Businesses around the UK are retrofitting Inverter Controlled Claw Pumps to enhance existing Material Feed Systems. The state of the art pump technology, available from Summit Systems enhances the vacuum driven flow of plastic pellets around factories, saving energy, material and breakdowns.
Andy Baker from Plastic Omnium says:
“We were looking for new ways to trim back on energy and material degradation over long distances, we were experiencing angel hair at the machines, and the inverter controlled claw pump ticked both boxes. It fits into our existing material feed system. We were so pleased with the first unit we purchased a second unit and I am now looking at replacing our other units over the next few years.”
Sucking multiple materials long distances by pipe is fairly standard technology for largescale production. Material feed systems have for many years cut costs by minimizing mistakes, labour and mess. The issue with traditional pump systems is that they rely on a single vacuum speed, which does not suit the variety of materials, quantities and distances of your average mould shop.
For one thing, injection moulding machines are unlikely to be the same distance from material bins travelling anything from a few metres to more than a thousand. Keeping the pumps working at maximum capacity to move material over a short distance uses much much more energy than is really necessary.
In addition, putting material under unnecessary pressure causes both it and the pipework to degrade. High pressure hard glass and technical polymers ‘sandblast’ away at the inside of pipework, particularly in bends where it changes direction. If left to its own devices holes will eventually wear through the pipework, causing air leaks, inefficiency and material leakage.
With softer plastics such as LDPE and polypropylene the increased velocity causes the material to degrade. Long cobwebs of angel hair form as plastic sticks to the side of pipework. The strands eventually break free and cause no end of problems from clogged filters, plugged conveying lines, feed problems at the blender, and jammed machine throats.
The inverter control of the claw pump alleviates all of these issues. When for example a long run to injection moulding machine 8 is required it notches up to top power, then drops to its lowest setting as it moves to IMM 1. At IMM 4 it sets to its medium value. The result is an energy reduction averaging 50%, less dust and material flowing at a constant slower speed, reducing degradation and wear.
The inverter control adds further value by speeding up material changes. When the line needs cleaning it quickens the pump, emptying residual material at maximum velocity.
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