The patent-pending R-PRO™ dense-phase vacuum-conveying system developed by Conair to minimize pellet fracturing, "angel hair" and equipment wear caused by conventional dilute-phase conveying, will make its first appearance at K 2016. Other innovations on display will include a new FLX-128 Plus conveying control, which now can be set up to operate the R-PRO system, a new Mobile Drying/Conveying (MDC) system with standard color touchscreen control interface, and several examples of equipment from Conair’s new MedLine® range of clean-room-ready auxiliaries.
The R-PRO system (which stands for Resin Protection Conveying System) is a revolutionary new approach to vacuum conveying. Pellets move at slow speeds in dense slugs of material. Material speeds can range from as slow as 70 m/min (230 ft/min) up to 366 m/min (1200 ft/min). This can be compared to conventional high-speed dilute-phase conveying, where 4500 ft/min (1372 m/min) is a typical low speed and speeds up to 829 m/min (6000 ft/minute) are not uncommon. At these high-speeds, pellets smear against the sides of aluminum tubing, deforming and creating long streamers or “angel hair” that can clog the system. Brittle materials (like styrene or polycarbonate) can break up and create dust and fines, and hard pellets, especially abrasive materials like glass-filled resins, can quickly wear away the inside of the conveying lines eventually causing leaks and failure.
The R-PRO system dramatically reduces the severity of all those problems.Comprised mainly of standard vacuum-conveying components, R-PRO results in slower flow and less resin damage without limiting throughput. It is cost-competitive and can even be retrofit to existing systems.
The new FLX-128 Plus system, which will be set up to control the R-PRO demonstration, is scalable and has all the same features that made the previous web-enabled FLX-128 Conair’s most popular conveying system control, but now is smarter, faster, and more powerful. It not only can control R-PRO systems, but also integrates Conair’s newest line-proofing systems including the Invisible Line Proofing (ILP) system mentioned below. The FLX-128 Plus flexible control system utilizes a combination of centralized I/O and expansion modules, interconnected via industrial Ethernet to provide control of up to 128 receivers, 40 pumps (plus 2 back-up pumps) and 256 source valves. A full color touch screen with descriptive icons ensures that even with little or no training, any user will be comfortable monitoring or making changes on up to 40 independently operating vacuum systems.
For the first time anywhere, a mobile drying/conveying system (MDCW) will be shown with Conair’s newest DC-A touchscreen control interface. The MDCWcombines an efficient Carousel® Plus Dryer with a conveying blower, dust collector and direct-feed vacuum receiver to convey dried material to the throat of a processing machine–all assembled on a safe, convenient wheeled cart.Featuring intuitive graphical design, with minimal text and no function codes to decipher, the DC-A touchscreen control has descriptive help screens for operators and features auto-start capabilities, password protection and has Conair’s Drying Monitor capabilities built in. Trending capabilities simplify maintenance and troubleshooting, while providing users with information they can use to optimize drying parameters and save energy. The new DC-A control will also be offered on smaller Conair desiccant-wheel dryers.
The new MedLine® family of clean-room-ready products was developed to help medical plastics processors select, install, commission and start up white rooms and cleanrooms faster and with less paperwork.It includes a complete range of auxiliaries – 40 different models and 170 different configurations in all – for molding and extrusion of medical products. The design of MedLine conveying, storage, drying, blending, heat-transfer and downstream extrusion products are all based on proven Conair designs, but they have been specially sized, configured, documented and supported for use in cleanrooms and other controlled environments.
Conair MedLine products at K 2016 will include a MedLineMicroWheel dryer. Thought to be the smallest desiccant wheel dryers available, they offer an alternative to compressed-air dryers and small twin-tower units, making them ideal choice for medical processors and others running small quantities of expensive engineering resins. The mini dryer will be fitted with a MedLineTubeLoader, a compact, self-contained loader withbuilt-in vacuum motor that can convey 150 lbs/hr (68 kg/hr) nearly 20 ft (6 m). Also shown in the MedLine configuration will be a TB-45 TrueBlend™ gravimetric blender mounted on a floor stand and equipped with two Access vacuum receivers. Other products Conair will exhibit at K 2016 include: