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Enhancing energy efficiency with KBA's new VariDryBLUE

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

The new-generation KBA VariDry dryer is no plutonium-powered "blue" time machine, though a time-leap "back to the future" certainly would be a sensation. But Doc Brown from the cult sci-fi classic hasn't cornered the market in ingenious inventions – our new VariDryBLUE infrared/hot-air dryer redefines the benchmark in energy efficiency. Drying at high production speeds while achieving enormous energy savings has thus been transformed from a distant vision to immediate reality.

Counting the calories
Dryers basically consume a lot of power. Did you know that the infrared/hot-air drying process accounts for around 40 per cent of the total energy consumed by a printing press? The dryer is thus one of the biggest energy guzzlers in the entire print production chain. And who wants a hyperactive electricity meter? Put your dryer on a low-energy diet! Have no fear, you won't have to hang up your wet coated sheets on a washing line and let them dry in the sun and the wind in order to conserve electricity. 

So how would you describe your "dream" dryer? Short drying time. Perfect results. Maximum gloss effects. Minimum energy consumption. And all that in one device! Can't be done? Can be done! The VariDryBLUE is the embodiment of your dream. This new generation of VariDry IR/hot-air dryers was specifically engineered to dry high-gloss coatings energy efficiently and to a superior standard of quality. VariDryBLUE slashes power consumption by as much as 50 per cent, even at maximum output levels, while at the same time supporting high production speeds. What is more, it is easy to access when the sheet guides need to be cleaned. Following their official market launch at Ipex 2010 from 18 to 25 May our new range of VariDryBLUE IR/hot-air dryers will be available for all large-format Rapida presses configured with triple delivery extensions. They can even be retrofitted on existing press lines.

Conserve your heat, don't waste it!
Recovering and re-utilising ambient circulating air in the VariDryBLUE dryer can substantially reduce power consumption compared to conventional IR/hot-air dryers. And this is how it works: the air drawn in is heated by two rows of lamps to the drying temperature pre-selected at the console. Optimised air nozzles with a uniform flow profile along their entire length are used to ensure that the air is distributed evenly onto the substrate surface. The unsaturated hot air from modules 1 and 2 in the delivery extension is recirculated through the system (see foto 2). The recirculated air can subsequently be reused in module 3 and in the swan neck. With this method it is possible to reduce the installed heating power by 2 x 17.5kW. Reusing the warm air several times over also has the advantage of reducing the volume of exhaust air compared to other conventional IR/hot-air dryers. With our new VariDryBLUE dryer energy is utilised with maximum efficiency, not blasted out into the environment.

Measuring efficiency in euros
The savings potential can best be demonstrated using an example from the shopfloor: a five-colour item of packaging was printed and given a protective coating on a Rapida 142 six-colour coater press with triple extended delivery and IR/hot-air dryer. The power consumed by the dryer during the production run was measured. The model calculation was based on an average price of 13 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity, although this may of course vary according to the energy provider and region. The sustainability of the VariDryBLUE dryer is reflected in the potential savings. Calculated over an average machine life of eight years, a few kilowatts and cents quickly mount up to a sizeable item: the reduction in power consumption delivered a saving of approximately €140,000 ($198,000). In the long term – and at a time when energy prices are rocketing – you can achieve big cash savings.

So although the laws of physics may mean that a journey through time will remain nothing more than a vision, you can still fulfil your dream!

Compelling benefits of KBA VariDry BLUE:
- More efficient energy utilisation = lower energy consumption, fewer carbon emissions
- Lower energy consumption = fewer overhead costs
- Higher production speeds
- Lower specific energy consumption per good sheet
- Smaller volume of exhaust air
- Enhanced image quality = less powder consumption




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