By: Bill Bregar
March 27, 2013
Maguire Products Inc. introduced the VBD dryer improves on the Aston, Pa., company’s LPD vacuum resin dryer, introduced in 2000.
The new design advances vacuum drying, making operation much simpler and more reliable, while continuing to cut drying time and energy consumption compared to desiccant dryers.
The VBD vacuum dryer uses gravity to move material through vertically arranged stages of the drying process, with the discharge of material from one stage to the next controlled by slide-gate valves. This simple concept eliminates most moving parts, such as the three-station indexing carousel mechanism of the Maguire LPD dryer. It also does away with sealing gaskets, which can get worn and compromised by resin dust, and with perforated screens, which need to be cleaned, according to the auxiliary equipment company.
The new dryer is a continuous batching operation that is carried out in three heavily insulated, stainless steel vessels arranged on top of each other. The first vessel is a heating hopper, that has three times the volume of the next vessel, which provides vacuum, so it ensures adequate heating time. In the vacuum vessel, a vacuum is applied by a venturi generator that reduces the boiling point of water, causing moisture within the pellets to volatilize and be forced out of the pellet. A membrane air dryer purges moisture from the vessel, and also continually purges the third vessel, a pressurized retention/takeaway hopper, ensuring the target level is preserved until the material gets discharged into the plastics extrusion or molding process.
The VBD uses the same software and controller used on the LPD, and has the same five-year warranty, said B. Patrick Smith, vice president of marketing and sales. “The savings in energy and startup time in comparison with conventional desiccant systems enable the processor who switches to the new VBD dryer to pay back his investment in a matter of months,” he said.
The first model is the VBD-1000, with a throughput capacity of up to 1,000 pounds an hour. The unit is 16 feet tall and has a footprint of just 6.8 feet by 3.7 feet. Maguire is selling it for around $60,000.
In the coming months, Maguire will introduce a series of smaller VBD dryers, beginning with a throughput of 100 pounds an hour.
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