Columbus, Ohio — Moretto SpA, the Italian manufacturer of auxiliary equipment that now runs a 15,000-square-foot U.S. facility in Columbus, introduced at the Fakuma show in Germany the final piece of its Eureka project to dramatically improve drying.
At Fakuma, Moretto rolled out the Moisture Meter, which measures the moisture inside resin pellets in real time — allowing the certification that the plastic is properly dried, according to Paolo Gasparotto, head of sales for the United States and Canada.
That certification is important for the medical and automotive markets, Gasparotto said during Moretto's Oct. 15 news conference at Fakuma.
Gasparotto said drying equipment is the largest segment for Moretto, accounting for 45 percent of sales. Conveying is 25 percent, dosing is 14 percent and cooling and grinding equipment generated 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
President and owner Renato Moretto said the company spent 15 years developing the Eureka drying system, including four years on Moisture Meter. “The drying process requires a lot of energy,” he said.
“The car industry is the one that demands this system most,” Moretto said. Medical and PET packaging also need to prove out the level of drying, he added.
Renato Moretto said his company is already working on the next generation of drying technology
Materials that absorb water — known as hydroscopic resins — can cause defects on the molded parts. In PET preforms and bottles, improperly dried resin can “create a disaster problem,” Gasparotto said.
Resin can be dried too much, or not dried enough. Gasparotto said that's why online monitoring is important. Moisture Meter takes measurements four times every second, and logs the data. It also ties back into the complete drying line, and can make adjustments. “Moisture Meter closes the loop,” he said.
“We need to stay in a very, very tight window, with the moisture content,” he said.
Gasparotto said Moisture Meter can measure moisture at 15 parts per million, in real time.