In plastics extruding, operating efficiency is key. This can be a challenging task because the equipment needs to operate at high temperatures and it's very expensive for companies to shut down for repairs. As one of Europe's leading suppliers of extruded plastic sheets, Arla Plast AB constantly strives to find effective solutions that improve their production and ultimately their product offering.
In operation since 1969, the Swedish company produces 12,000 tonnes a year of high quality transparent polycarbonate sheets. The sheets are used for machine protection, safety glazing and hockey rinks. Many of their customers are in Europe and approximately 80% of their products are exported from Sweden. They employ 125 personnel and have annual revenue of 400 million krowns.
The company operates 10 extruder lines that produce plastic sheets over the course of five shifts a day. In the extruder line, a calendar with three rollers presses the plastic into sheets. A pump station with three pumps supplies the calendar with heat transfer fluid which heats up the rollers to their operating temperature range of 150°C to 180°C (302°F to 356°F).
"The problem we had in our machine is that the oil degraded very quickly and got very black," said Gerry Christensen, Technical Chief responsible for maintaining all the lines and equipment in the factory. "That hurt the pumps, and inside the rollers we had a lot of black sludge from the oil, which led to many problems."
When the oil broke down, it created a chain reaction of consequences. "After six months we had to put new bearings in the pumps," says Christensen. "We had to repair them and it costs a lot of money to stop a line like this. We had one or two days to repair the pumps, then we could run for six months again."
Over the years Arla Plast diligently experimented with various heat transfer fluids to try and find a solution. "We tried at least 10 different products and we had the same problem with all of them," explains Christensen. Then he came across Petro-Canada's CALFLO HTF heat transfer fluid.
Their local distributor, Canadian Oil, recommended a special cleaning fluid and helped Arla Plast change their system over. They first emptied the used oil, and filled the system with Petro-Canada's CLEANING FLUID, which was heated and circulated through their system. It cleaned the entire system internally and then it was flushed and the system was filled with CALFLO HTF.
CALFLO is a family of heat transfer fluids that offers synthetic-like performance benefits without raising the same objectionable odors caused by chemical aromatic compounds. CALFLO HTF is a premium high temperature heat transfer fluid recommended for systems operating with bulk temperatures up to 326°C (620°F).
"After we changed to Petro-Canada's CALFLO HTF heat transfer fluid, we have been running for three years without problems," states Christensen. "It solved a lot of problems, not just the short oil life. The pumps are working – we haven't repaired any pumps since three years ago."
In addition to the reduction in pump repairs, Arla Plast noticed other system efficiencies. Before, when equipment had to be repaired, they would have to shut down completely for about two days. Now, after making the repairs, they just have to wait the standard time it takes to heat up the oil. They also appreciate that CALFLO HTF has no objectionable odors.
"Petro-Canada's oil solved all of the problems, so we are very happy," says Christensen. "We changed all of our lines, so now we are just running CALFLO HTF."
After trying a variety of different products, Arla Plast found Petro-Canada's CALFLO HTF heat transfer fluid to be an effective solution to their problems. By solving the numerous operating issues, short oil life and equipment damage, CALFLO HTF dramatically decreased the costly downtime caused by previous oils. It allows them to operate efficiently so they can maintain their edge as one of Europe's leading suppliers of extruded plastic sheets.
To learn more, please contact Petro-Canada
www.petro-canada.com or www.calflo.com
Canada West: (800) 661-1199
Canada East (English): (800) 268-5850
Canada East (French): (800) 576-1686
Other Areas: (416) 730-2408
Petro-Canada America Lubricants
Phone: (888) 284-4572
Fax: (708) 246-8994