It all started when Charlie Sears, President of Dri-Air Industries in East Windsor, CT, visited a customer many years ago. A long-time user of Dri-Air plastics dryers, the customer had a problem.
The customer operated an automated production facility with several employees assembling ballpoint pens at a rotary table supported by a single plastics injection molding machine. The pen was made in two colors, which meant that every time they changed parts to get an alternate color, they had to shut everything down. Then they would load the other color new material into the hopper used to dry the plastic material and wait for it to dry until they could restart the process.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM. So Charlie went back to his dryer factory and sat with his team. The challenge was to eliminate all that wasted downtime. They developed a portable dryer with two hoppers; one would be in use while the other was drying the next load of alternate color materials. They named it Dri-Air PDII for Portable Dryer with two hoppers. (Plus, it rhymes with PDQ, appropriately).
This simple change in the product meant that this customer and subsequent customers could eliminate virtually all of the down-time caused by having to wait for a full hopper of plastic pellets to dry. The resulting cost savings eliminating the need to shut down the machine along with having idle or temporarily reassigned employees has allowed many customers to pay back a new PDII (portable dryer with two hoppers) in as little as four months!
As the nature of 21st Century manufacturing and molding has changed in recent years, very few molders today have the luxury of running the same material or tool in their injection molding machines for a full day or more. Today, with JIT inventory, mold inserts, quick tool changes and lean manufacturing, the length of a production run is now measured in hours not days.
SAVING TIME AND MONEY. Having a molding machine sit idle and its operators distracted due to drying down-time costs money. The new PDII dryer has become a best-seller because it saves time, increases productivity, reduces the need for extra equipment and supports achieving on-time delivery for customers.
How do you know if the PDII dryer will make major savings in your plant? The Dri-Air Team can show you the potential savings with a simple review of your process.
HOW IT WORKS. The PDII is a dryer and two hoppers mounted on a compact frame, taking minimal floor space. The dryer is designed vertically and is closely coupled to its two hoppers, which are set at a low height for easy access to cleaning. Remote valves, actuated from the controls, control both hoppers or either one when the other hopper is shut off. Separate heaters and controls allow different resins to be dried in either hopper. An optional closed-loop loader conveys the dried resin to the feed throats of the molding machine while preventing any new moisture. The amount of resin stored in the receiver is minimized to maintain low moisture levels.
The new PDII dryer also is ideal for 2 shot molding, efficient clean room applications, and it can serve two molding machines as a mini-central system often located quite a distance from the molding machines.
The team at Dri-Air Industries has a favorite saying, “Our customers are our best designers.” The PDII dryer has become a fast seller because Charlie Sears listened to his customers and found a solution to their problems. And since Dri-Air Industries is the only manufacturer to supply a portable dryer with two hoppers, there is no time like the present to contact Dri-Air and see what the PDII can do for you.