Piovan, a manufacturer of auxiliary equipment for plastics industry based in Italy, is selected by BMW to supply its Modula drying systems to the Germany auto maker’s i3 and i8 production sites.
Modula is the auto adaptive and energy efficient drying system with multiple hopper assembly that Piovan launched in the market in late 2010. Recently the company obtained a specific patient in certification of the innovation of this drying system.
Out of the testing period that lasted six months, at which five major suppliers of auxiliary equipment took part. According to Piovan, Modula was chosen by BMW for its efficiency of operation, energy utilization, auto adaptivity and constancy of process conditions.
The first phrase of the project saw BMW installs six production lines. Two Modula drying systems were supplied by Piovan, which are configured to support an expansion to 12 production lines. Each system is configured with single dry air generator and seven drying hoppers with volumes ranging from 600-1,000L.
The purpose of hygroscopic plastic drying is to reduce moisture content to the required levels. This operation is generally performed by circulating hot dry air inside a drying hopper.
At BMW, the two Modula systems that Piovan supplied, automatically adjust and control all operating parameters for each individual hopper and hence use only the overall amount of energy strictly required. This is made possible through a specific controls software that interfaces the settings for each hopper with the data collected by the sensors installed on the system.
This means that, by using a Piovan patented measuring unit located in the air supply line and under each hopper, the airflow can be adjusted and controlled instantaneously and independently hopper by hopper. In addition, the total airflow is modulated automatically and efficiently by the central drying unit, equipped with IE3 class blowers, resulting in optimum process operating conditions.
The materials utilized by BMW are mainly blends, with polypropylene (PP) or polycarbonate (PC) base, like PP/EPDM and PC/SAN. The plastic part is first injection molded and immediately transferred to the painting lines, a very sensitive phase of the production process where silicone particles are banned.
Therefore, Modula, with the absence of silicone components/parts within the system, is suitable for BMW’s applications, explains Piovan. Along with Modula, BMW was supplied with Varyo auto-adjustable vacuum conveying systems, MDW gravimetric blenders and Winfactory supervisory system from Piovan.