Plastics cooling made easy with Microgel

The Frigel Microgel unit has once again proven itself to be the market leader in aiding injection moulding manufacturers to reduce their cycle time and optimise their process, resulting in maximum efficiency. 

Microgel

In a partnership spanning over 10 years, Summit Systems have supplied Prysmian Cables and Systems Ltd with various ancillary machines for their UK based production, from Maguire blenders to temperature control units.  

Prysmian Cables and Systems Ltd manufactures a wide range of building wires and specialist fire rated cables, which are available through a first-class network of wholesalers. They also offer a comprehensive range of accessories designed with the cables in mind. Prysmian is a brand of the Prysmian Group, the world leader in high-technology cables and systems for energy and telecommunications, with sales of over €11 billion in 2019. The Prysmian Group is a truly global company with subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, 106 plants, 25 research and development centres with approximately 29,000 employees. 

The Summit Systems and Prysmian relationship began with the supplying of the Maguire Blenders which helped them to make huge materials savings. Following this, Summit recommended the Loss-in-Weight blenders which saw further material savings and a drastic improvement to product quality.  

Technical Sales Engineer, Jason Culleton approached Prysmian to assist in the concept of further product quality improvement and cycle time reduction, after witnessing staff operating moulding machines, handling hot parts which posed as a health and safety risk to the machine operator. Summit Systems knew that within their portfolio of plastic ancillary machinery, there was the appropriate equipment to help eliminate these issues. 

Summit specified the Microgel – a temperature control unit from Frigel. 

The Microgel is a super-compact mould cooling unit specifically designed for process temperature control with the ability to reduce the cooling time of the injection moulding process. The Microgel consists of a water-cooled chiller with one or two high flow booster pumps, temperature controllers with heating elements, and a free-cooling valve. The Microgel allows the user to optimise their process by looking at historical data from the unit and being able to maintain temperatures to 0.1°C.  

Users of the Microgel Temperature Control units can benefit from lower energy consumption and faster start up times. The units require minimal maintenance, saving additional time and money. They have minimum environmental impact, having up to 80% less refrigerant than a centralised system, and offer advanced energy savings with the individual free cooling function. Preheating and downtime are also reduced during the mould changeover period. 

Summit Systems offered Prysmian Cables a free trial of the Microgel, to prove the concept of operation before purchase, and being so confident in the quality of the machine were positive the unit would be able to make drastic changes to their production quality and cycle times. 

A short and simple installation with no modifications needed to their process meant the unit was in operation quickly. Summit Systems’ technical engineers were on site throughout the day to provide equipment training and familiarise the staff with the operation of the machine. 

The purpose of the trial was to demonstrate to Prysmian how the Microgel could improve product quality, drastically reduce cycle time, and ensure a safer working environment for the mould machine operators. 

Microgel

The trial demonstrated to Prysmian a 150% productivity increase as a result of the 60% reduction in cycle time (originally 90 seconds, down to 36 seconds).  

At a time when energy prices are so high, it is crucial to also consider the energy savings delivered from the machine. With cycle times 60% lower than their existing machinery, they would be saving copious amounts of energy to produce better quality products from their moulding machine. 

Additionally, due to the function of the Microgels there is no longer the need for a central chiller, which will be replaced by a Summit Systems adiabatic cooler, saving further energy costs. 

Based on the above improvements and the successful completion of the Microgel trial, Summit Systems are thrilled that Prysmian Cables have opted to purchase a further 5 units to aid in the reduction of cycle cooling times, energy savings and health and safety throughout their UK based processes.  

Luiz Ferizolla, Production and Logistics Manager at Prysmian, “The savings from the 1 off Microgel unit we have has paid for the 5 additional units we are ordering, and that is just on production hours saved, we have not yet considered the energy savings. The Microgel has doubled our production output, improved our product quality, and reduced our scrap levels. We’d highly recommend the Microgel and Summit Systems!” 

Matt Ross, Sales Director at Summit Systems, “The Frigel Microgel unit has once again proven itself to be the market leader in aiding injection moulding manufacturers to reduce their cycle time and optimise their process, resulting in maximum efficiency. We are delighted to work in conjunction with Prysmian Group and with the strong partnership and work input from both sides, the results were exceptional.” 

For more information on the Microgel range from Summit Systems click here or call us on 01827 265 800. 

Hitting the SUMMIT at Plastics Live 2022

Summit Systems are joining all the key players in the industry for the launch event of Plastics Live. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand on B30, 5-6 July at the CBS Arena, Coventry.

Plastics Live

Get your free customer tickets here >

 

Plastics Live is attracting many high-profile exhibitors at what is being described as the most innovative event for forward-looking plastics manufacturers.

