Summit Systems Ltd.

Enabling breakthrough technology is a key objective for the Telford-based Polymer Cluster. “Forging links between business and the higher education sector is key”, says Polymer Cluster Champion Paul Hackney. Recently, Cluster funding has enabled Summit Systems Ltd., a leading manufacturer and supplier of drying equipment to the plastic processing industry, to take advantage of the research and development facilities at the University of Warwick.

The beginning of April this year will see a Warwick MSc student, under the guidance of the Polymer Cluster’s delivery partner, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), engaged in the testing of a new drying technology currently being developed at Summit Systems. The new concept is based on vacuum drying, which is more efficient and economical compared to commonly used hot air and dehumidifying dryers.

In order to conduct more in depth studies and validation of Summit’s new concept, two low pressure driers have been installed in the moulding shop at WMG and experiments will be conducted to analyse material properties during the drying process and after moulding. Micro structural analysis of moulded samples processed through different dryers will also be carried out.

“There are at least six plastic materials to be observed in three types of dryer and the samples’ mechanical properties to be tested during this study”, says Dr Gordon Smith, Research Director at WMG. “This research will inform the enhancement of process capability, especially while processing medical products and high quality precision components.”