Piovan first introduced the Genesys resin drying system at Drinktec towards the end of 2009 and has since been working with TÜV – the independent certification body – to test a system installed at a European beverage facility.
According to the results of that trial, the energy use of the new system after seven months in operation was 69.2 W/kg/h. Giorgio Santella, global marketing director at Piovan, told BeverageDaily.com that this compares favourably to typical energy use levels that normally vary from 140 to 160 W/kg/h.
Santella claimed the difference in energy consumption translates into a measurable saving for a single production line that runs into tens of thousands of euros a year.
This is because PET drying, which involves exposing resin to hot, dry air for up to 6 hours, requires high levels of energy.
Santella said the TÜV test results are significant because they give independent validation to the energy efficiency message that the company is highlighting with the Genesys system. As the test was done 7 months into operation, he claimed it also demonstrates how high performance is sustained over time.
The TÜV specialists performed the test on a Genesys GP55 dryer, coupled with a 4500 litre hopper and operating with a process air temperature of 175°C.
Explaining how Piovan designed the Genesys system to reduce its power use, Santella said it applied technologies used in other sectors of the company. For example, loss in weight control was applied to the system to ensure the optimum amount of air would be used to dry a certain quantity of PET.
To reduce energy consumption further, Piovan focused on improving air flow management and stabilisation. It said integrating an automatic air flow control system resulted in significant savings.
Drying is an important step in the process of making PET suitable for beverage packaging. It removes moisture from PET granules and ensures that the material maintains its intrinsic viscosity so there are no negative effects on the blow molding process.