Leading plastic mold operators are turning to an innovative dehumidification and air conditioning technology manufactured by Advantix Systems to reduce their energy use and increase production capabilities in their facilities. The technology, which was recently featured at NPE 2012 in Orlando, FL, is based on liquid desiccant, and offers the plastic mold industry a proven heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) solution that can achieve major energy savings and improve molding cycle times by as much as 35%.
TSE Industries, Inc., based in Clearwater, FL, is a contract manufacturer of custom polyurethane systems, rubber and plastic products and the world’s largest manufacturer of millable polyurethane rubber. As in many plastic injection molding operations, the mold coolant temperature must be very cold to obtain the most favorable results. At one TSE Industries facility, underground pipe is manufactured from a fiberglass blend that is wrapped around a cylinder and dried into pipes that are approximately 10” in diameter. The required conditions in the facility space are 70° - 75°F and 20% Relative Humidity (RH). Maintaining these conditions using a conventional vapor compression system was problematic, especially during the summer months when it is typical for “mold sweating” – the condensation of water droplets on the plastic molds – to occur. Mold sweating can create surface defects on plastic parts, such as streaks or bubbles. Reducing condensation by raising the chilled water temperature results in longer cycle times and lowers production rates. Solid desiccant wheel systems presented other challenges for TSE Industries, because the technology can consume enormous amounts of energy, requires a costly, complex installation and demands intensive maintenance. Instead, TSE Industries chose Advantix’s energy efficient HVAC system. The innovative liquid desiccant-based technology creates a cool and dry environment in the drying area that allows the fiberglass resin to harden at a much faster rate, increasing the production yield. The Advantix unit also scrubs the air clean of toxic resin odors, creating a healthier, more comfortable environment for the fabrication staff.
Liquid desiccant is a natural salt water solution that removes humidity directly from the air without the need of adding excess cooling or heating, a process used by conventional HVAC systems. Liquid desiccant is also unique because, in addition to being energy efficient, it is a natural disinfectant. The salt solution removes almost all airborne bacteria and microorganisms in a single pass, and eliminates the need for drip pans or coils that often produce algae and bacteria build-up. As a result, the technology has the additional benefits of improving air quality, removing odors and eliminating many of the hazards associated with industrial processes. Specific benefits include:
Reduces energy consumption by 30-50% by avoiding “rework” of conventional systems
Reduces operating expenses by 55-65% compared to desiccant wheel systems
Cleans air (80% removal of particulates / 91% of airborne microorganisms in each pass)
Contains standard industry parts for cost effective maintenance
Controls temperature and humidity independently for any Sensible Heat Ratio
Provides option to use solar panels, geothermal water and waste heat for further energy savings
Simple installation and configuration
Proven reliability across wide range of applications and environments
With an installed base of more than 800 units worldwide, Advantix Systems has been installed in the plastics manufacturing plants of Panduit and Amgat Plastics, among others.