Technological watch

Irrigation tubing maker improve safety, energy use

Shannon Global Energy Solutions, the North Tonawanda, N.Y.-based designer and maker of reusable thermal and acoustic insulation, and Richmond, Calif.-based Calpacific Equipment Co., a distributor of steam and hot water equipment, have installed a thermal, reusable blanket on a Davis-Standard extruder operated by NDS Inc.

NDS uses the extruder to make polyethylene drip irrigation tubing sold wholesale and through retailers under consumer brands such as Raindrip.

“The focus of the project with Shannon and Calpacific was worker safety, but we quickly learned covering our line’s extruder heads with removable-reusable insulation blankets saved energy,” said Charles Eisenhauer, NDS plant manager. “We did a safety-risk assessment on our extruder and realized when our workers swap out pins and dyes to manufacture different-size pipe, they get very close to the machine’s extruder heads, which can reach 400° F.”

NDS contacted Calpacific for help, and the distributor determined Shannon could make the blankets for extrusion heads linked to both the 3.5-inch extruders.

“Once the blankets were on the extruder heads, the surface temperature of the blanket was 127° F,” Eisenhauer said.

Calpacific President Dennis Welsch said with the Shannon insulation blanket, any covered surface will show an 85 percent reduction in heat loss.

“The objective for NDS was improving safety, which this project clearly did. But the energy payback on the investment in the blankets will be less than 12 months. That savings continues as long as the blankets last, which can be up to 30 years,” Welsch said.

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Publication date: 24/03/2020

Author: Bill Bregar

Plastics News - automotive


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.