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Chris Crittenden with Maguire Vacuum Dryer

At AMI ‘Plastics in Africa’ Conference, Maguire Cited Case Histories of African Firms that Increased Productivity and Lowered Costs with Use of Automated Material Handling Systems

DUBAI, December 6, 2016: The profitability of many plastics processing companies in Africa is held back by reliance on labor-intensive and inadequately controlled handling of the very thing that accounts for up to 80% of production costs: raw materials.

This was the message of Chris Crittenden in a presentation at AMI’s Plastics in Africa 2016 conference, held in Dubai on December 5. Mr. Crittenden is managing director of Maguire IMEA, which sells and supports Maguire Products plastics auxiliary equipment in the Middle East, India, and Africa. His presentation, Trends in Raw Materials Control, showed how the automation capabilities of Maguire® systems for dosing, blending, drying, loading, and conveying help increase productivity, lower costs, and enhance quality.

Drawing on his experience with processors in Africa, Mr. Crittenden said that common issues at many of these companies are labor-intensive processes that increase costs and cause errors and waste; inadequately organized systems for managing material handling; and lack of awareness of equipment and software advances that can address these issues.

“It is time to eliminate the human error that arises with manually weighing and mixing materials and move on to automated systems,” Mr. Crittenden said. “If the material flow rate is not monitored, each batch may contain incorrect dispense weights, whereas automated control delivers exact quantities of the materials you need at just the right time. Ensuring the correct weight of each material prevents you from using more virgin resin, regrind, or additive than is necessary, which not only ensures product quality and consistency but controls consumption of costly materials such as specialty polymers and additives.”

A key component in automated systems is the Maguire® Weigh Scale Blender (WSB), the world’s most widely used gravimetric blender. Special software enables other components in a processing line to communicate with WSBs, creating a plant-wide system accessible on a company computer network. “Our systems make it possible to build databases on materials and recipes, see trends appear both in real time and historically, and produce detailed material reports over a range of parameters,” Mr. Crittenden said.

He cited three case histories involving processors in Africa:

---Accurate blending. A sheet manufacturer in East Africa was unable to achieve accurate dosing of regrind flake with an existing blending system. The company then installed a Maguire WSB with four material receivers and an integrated vacuum loading system. By weighing all materials, the blender immediately made it possible to maximize regrind usage and adjust masterbatch dosing in accordance with accurate data on the weight of regrind and natural virgin resin. The system maximized output, reduced scrap, and minimized labor and handling.

---Automated conveying. Maguire helped a company in Kenya to improve control over raw materials and reduce labor, handling, and weekend operation in a small production cell of ten processing machines. The company had been moving 2,000 25-kg bags of material around the plant each day, or more than 1.5 million tons per year. With Maguire’s assistance, the company installed silos, debagging systems, and automated systems for conveying materials to the processing machines. As a result, the company reduced wastage and scrap, gained a better understanding and control of material usage, and streamlined its operation, providing greater versatility and facilitating planning.

---Vacuum drying. A South African injection molder was having problems achieving sufficient drying of different colored polyamide materials and was unable to meet the production timing requirements of customers. By switching from a conventional desiccant dryer to a Maguire vacuum dryer, the company dried materials six time more rapidly, ensuring product quality and consistency. It was now able to meet its deadlines, and the dryer made it possible to reduce energy consumption, scrap, and floor space.


MAGUIRE PRODUCTS, INC., headquartered in Aston, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is the world’s largest supplier of gravimetric blenders, liquid color pumps, and vacuum dryers and also manufactures loading systems, auger feeders, granulators and related equipment and software. Its customers include injection, blow, and rotational molders, extrusion processors, and compounders. Founded in 1977, Maguire operates six manufacturing facilities in Aston. The company maintains a network of distributors in the Americas and overseas and has three sales and service subsidiaries that stock, sell, and service auxiliary equipment systems from Maguire and its affiliate, Novatec, Inc.: Maguire Canada, Maguire Europe, Maguire Asia, and Maguire IMEA. Visit

Maguire Products, Inc., 11 Crozerville Road, Aston, PA 19014 USA. Tel: 1-610-459-4300. Maguire Canada, 299 Basaltic Road, Unit 1, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 4W8. Tel: 905-879-1100. Maguire Europe, Vanguard, Tame Park, Tamworth, Staffordshire B77 5DY United Kingdom. Tel: 44-1827-265-850. Maguire Europe (Italy), Maguire Italia SRL, Padova, Italy. Tel: 39-049-970-5429. Maguire Asia, Maguire Products Asia Pte Ltd., 15 Changi North Street 1, #01-15, I-Lofts, Singapore 498765. Tel: 65-6848-7117. Maguire Asia (China), Maguire Products Asia Co. Ltd., 7C-02 Majesty Building, 138 Pu Dong Avenue, Shanghai 200120 China. Tel: 86-21-588-23410. Maguire IMEA FZCO (Middle East, India, Africa), LOB180706-6, Floor 7, JAFZA View 18, Jebel Ali Downtown, P.O. Box 17493, Dubai, UAE. Tel: 971-4-881-6700.