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UKIVA Machine Vision Conference



Join us on 15 July 2021 on the MVC Technology Presentation Hub and explore eight online seminar theatres. (more)

PPMA Show 2021

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

28/09/2021 - 30/09/2021

PPMA Show 2021 will be the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and (more)

Southern Manufacturing

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6TQ)

06/10/2021 - 07/10/2021

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

Upgrade brings huge energy savings for extrusion line

Upgrade brings huge energy savings for extrusion line

A modern automation upgrade has addressed an issue of parts obsolescence on an extruding line, while delivering significant energy savings in excess of 75% over the course of a year.

For many manufacturing plants, the opportunities to achieve savings on energy consumption are plentiful. Businesses consider options ranging from simply adopting best practice in terms of switching off energy sources when not required, to making significant changes to machinery. Maintenance personnel are often the individuals tasked with making the savings. However these teams often come up against the issue of obsolescence, which can make it extremely challenging to find new efficiency opportunities. 

Liverpool-based Tech Folien was faced with this very issue. Tech Folien is a specialist producer of polycarbonate, polypropylene and other co-extruded blown films, specifically for industries such as packaging, automotive and construction. The existing motor and drive solutions had been installed on the company’s extruding line for over 15 years. The challenge for maintenance personnel has been the sourcing of spares. Having been out of production for a number of years, parts for the incumbent solution were becoming hard to find. 

It was also noted that from an energy consumption perspective, the existing solution was highly inefficient. As a result, Tech Folien decided it was time to renew and upgrade. The company turned to Emerson official partner RJW. Once Tech Folien had specified its requirements, RJW was able to advise on the best solution. It was decided that the Unidrive M701 variable speed drive from Control Techniques and an energy efficient IE4 LSRPM motor from Leroy-Somer – both Emerson Industrial Automation group companies – would provide the optimum solution. Installed in a cabinet away from the line, the Unidrive M701 sets the speed control parameters of the motor, which itself is installed close to the line in the space vacated by the obsolete combination. The control parameters can be easily programmed via a set of on-board drive macros.

When it came to the installation of the motor, RJW’s engineering expertise and comprehensive support were vital as the solution had to fit in to the same space occupied by the old product. A custom base plate was machine engineered by RJW for the motor to drop onto.  This matched the old footprint, which was critical as installation space was very limited. 

Tech Folien had the old solution independently verified by a firm of energy consultants, who in turn also measured the new solution once installation was completed. The difference in energy usage was significant. Measured over a year, the new solution is predicted to deliver savings of over 75% annually in energy costs. 

David Churm, maintenance manager at Tech Folien, comments: “Energy efficiency plays a vital role in ensuring profitability at Tech Folien. This, combined with machine uptime, represents critical operational factors. The new drive and motor combination from Emerson Industrial Automation ensures that we have complete confidence that we can control our energy costs and ensures 24/7 operation for our manufacturing facility.”

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