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Sought and found

Automated process system for optimum powder handling

A paint and lacquer manufacturer was looking for a new solution for its powder handling. In future, container emptying, powder transport, addition, wetting, dispersion, deagglomeration and mixing were to be carried out without dust and loss and without agglomerate formation. With a fully automated process system, the coatings can now be produced in better quality, in less time and in accordance with safety guidelines.

The Conti-TDS machine directs liquid and powder on separate paths into the wetting zone In the Conti-TDS, the powders are dispersed into the liquid under vacuum, which prevents the formation of agglomeratesg

It is not unusual for a paint manufacturer like Rilit from Endingen am Kaiserstuhl to smell of solvents and have open buckets of colored powders everywhere. It is all the more surprising that one hall is remarkably clean and almost dust-free: a new process plant has been put into operation here, which enables significantly optimized powder handling.

Rilit has been at home in the world of paints and coatings since 1959. Walter Ermisch took over the company more than 60 years ago from the then founder Richard Litterst. The small paint factory, which was still located in the center of Endingen until 1984, developed into a modern production facility for industrial paint systems, heat-seal lacquers and special coatings after moving to a nearby industrial estate and commissioning a spacious extension.

Managing Director Georg König explains: "We were looking for a way to mix in very light materials and visited the European Coatings Show in Nuremberg. There we became aware of the company ystral. Denis Hunn, process and application engineer at ystral from Ballrechten-Dottingen, adds: "We have a lot of experience with customers in the paints and coatings industry, and it was immediately clear to us that we could create significant added value for the customer with our technology."

Win-win situation

The search for an adapted solution was necessary, among other things, to minimize the risk of electrostatic discharge. "We also wanted to keep the loss of solvent in the manufacturing process as low as possible," says Georg König. With the closed system, this could be implemented perfectly, and the high degree of automation also eliminates potential sources of error. "So there were several problems that ystral solved for us," says König.

The companies Rilit and ystral are not only very close geographically - there are just 40 kilometers between Endingen and Ballrechten-Dottingen - "We have a very collegial relationship and help each other out when it comes to reference visits or solving specific problems," says Denis Hunn. "A customer quickly becomes a favorite customer," enthuses the project manager.

Georg König is also more than satisfied with ystral: "We felt we were in good hands right from the start, the ystral service technicians are at the production site very quickly when needed and solve any problems that arise within a very short time. Technically, we were impressed by the high level of safety and the energy efficiency of the system.

Effective work process

Several ystral systems are now in use at Rilit: the YSTRAL ContiTDS powder wetting and dispersing machine comes into play in order to be able to aspirate, wet and disperse powder. "We run batches of up to four tons in this larger system," explains Georg König. "We use a Dispermix to carry out various tests on a small scale in the laboratory. This has the advantage that subsequent production on the large system can be carried out smoothly." The Dispermix is a machine that can homogenize in the container and at the same time disperse or emulsify the product accordingly.

Dust and loss-free container emptying, powder transport and addition, wetting and dispersing through to complete deagglomeration can all be achieved with the Conti-TDS. The big advantage: the powders are not only wetted, but also dispersed into the liquid under vacuum, which prevents agglomerate formation. "Even powders that are difficult to wet, sticky or dusty can be
powders that are difficult to wet, sticky or dusty can be drawn in with the system without dust or loss, the powder drawn in is dispersed immediately and with a high shearing effect," adds Denis Hunn.

Georg König summarizes: "The biggest advantages of the ContiTDS for us are the prevention of solvent loss, the guarantee of explosion protection and the high degree of automation, which leads to the avoidance of sources of error. In addition, the system is very reliable and does not require intensive maintenance. Compared to previous processes with the same batch size, we were able to halve the production time with the ContiTDS. The shorter throughput time has made our production considerably more effective."

Mixing and loosening

In addition to the Conti-TDS, the process plant at Rilit also includes jet mixers and an FSA-5 powder fluidizer. With their rotor-stator principle, the mixers are characterized by a high circulation capacity and meet all requirements for complete, air-free and homogeneous mixing of the container contents. Difficult materials such as poor-flowing and bridge-forming powders can be processed easily and reliably using the powder fluidizer. The powder is mechanically loosened, which ensures a continuous powder flow at the transition to the respective machine.

In conclusion, the Rilit Managing Director emphasizes: "We have been working together very successfully since 2014 and are looking forward to the upcoming projects. We will also be relying on ystral's expertise and technology for our planned new company building."

Article preview "Verfahrenstechnik: Gesucht und gefunden"

Magazine: Process engineering
Issue: 07-08/2020

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