Located on Stand B30, Summit Systems will be profiling its blending and dosing units allowing regrind to be reintroduced back into the manufacturing process, helping companies to meet or exceed the 30% recycled content threshold set by the Plastic Packaging Tax. To accompany these, the granulator and shredder ranges — for in-house regrind production — will also be an area of focus. With the concerning rise of energy prices, Summit Systems also supply numerous energy-saving products for plastic process manufacturers, such as the Maguire ULTRA dryers, which are driving cost savings, and will also be on display at the exhibition.

Kelsey Taylor, Marketing Manager, “Summit Systems has chosen to exhibit at Plastics Live due to the ever-increasing need for our ancillary equipment. The plastics industry is the 3rd largest employer in the manufacturing sector, and we’re looking forward to meeting new contacts and businesses who are excited to see fresh ideas, and who we can help enhance their plastic processes.”

“As more and more undesirable emphasis is put onto our industry, Summit Systems are keen to showcase the best equipment on the market to promote sustainable plastics manufacturing. Our equipment provides the best solutions for all plastic manufacturing processes, whether that’s increasing your recycled content, lowering your energy usage, or reducing manual labour time. Within our portfolio, we’re confident that we’ve got the ancillary equipment you didn’t know you were looking for.”

“Plastic manufacturers currently have huge opportunities to change people’s ideas about plastics. Always being portrayed in a negative light, now is the time when manufacturers need to educate the public, increase awareness of the benefits of plastics versus other materials, and demonstrate how we’re promoting sustainability within the industry.”

Access to Plastic Live will ensure you have access to over 150 industry-leading suppliers live via the exhibition hall and will give you access to the co-located events running alongside. The events conference programme will cover talks from the best in today’s manufacturing, how to future-proof business, how to use technology to improve output, save energy and the environment and create the factories of the future.

We look forward to seeing you there, you can register for free tickets using the link below.

Get your free customer tickets here >

 

Automation Engineer Internship Success

In February 2022, following the application process in connection with the WMG, the University of Warwick, Zain Mahmood joined the Research and Development Department at Summit Systems in Tamworth, for a 12-week Automation Engineer Internship.

Zain has a glowing academic career, with a Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from City University of London and he is also working towards a Master of Engineering in Mechatronics and Robotics from the University of Leeds. As a result of the selection process, Zain was deemed the perfect fit for the company.

Due to the increased opportunities and the expansion of the R&D department at Summit Systems, 2022 was the perfect year to take on an intern. Working alongside Wade Grindley, R&D Manager, and Daniel Jefferies, Automation Engineer, Zain was assigned a project where he was able to use the knowledge from his degrees to create and develop new technologies and software for Summit Systems.

The scope of this 12-week project was to create a cloud-based user interface for Summit Vision. This was achieved in the early stages of his internship, which led to him developing additional aspects of Summit Vision.

His achievements:

  • Created a cloud-based user interface for Summit Vision.
  • Updated the Summit Vision user interface.
  • Enhanced the interface for the Maguire products within Summit Vision.
  • Presented the newly developed features of Summit Vision, to secure an order from a new customer.
  • Start the development on a new product interface for the Maguire blender.

Automation Engineer Internship

Wade Grindley, “Having Zain with us for the last 12-weeks has been great, during this time he has been a valued member of the R&D Team. He has been able to complete all projects assigned to him in a fraction of the time set. His ambition to learn and grow in this role has been fundamental to the development of the Summit Systems Supervisory System. He has a great work ethic, and it has been a pleasure having him in our team and we wish him success in his future endeavours.”

 

Zain, “I cannot thank Summit Systems enough for this opportunity. Wade and Daniel have been excellent at helping me to develop my skills and knowledge of the products and systems. I would recommend Summit Systems to anyone considering an internship in Research and Development.”

Following the success of his internship with Summit Systems, Zain has pursued roles closer to his hometown of Manchester which will further allow him to develop his skills and knowledge.

Summit Systems are proud to have been able to support Zain in his skills and career development and wish him all the luck for his new role and have no doubt that he will succeed in all that his does in the future.

Powering down on drying energy costs with ULTRA Dryers

How have the ULTRA Dryers been helping customers save huge costs on drying polymers, improving product quality, and reducing machine downtime? We spoke with Moulded Packaging Solutions to find out… 

Being an independent business in a sector dominated by large corporates, Moulded Packaging Solutions (MPS), has built its packaging business on process efficiencies and cost savings to maintain competitiveness. This focus has never been greater with the impact shock that the current energy crisis has placed on their manufacturing plant. 

