Extrusion as a plastic manufacturing process consumes a significant amount of energy. In a world where energy efficiency has an impact on everything from operating costs to brand image plastic manufacturers can no longer ignore the importance of running a sustainable operation.
Approximately 50% of the total energy used to create a plastic part goes toward driving the extruder. Implementing best practices and more efficient equipment can help extruders reduce energy use by roughly 10% according to researchers. In this two-part post, we look at six ways to create an energy efficient extrusion process.
Use standby wisely
Standby is often viewed as the enemy of energy efficiency however if used correctly it can easily become your friend. Standby operation is known to steal energy from heaters, cooling water, vacuum and lights, however if you use your standby function on a minimum setting you can salvage some of that lost energy.
Make use of insulation
Insulating your barrels will help ensure that the polymer is kept close to the optimum processing temperature. Insulation has a quick payback period of less than a year and is well worth the effort and expense. You should also turn off your barrel heaters and cooling fans, between runs which will save you a surprising amount of energy.
It’s important to note that the unshaped product (or parison) is much bigger than the final version and controlling how much needs to be trimmed off will be a huge benefit to overall efficiency. Your trimmings can also be recycled which is an added benefit to your sustainability goals.
Plastic & Chemical Trading together with our international partners deliver world class extrusion solutions to South Africa. If you’re in the market for a plastic manufacturing solution that can stand the test of time, contact Plastic and Chemical trading today.