Well-thought through customised solutions from Van Beek ensure optimised production processes time and again. Just like the Belgian Xeikon, innovator in digital printing technology, where recently twin screw heat exchangers have been protecting high quality toner powders from critical melting temperatures.
“Our raw materials have changed, which means the melting behaviour of the toners has also changed. As a result we had to look for in-line heat dissipation with the right equipment for us”, says Mario Discart, production engineer at the Xeikon toner plant in Heultje in Belgium.
Two innovative spirits
The former Belgian manufacturer of digital presses and plate setters for the graphics and packaging market has since 2015 been in the hands of the Flint Group, the second largest ink producer in the world. Xeikon now produces 600 tonnes of toners per year for the Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions division. “Toner production is very complex, we have to engineer our machines ourselves”, says Discart. According to the production engineer, thinking in terms of solutions, short lines and customised work that Van Beek provides, ensures a business match between two innovative spirits.
Cleaning is crucial
The same applies in the area of simple, quick cleaning. A tough requirement, which Van Beek was able to meet to the satisfaction of Discart. The toner producer works with high quality pigments. By setting high standards for quality, good cleaning of the screw conveyors is crucial when changing over from the production of one colour to another, a six-weekly process. Discart says, “Cleaning is largely carried out automatically with compressed air, which means that 90 percent of the remaining powder is blown away. After that the screw conveyor is easy to dismantle”. For optimum cleaning the design has extendable rails, which ensures that the screws can be removed quickly and easily. The screw shafts can be removed for quick and thorough cleaning. A necessary cleaning job that since the implementation of the new screw heat exchangers save half a day’s work.
To the great satisfaction of the production engineer the twin screw heat exchangers do away with agglomeration. “Powder particles must absolutely not stick together, otherwise you get clumping. Previously we had problems with this, because of the low melting temperatures of the powders. This cooling of the powders solves this problem, says Discart, who is very satisfied with solution offered, “For us a combination of transport, cooling and quick cleaning is important. Van Beek comes up absolute trumps in the area of engineering, customised work, collaborative thinking and pleasant cooperation!”
Perry Verberne, director of Van Beek, is also very positive about the cooperation and what he sees as a unique project: “Xeikon is a classic example of how Van Beek wants to work. All the aspects for which we are responsible in the area of design, production and further development came together here. We were able to build test machines live into the production line and talk at length with the customer about their wishes in order to finally build a customised design.”