Cooling Retrofit Case Study – Plastindo
PT Plasindo Lestari, a W&H customer based in Jakarta, Indonesia, is a producer of high-end films for food, beverage, home care and personal care packaging. The company recently had the new XP cooling ring retrofit installed on one of their newer 5-layer VAREX blown film lines and immediately yielded a significant increase in output.
Timothy Cahyadi, COO PT Plasindo Lestari, said, “We have already used the expertise f the W&H Module Sales team and upgraded one of our non-W&H blown-film lines with a W&H P2K profile-controlled air ring. This turned out very well for our production. We have a number of fairly new VAREX lines, and W&H approached us with the idea to improve our production numbers even further on one of them. People at W&H were pretty sure they could make this work, but before we bought the upgrade, we hallenged them to come into the plant and prove it first.”
A W&H technician visited the plant and started to fine-tune the line “as is” to establish an output benchmark. After restarting the machine with the new air ring – an Arctis XP– running the same structure, an improvement in bubble stability was obvious right away, making it clear that output could be increased further with the bubble still holding rock steady.
Three different products were tested on the retrofit. According to Gerd Kasselmann from W&H’s Line Audit and Retrofit Solutions unit, each product reacted differently with output increasing between 12% and 23% depending on the product. Kasslemann pointed out, that this increase was even possible on technology that was state-of-the-art just three years ago. “Retrofitting such technology to older lines is expected to provide even higher increases,” he adds.
Cahyadi added, “We were surprised and excited when the line was restarted. But the output increase tells only half of the story. When running at a higher rate, the new air ring delivers even better width and gauge uniformity, and the whole production is running more consistently. It feels like the bubble is kept in a kind of circular vise. Even the nightshift operators manage to do quick changeovers without losing the bubble.”
The XP cooling ring was introduced at K 2019 and is now available as a retrofit not just for W&H machines, but also for blown film lines from other manufacturers.