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Upgrading peripherals  #10 (92), 2010

Gala Kunststoff- Und Kautschukmaschinen GmbH, Germany-based peripherals manufacturer, upgraded its dryers water supply and pelletizing systems.

Gala had assembled on his own plant a dryer testing facility to be able to trial the high-performance machines in real and long term tests. Various products with different properties, pellet geometries and shapes are already tested. Within this thoroughly test series significant optimizations could be generated. Important potentials could be figured out for the “smaller brothers” to be able to offer even better performance machines also for lower rates.
Especially for compounders and Masterbatch producers with permanent changing requests for  materials,  recipes  and  colors  these  modern  water  systems  were  upgraded as well. This was realized so that all fines, which could be produced during the cutting or drying process are filtered out. This ensures that changing of the process water after product or color change over is no longer necessary in the majority of cases. Thereby not only resources will be saved and time for cleaning will be reduced but also the down time for heating up the fresh water could be eliminated. The energy costs for such heating up will also be saved.
Besides this optimization of the water system, the integrated centrifugal dryer was constructively modified, so that disassembling and easy cleaning is now possible in a few minutes.
In the field of pelletizer technology Gala had implemented successfully the electronic and
controlled blade adjustment. This maintenance-free system is automated and requires generally no manual intervention of the operator. The life time of the pelletizing tools could be increased and the blade adjustment could be realized even more precisely. During the development and assessment of the new pelletizer Model EAC (Electronically Adjusted Cutter), Gala relied on the support from multiple production facilities. These companies were willing to field test the new equipment under production conditions. Also LyondellBasell had the chance to benefit from the advantages of the machine. The process of data collection on wear and tear of the cutting tools is still ongoing and will be used for comparison with the previously used machines.
Also the heart of the Underwater Pelletizing Systems, the die plate, experienced various
optimization throughout a combination of special geometries, innovative insulation method and yet easy handling. The result of this work brings energy savings for the heating of the die plate of 70% over traditional systems. During use of these new designs, the operating window is enlarged in such a way, that minimum velocities for startup are significantly reduced without partial plugging of die holes.
Also the pressure drop across the die plate is reduced, which brings quite some advantages for the operation. The processes can now work with either higher output rates within the same pressure than before or can be operated on a significantly lower pressure value. This allows the production to be gentle to the material processed as well as utilizing lower energy consumption for the extrusion process. The new die plate design is named Heat Flux die plate technology.
Further product news planned for the K-2010 include
- Pelletizer designs
- Die plate designs
- Update of the Gala CPT Process
- Energy saving options
- Masterbatch production machine
- Fines filtration systems
- Developments in the area of Pelletizing and Drying
- Field reports for new developments

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