instead of non-insulated ones are used in a 5-layer blown film line processing resin of 500 kgs/h. These savings correspond to about 12,000 euros, depending on the energy costs.
Much less effective is the insulation of the blown film die, which was also shown in tests carried out in our Technology Center. Here, the benefit lies only in the starting and heating-up phases of the extrusion line. Therefore, a medium-sized blown film line would generate cost savings of only some 1,000 € per year. The effects achievable for both insulation applications depend to a large extent on the material used, process parameters and output rate.
“Energy costs are no longer a negligible factor in the production of extruded plastic products“, says Ralf Pampus, responsible for the subject of energy efficiency within the Reifenhäuser Group. “Within the framework of our Blue Extrusion initiative we are developing concrete measures that can easily be put into practice to provide significant savings for our customers. Thanks to the tests we conducted in our Technology Center we know exactly whichmeasures will bring the desired effects and which measures will only lead to negligible results.“
Reifenhäuser Kiefel has summed up the most effective energy efficiency measures under the term of Blue Extrusion. The package encompasses the use of high-performance motors and drives in addition to insulation and customized design of complete lines. Many of the measures can be retrofitted without great time and cost expenditure in order to boost energy efficiency and production profitability.
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