Case study: MSE look to infrared to overcome system inefficiencies
Mid South Extrusion has a strong history of reinvestment and is committed to developing customer relationships by understanding the needs of customers and offering creative solutions. Embracing the slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle and more”, they’re committed to helping customers discover practical, economical, and efficient ways to manage their costs and remove plastics from the environment.
With MSE’s growth over the years, came the opportunity to tap into new market sectors. And that brought with it an opportunity to invest in new technology to improve production efficiency.
Advanced infrared technology
Supplying polythene films for packaging, lamination, construction, and pipe wrapping applications, MSE also has an impressive stake in providing film for the bedding, furniture, carpet, agricultural, medical, and industrial films markets.
Following the recent announcement of the expansion of their current production facilities, MSE are now targeting new markets and customers in the food packaging sector. In order to maintain their service and commitment to the flexible packaging industry, they needed to enhance their manufacturing and production structure.
Though highly adaptable, MSE’s use of electric tubular heaters were proving inefficient to their current system and processes. Searching for solutions, they were recommended the advanced technology and efficiency of infrared heat as a possibility to increase productivity and improve their operations.
Custom infrared solutions
Once MSE had made the decision to explore the infrared heat option fully, they contacted Southern Heat, a long-time supplier and friend of the company. SH acted as a sales representative between MSE and our North American distributor, Weco International to give them the help they needed.
After discussions with Weco about MSE’s heat transfer problem, and following a detailed proposal, Ceramicx designed the full mechanical and electrical system specifications and production drawings. Once approved by MSE, we scheduled production to start as soon as possible.
A key part of our recommendation was that their state-of-the-art machinery should be fitted with arrays of industry standard ceramic, square hollow elements (SFEH). With a flat body, these particular elements have a much shorter heat up time, increased energy efficiency, and have the ability to produce a diffused, radiant output-to-target distance.
After full inspection and testing of all components and elements, MSE’s custom system was ready to ship to their manufacturing headquarters in Monroe, LA.
Improved productivity and efficiency
The order for this MSE project was entirely bespoke. Beyond designing the functional system specs and production drawings, the ceramic heat elements and steel projectors had custom variations, specific to their machinery, for all dimensions and fixings.
|Element type||SFEH 600W 480V x 18 (1 with embedded TC/k)|
|Reflectors||Ceramicx polished aluminium clad steel reflectors|
|Back cover||Perforated aluminium|
With no other limitations or unusual requests to consider, this was a masterclass in custom-designing and building an infrared heating solution to a particular customer specification. Using our in-house experience and innovation, together with our partnership with Weco, the advancement of infrared heating technology has now allowed Mid South Extrusion to benefit from improved productivity and efficiency across their machines.
“The new IR system provided by Ceramicx was delivered in a timely manner within budget. The pre-heating process improvements to our embossing equipment have increased production and reduced scrap within the extrusion process.”
- The system is used to preheat polyethylene prior to an embossing operation.
- The new IR system improved the start up times, line speed, and was a weight reduction on the installation.
– Mike Hengan | Mid South Extrusion