Custom Preheat Film Oven Improves Production Efficiency
Innovative Solution to Preheat Polyethylene Film for Embossing:
For years, Mid South Extrusion (MSE) has supplied polyethylene films for lamination, construction, packaging, and pipe wrapping applications. MSE also has an impressive stake in providing film for the bedding, furniture, carpet, agricultural, medical, and industrial films markets.
MSE’s company expansion led them to start to work in the food and beverage packaging sector where they discovered a need for new technology to improve production efficiency in food packaging lines. In order to maintain their service and commitment to the flexible packaging industry and the environment, they chose to enhance their manufacturing and production structure.
Client Challenge to Replace Electric Tubular Heaters:
Mid South Extrusion has a company mission to “reduce, reuse, recycle, and more”. This shows through with their commitment to helping customers manage their costs and remove plastics from the environment. Their expansion to the food and beverage packing industry is an opportunity to serve their customers and the environment.
Though highly adaptable, MSE’s use of electric tubular heaters were proving inefficient to their current system and processes. Searching for efficient heating solutions, they were recommended to explore the advanced technology and efficiency of infrared heat. Once MSE had made the decision to explore the infrared heat option fully, they contacted Southern Heat. Southern Heat is a long-time supplier and friend of the company. They acted as a sales representative between MSE and Ceramicx’s North American distributor, WECO International.
Our Solution to Improve Start Up Times and Line Speed:
WECO and Ceramicx helped engineer a highly efficient and improved pre-heat oven to increase manufacturing productivity via infrared heat transfer methods. The production drawings included fully designed mechanical and electrical system specifications. Once approved by MSE, production was scheduled to start as soon as possible on the heat transfer solution.
The key to the state-of-the-art machinery is the arrays of industry standard ceramic, square hollow elements (SFEH). With a flat body, these particular infrared heat elements have a much shorter heat up time, increased energy efficiency. The heat transfer elements have the ability to produce a diffused, radiant output-to-target distance.
After full inspection and testing of all components and elements, MSE’s custom system was ready to ship to their manufacturing headquarters in Monroe, LA.
Outcome that Improves Polyethylene Film Embossing:
The order for this pre-heat oven for heat transfer project was entirely custom. Our engineers designed the functional system specifications and production drawings. The ceramic heat elements and steel projectors had custom variations, specific to their machinery, for all dimensions and fixings. This was a masterclass in custom-designing and building an infrared heating solution to a particular customer specification.
Using our in-house experience and innovation, together with our partnership with WECO International, the advancement of infrared heating technology has now allowed Mid South Extrusion to benefit from improved productivity and efficiency across their food packaging machines.
- The system is used to preheat polyethylene film prior to an embossing operation.
- The new infrared heat system improved the start up times, line speed, and was a weight reduction on the installation.