Four fast response, medium wave infra-red (IR) heating modules from Heraeus Noblelight are helping Tarkett Ltd to significantly reduce the danger of flooring product manufactured at their Maidstone factory being spoiled or damaged in the event of unanticipated power cut-out or unexpected stoppage of the production line.
The basic flooring production process consists of building up thicknesses of pvc paste on a pvc backing layer in 2m wide sections. This basic product then needs to be embossed and this requires the pvc layer to be softened before the web enters the embossing machine. Previously, this flash heat had been applied by means of standard medium wave infra-red emitters. However, in the event of line stoppage, these heaters had to be physically retracted and this relatively slow process meant that product in the heating zone could be damaged or spoiled.
To mitigate this danger, Tarkett decided to replace their existing IR heaters with four 22.5kW, fast response IR heaters from Heraeus. These can be switched on and off in a matter of seconds, so there is now no need for the module assembly to be retracted.
As John Williams, operations manager at Tarkett, explains, “The new heaters have proved eminently successful as we can now switch off the heaters virtually instantaneously, minimising the risk of any damage to the product. Retrofitting the new IR units has also been very simple, as they use the same power supply and the same control system as the previous IR heaters, so there was minimum production disruption.”