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Article | March 11, 2012
PDC International Corp.: Adjustable steam tunnel system
PDC’s KST 80A-712 Steam Tunnel with Steam Venting Package featuring stainless dual wall construction is compatible with a wide range of containers, including those that are challenging to shrink consistently or require a second tunnel to complete the task.
The KST 80A-712 is a dual-zone system with five rows of steam distribution tubes on each side. Each row is adjustable for steam volume, flow and rotary position, so adjustments can be made without waiting for the tunnel to cool. A proprietary nozzle positioner directs steam during the shrinking process, optimizing steam resources and keeping utility costs low.
A moderate speed tunnel, operating up to 200 cpm depending upon container shape. The system precisely regulates steam flow in five distinct ways: step-down regulators, condensate traps, steam filtering, a proprietary steam valve and electronic regulation.
The Electronic Regulator developed by PDC monitors tunnel temperatures in real time, and makes continuous adjustments in steam release to compensate for the “thermal loads” of incoming product. This is particularly useful when the system is running full or cold containers. A digital controller indicates the target temperature, actual temperature, and percent open for the main steam valve, and controls the chamber temperature to + 2 degrees F.
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Containers can be filled or empty, and virtually any shape, including round, oval or square. PVC, PETG, OPS and PLA films, in gauges as thin as 30 micron, all shrink uniformly in the KST-80A. Designed to mount over existing conveyors, or PDC can provide conveyors specifically constructed for use in steam. Upgrades include product counters, lift stands, and two options for managing condensate. The first is a heated shroud that covers the containers inside the tunnel with a heated stainless steel channel. This prevents condensate drip and minimizes moisture around the cap or inside bottles while being labeled empty. Also available icondensate diverter package and a culinary grade steam filter that purifies incoming steam. Steam venting options include a stainless manifold to direct steam to the exhaust, and a blower stand with variable frequency drive.
For end-user packagers and contract packers who need a flexible and reliable shrink tunnel at a very economical cost. Designed as a versatile stand-alone system, but is effective as a pre or post-shrink module. Opening dimensions for the KST 80A are 7-in. wide x 12-in. high.
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