Retrofitting proves a win-win for Kablonex with W&H

Retrofitting proves a win-win for Kablonex with W&H

June 17, 2023 Off By Sebastian Reisig

The merits of retrofitting vintage machinery are clear. Whenever W&Hengage in discussions with their clients about retrofitting, the conversations are often met with enthusiasm – as the downsides are few and far between. To prove this point, W&Hare delighted that Kablonex has given them permission to share their successful retrofitting story.

Kablonex identified tremendous potential in the retrofitting of an aged blown film extrusion machine to conserve energy, enhance productivity, and ameliorate melt quality. The machine in question was an aged non- W&Hmachine featuring an old mono 120 extruder. Over the years, it had become increasingly noisy, produced poor melt quality and consumed a significant amount of power (244 kw during heating, 95 kw during production). Given the limited space in the existing production area, the flexibility of the new component design was critical. Following a detailed analysis of the existing conditions and a comparison of objectives, a new 90.30d standalone extruder with control and operator panel was planned for.

Expectations were high from the onset, but after a trouble-free installation and a quick and straightforward startup following the retrofit, the outcomes were impressive.

The energy consumption was slashed by 36% (during heating 155 kw, during production 62 kw), leading to energy savings of €62,000 annually. The output saw a 20% boost (limited by die head back pressure), and the melt quality was better compared to the old extruder. Furthermore, the production became noiseless.

Beyond these quantifiable gains, the qualitative aspects also impressed Kablonex. Oskar Nawrocki, the CEO at Kablonex, praised the results, mentioning how the new standalone extruder simplified the startup process and enhanced operational safety. With the machine now being almost silent, it’s hard to tell if the mono line is operating or not.

This retrofit, like numerous others, highlights the benefits of retrofitting. These include sustainable use of materials and financial resources, more output with less waste, quality improvement, energy optimization, effective use of existing floor space, capability to produce new (sustainable) products, enhanced reliability, improved safety, and cost and time benefits.

Given the striking results, Kablonex is considering more retrofits with W&H. The next project, the conversion of a 5-layer non-W&Hmachine into a 7-layer barrier, is already in progress.