MPS ULTRA Dryers
Iain McLeod – Manufacturing Director, Moulded Packaging Solutions Limited

With industrial power costs doubling and more, MPS are striving to negate these costs through investment. By switching to Maguire ULTRA dryers, they have proven energy savings of 58% on their PET drying costs. Their drive to reduce cost is impressive in itself but there is a pride and commitment in constantly reducing their carbon footprint which this investment satisfies.

MPS founded in 2006 by Alan Charlton and Iain McLeod, provides diverse plastic packaging solutions for Food, Pharma VMS, and Confectionary producers. Charlton and McLeod both previously worked in the plastics packaging and moulding industry, gaining over 60 years of knowledge and experience in plastic packaging manufacturing between them.

In line with MPS’s continuous investment and improvement philosophy, MPS has continually invested in energy efficient drying systems for PET. Previously MPS invested in state-of-the-art Desiccant Wheel energy efficient dryers, and most recently has invested in Maguire ULTRA dryers, where the company has seen 3 major benefits for their ISBM production compared to prior drying systems:

Greater Energy Savings & Efficiency

Previously MPS had invested in leading desiccant wheel dryers which when compared to the classic twin tower desiccant dryer, offered considerable energy savings. However, when drying PET with the Maguire ULTRA dryer, using the unique vacuum drying process, MPS were able to realise further savings that averaged close to 60% over the desiccant wheel systems.

“By investing in the Maguire ULTRA’s we’ve been able to achieve very real savings in energy costs, especially in view of energy costs rocketing in the last 12 months,” said Iain McLeod. “This helps in every sense in running our independent business in keeping our costs under control”.

Dramatically reduced drying times resulting in considerable production gains

With conventional dryers typical drying time for PET is 4 hours, but with the ULTRA dryer, which doesn’t rely on desiccant dried hot air slowly releasing moisture from the material but instead uses the science of vacuum, moisture is released more rapidly, at a mere 1 hour. This reduction allows for a significant boost in productivity and machine up time, plus greater flexibility for ISBM machine start-ups and job changes.

McLeod, “We offer a range of packaging solutions from food, vitamins to confectionary and the flexibility we can achieve in drying is greatly enhancing our production capabilities for short runs, which is ideal for our custom orders, whilst keeping costs to a minimum.”

Reduced maintenance requirements allowing maximum production times

MPS has a strong focus on investment and flexibility in their production process, and a key issue to maintaining this edge in production is maximum up time, avoiding the unplanned stoppages and minimising scheduled maintenance.

With the Maguire ULTRA Dryer maintenance is significantly reduced compared to conventional dryers, due to no process filters, no chilled water requirements and no desiccant wheels or towers to monitor and replace periodically. This saves huge amounts of time and ensures a consistent and stable drying process, versus having to monitor and check dew points and downtime for cleaning of the filters and replacing desiccant.

What does this mean?

These benefits have led to a fast return on investment and the ULTRA dryers have continued to perform really well in their process. When compared to their other dryer onsite, the ULTRA dryers performed using 58% less energy, with further energy still to be saved with the use of the energy saver limit.

As an illustration in what that means in running costs of a dryer – if for example on one ISBM machine energy usage at an average price of £0.12/kWh – with Desiccant dryers running costs over a 5-year period could amount to over £30,100 just for energy – with the ULTRA dryer costs are more around £12,600. With energy costs increasing this is only greater, meaning the ULTRA pays for itself more rapidly and is simpler for start-ups and maintenance.

ULTRA Dryer comparison graph
Trial results: ULTRA Dryers versus Alternative Model

In a trial performed internally by MPS, the ULTRA Dryer recorded a rate of 0.108 kWh per kg versus 0.258 kWh per kg from an alternative model. Over an 8-hour time frame, on near consecutive days, they noted noticeable variations in energy usage with the Maguire ULTRA dryer (shown in red) drastically outperforming the other model (shown in grey). Between 16:00 and 00:00, the ULTRA dryer used a total of 20.42 kWh costing a mere £1.96 versus the alternate model using over 50 kWh, costing over £5.05.

Iain McLeod, “The service and guidance provided by Summit Systems and their recommendation of the Maguire ULTRA dryers has made great savings and we’re happy to report such positive energy reductions since introducing the vacuum dryer to our processes. We would highly recommend Summit Systems and the Maguire ULTRA dryer to anyone in the industry looking to invest in energy-efficient plastics drying equipment”.

Call 01827 265 800 or email us on info@summitsystems.co.uk to discover how the ULTRA Dryers can help you save huge costs on drying your polymers, improve product quality and reduce machine downtime.