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energy management | Update

Piovan’s Modula delivers savings at BMW i3 plant

Energy efficiency was one of the key criteria in BMW’s selection of Modula drying technology from Piovan of Italy, which it has installed as part of a complete materials handling system at a new production site at Leipzig in Germany, where it will build its i3 and i8 electric cars. The auto-adaptive Modula

system is claimed to provide energy savings of up to 50% compared to conventional central drying systems. Two systems have been installed for BMW, which will service the six production lines that will be used in the first phase of development of the site. The system is capable of expansion to 12 lines.

Each Modula system

comprises a single dry air generator equipped with seven drying hoppers ranging from 600 to 1,000 litres. The BMW project also includes Piovan’s Varyo auto-adjustable vacuum conveying units, MDW gravimetric blenders and a Winfactory monitoring and supervision system. BMW’s Leipzig moulding

facility will process mostly PP

and PC blends, with parts transferred directly from the moulding shop to the painting lines. For this reason, it required a silicone-free system to avoid impairing paint adhesion.

Modula systems can be

supplied for medium and large capacity applications from 200 to 2,000 kg/h. ❙

Retrofit drive pays off for Elster

UK-based water meter manufacturer Elster Metering has upgraded 15 of its older injection moulding machines to Sumitomo Demag’s retrofit Active Control system, realising an annual energy saving of around £2,600 per machine. Elster operates a number of

energy efficient all-electric Sumitomo Demag moulding machines. However, it continues to use hydraulic machines for a number of parts that require their specific processing characteristics. “With these compo-

nents we cannot take the risk of movement

36 INJECTION WORLD | September 2013

and subsequent shrinkage post-recovery, so we have to maintain strict moulding pressure tolerances. In some cases floor flatness has to be within seven microns. To achieve these tolerances we

need machines with very long cycle times,” says Elster’s engineering manager Clint Sharp.

The Active Control system

allows energy consumption to be reduced by optimising pump activity during extended ‘idle’ periods. It involves installing an invertor that controls the frequency of the pump motor during periods of low oil demand. Elster is using the

technology on machines

ranging from 25 to 150 tonnes and claims to have achieved a pay-back on the investment within two years on each. ❙

news in brief

❙ US-based Cincinnati Process Technologies says its Energy Spy monitoring system provides plastics processors with a low cost means to monitor site wide energy consumption in real time. The system uses pulse outputs generated by the meter to determine actual kW usage, peak demand and power factor, allowing processors to analyse and optimise energy use. The company says the Energy Spy will operate on any voltage configuration.

❙ Apprentices at German mouldmaker Braunform are playing a key role in its energy management programme. Earlier this year a team was charged with targeting compressed air losses and achieved considerable savings. Similar teams are now taking on thermal losses and carrying out analysis of lighting and machine idling losses across the plant.

❙ Packaging producer Gizeh has installed energy monitoring technology across its two German production sites. The 100 monitoring points collect data on compressed air, chilling and process machinery energy consumption, allowing the company’s engineers to apply targeted improvements. Energy manager Bernd Budde says savings of 25% have been achieved through insulating its processing machinery.

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