PHOTO: The LPD™ dryers at R&D Leverage in England. The company, which has its head office in the USA, is one of the world leading suppliers of single-stage tooling for ISBM of bottles
After R&D Leverage replaced desiccant dryers on seven Nissei ASB and Aoki ISBM lines with LPD vacuum dryers from Maguire Products, the savings in time were dramatic.
“While the desiccant dryers needed four to six hours to dry material, the LPD dryers take only one hour-and-twenty minutes from a cold start-up, and in subsequent drying cycles this is reduced to forty minutes,” said Alan Tolley, MD of R&D Leverage.
Besides start-ups, the desiccant dryers also posed problems with job changeovers. R&D Leverage builds single-cavity ‘pilot’ tools for making samples, plus multi-cavity tools for commercial-scale operation. The tools undergo trial runs on the seven production lines, which process at rates up to 70kg/h. The company typically has five or six tool changes per week.
“The LPD dryers give us much more flexibility when testing different grades of resin on one tool,” said Tolley. “Because we are not a production-scale facility with long product runs, the desiccant dryers were always a challenge for us, posing problems with getting the material dried properly. The worst thing was to be held up by drying issues while we had customer visitors on site who came from as far away as China or South America.”
Other advantages include improved resin filtration, which provides enhanced bottle clarity due to less contamination, and more flexible throughput control for the single-cavity pilot tool versus high-cavitation production tools.