Thermal Insulation Blanket Has Extrusion Safety Covered

A thermal insulation blanket for plastics processing equipment developed by Shannon Global Energy Solutions improves worker safety and reduces ambient heat. The proprietary removable and reusable LT550SG blanket has been used successfully by packaging company Airlite Plastics to cover a plastics extrusion line at its Nazareth, PA, plant. Airlite produces, among other things, containers and lids from FDA-approved plastic resins and custom package designs.

thermal insulation blanket for extruders from Shannon Global Energy Solutions
Extrusion goes undercover thanks to a removable and reusable thermal insulation blanket for plastics processing equipment. Image courtesy Shannon Global Energy Solutions.

Shannon representative Associated Steam Specialty Co. spearheaded the project, which also included the design and installation of a reusable blanket for the plant’s steam boiler and accumulator. Airlite’s Pennsylvania facility is one of three plants the company operates that collectively process 65 million pounds of plastic each year.

“Airlite’s sheet extrusion dies are a pretty big chunk of metal that heats up to 400° Fahrenheit,” explained Ron Sibulsky, a manufacturer’s representative for Associated Steam Specialty Co. “Their operator stands above the equipment, so the dies put a lot of heat into the air.”

The blankets have openings so that machine operators can make adjustments to the extrusion line without having to remove them. The insulated covering eliminates temperature swings in the area around the equipment, eliminating the need for operators to wear forearm safety equipment to protect them from the heat.

The blankets are removed each month to make routine adjustments and perform maintenance, and the “best compliment for the reusable blankets come from our machine operators who continue to replace them,” said Tony Alfieri, Vice President and General Manager of Airlite’s Nazareth plant. “The blankets aren’t required for the plastics-making process — my guys would have put them in a box the first time they removed them if they weren’t beneficial, easy to take off, and easy to put back on."

Airlite now plans to install Shannon reusable insulation blankets on the Pennsylvania plant’s other lines.

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