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Innovative Screw-type Vacuum Pump Screw Vacuum Saves Energy and Water

| Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Dopla, one of Europe’s major producers of plastic tableware and disposable food containers, has chosen Robuschi vacuum pumps based on screw compressor technology for its thermoforming operations. The new Robox WS 65/2V/3F screw vacuum compressor unit has improved process efficiency while reducing consumption of both power and water.

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The production line at Dopla’s Treviso factory has benefited considerably from the new Robuschi vacuum unit.
The production line at Dopla’s Treviso factory has benefited considerably from the new Robuschi vacuum unit.
(Picture: Robuschi)

Dopla is one of the leading names in Europe for the manufacture of plastic tableware and disposable food containers. The company was founded in the early 1960s in the Italian town of Casale sul Sile, between Treviso and Venice, where it still has its headquarters. Since then, Dopla has grown to the point where it now has factories and distribution systems across Europe. As a partner of all the main international distribution chains for products of this type, Dopla is constantly seeking to improve its products and processes.

Recently, the company installed the new Robuschi Robox WS 65/2V/3F vacuum screw compressor unit on the production line at its Treviso factory. The compressor operates in a similar way to a standard screw compressor, but produces vacuum instead of compressed air. Compared to the liquid-ring vacuum pumps it replaces, the Robox unit saves a considerable amount of electricity and water. Most significantly from a process point of view, it also provides an extremely constant vacuum level of around 300 mbar(a).

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One Vacuum Package Replaces Six Pumps

The project began when Dopla decided to replace the old liquid-ring vacuum pumps installed on its thermoforming equipment. The company was looking for a solution that would not only improve the performance of the production line but also increase energy efficiency. “Our initial idea was to use either new liquid-ring vacuum pumps or oil-sealed rotary vane pumps,” says Antonio Bergo, head of the production department at Dopla. “But that idea was soon abandoned. The vacuum screw compressor technology offered by Robuschi seemed the most efficient solution straight away. It’s a perfect match for the needs of our type of production. This new technology guarantees a high level of vacuum and enables us to make significant savings.”

“The line configuration also changed. Whereas previously there was a vacuum pump for each of the six thermoforming machines, the Robuschi solution now allows us to have just one centralized vacuum system,” adds Bergo.

The combination of screw compressor technology and equipment rationalization has led to considerable savings. “The new system has drastically reduced our utilities consumption,” Bergo says. “We are now using only half as much water as before, and our savings in electricity are more than 30 %. In addition, we’ve decommissioned a chiller unit used to cool the service liquid for the old liquid-ring pumps, which has meant further energy advantages and simpler system management. That’s a major result, especially bearing in mind the high cost of energy in Italy compared with most of our European competitors.”

“Our strong belief in sustainability was a major factor when it came to choosing the most efficient technology — which is why the choice fell on Robuschi,” says Bergo. “Being a force to be reckoned with in one’s field of operation implies being aware of the greater responsibility bestowed on you by your partners and customers. This responsibility calls for carefully weighed choices, even when it comes to plant engineering technology.”

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