Five Reasons to Buy a New Dryer – by Charlie Sears, as presented at Molding 2017

Dri-Air Industries
21 April 17

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss dryers and drying technology with you today.    I have been working with dryers for more than 30 years, and I have found that overlooking advances in drying technology can be a major obstacle to achieving an efficient molding operation.   My message today is to try to demonstrate that keeping up to date with drying technology will improve your process and your bottom-line.

We worked with one of our customers to determine the best dryer design for his process but for some reason he did not follow through. A year later at the NPE Show we showed him the same dryer in our booth that we had proposed. His comment was, “Are you telling me that if I had purchased this dryer a year ago it would have paid for itself by now?   Our reply was, ‘Yes, and if you purchase it now it will be paid for in another year.’

To help you to think through your drying needs, I have put together five reasons that processors put off buying new dryers, to help you see your way to improving the bottom line.

First, have you ever had an old dryer break down or wear out, and you thought, “I think we have an old dryer in the warehouse we can use for this job? “ I would contend that you should instead build on that breakdown to acquire new dryer technology that will save you a great deal of energy and improve your profits.   In most cases, old dryers, just like old water heaters and old cars, eat up huge amounts of energy compared with today’s environmentally advanced products.   Today’s dryers assure accurate and uniform temperatures, control air flow to heat every pellet, employ dew points as low as minus 131 degrees Fahrenheit, and reduce drying times to as low as 20 minutes.  We don’t have to tell you that faster drying times for quicker start-ups and changeovers save you money!

A second reason – How many times have you walked by a molding cell and asked yourself, “Why are all those rejects sitting there?”   Your dryer may well be the issue. Inappropriate drying can be the first cause of product rejects.   As one of our customers said to me, “It is true that a molder like us can damage our customer’s material by over drying it.”   To avoid over drying, you need to tie the dryer monitoring to your process monitoring. Have you done that yet?   Our HPD portable dryers, dual hopper portable dryers , central dryers and hopper mount dryers all are available with mobile or Ethernet communications systems that allow you to control drying with a Dri-touch controller on a 7 inch color touch screen. And we even have wireless systems that you can control from your I-phone or Android mobile device.

The third reason to get a new dryer can be expressed as a question, “Why can’t we use the hot air dryer that came with the molding machine?”   The simple answer to that one is that you have improved your molding operation by greatly increasing the amount of control that you have over the process, and drying should be no exception.   Using our own product as an example, our proven patented 4-bed desiccant dryer provides fastest possible drying of plastics pellets, with no moving parts. A customized dryer for your particular application also includes advanced microprocessor controls, stainless steel insulated drying hoppers, closed-loop loading systems and full-flo electric dryer valves.   Other dryer providers also will customize your drying process to your specific molding process.

The fourth reason is quite common – “Our electric bill is sky high and we need to do something.“ This is my favorite, because it is so easy for us to fix that immediately.   It is not uncommon for a big molder to save $100,000 a year on just one dryer by upgrading to the most efficient, most effective dryers. The larger your dryer, the more savings you are missing by not upgrading.  Regardless of your location, the cost of electricity is constantly going up. The number one request in virtually all of our product development programs in recent years has been to minimize the heat used to raise the temperature of materials to the correct dryer temperature while maintaining a constant material temperature at the interface to the molding machine.   You also need to make sure that your accountant checks for tax rebates from your state and the federal government or an energy rebate from your utility company.   The recent push for energy sustainability has resulted in governments and utilities who are anxious to reward you for your energy savings.

The fifth, and last, reason to buy a new dryer is when you find yourself saying, “It seems like those dryers are always in the shop for repair. “ This should not be the case.   Newer dryers are better made and use materials that minimize maintenance. In our case, all the dryers also are U.S. made, which makes it easier for you to be sure that there is immediate support at your factory wherever you may need it in North America. You can also look to stainless steel hoppers such as those from Dri-Air to reduce the downtime that affects you and your customers.

To finish these comments, I would like to repeat the notice that we have throughout our plant which is why we think that our customers keep coming back – “It’s our unwavering commitment to provide energy efficient dryers that effectively dry yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s materials that ensure our customer satisfaction.” Thank you.