IMAL-PAL Group on WBPI - Wood Based Panels International magazine, issue n.5-2021 (October-November).
Focus on Italy.
IMAL-PAL Group in “WOOD BIOENERGY”, August issue 2021.
PAL's article on news in Pellet world.
The local press has printed an article about us and the Bioedil facility in Iglesias (Sardinia), where a plant designed by the IMAL PAL Group is being set up to produce insulation board for green building from cork.
IMAL-PAL Group on WBPI - Wood Based Panels International magazine, issue n.4-2020 (August-September).
Focus on market situation and new technologies.
IMAL-PAL Group on Bioenergy International magazine, issue n.5-2019 (December).
Editorial about IMALPAL Group on Pellet world.
IMALPAL in WOOD BASED PANELS INTERNATIONAL features, 2019 September.
PAL in PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA magazine, 2019 May/June issue.
Cyclops optical sorter & Stepper Screen.
PAL on WBPI magazine, 2018 October/November issue.
In May 2018 another Cleaning Tower was successfully commissioned at the Sonae Arauco plant in Portugal.
IMAL-PAL Group on WBPI - Wood Based Panels International magazine, issue n.5-2018 (October-November).
Front cover page of the magazine.
IMAL-PAL Group nella rivista WBPI, uscita di agosto/settembre 2018.
Stronger together in IMALPAL Group.
Contribution from IMAL
Imal, as experts in resinaton systems for over 40 years, has recently designed the Hi-Jet system, which sprays the resin into the blow line at over 100 bar to achieve a perfect distribution of the resin over the fibres. Early research began with microscope analysis of the resin crystals from which we discovered that a reduction in the size of the crystals used on line achieves much better resin distribution over the fibres. Consequently, a lower resin load is required to achieve the same desired board properties.
The IMAL design sprayer nozzles are the only ones of their king on the market. Our system does not mix the resin with steam, but adds the steam in small quantities into the blow line through separate nozzles, mounted opposite the glue nozzles, to help open up the fibres and hence achieve a better distribution. The glue is sprayed through special sprayers that keep the pressure constant, even if flow rate varies. This is extremely important, because if the production line is to run at a different rate due to a change in panel thickness, and the resin flow rate rises from 10-50 kg per minute, then our nozzles keep the pressure at 100 bar, or at the set pressure.
Another big benefit of injecting the steam separately is the lack of any need to constantly open and close the blow valve. In the IMAL system, the blow valve is opened completely and then the steam is dosed to maintain the counter pressure at the refiner. Basically, the amount of steam applied is inversely proportional to fibre flow rate, thus the more fibre we have, the less steam is applied and vice versa, when fibre flow rate falls, steam consumption will rise. The system is currently producing excellent result installed in over 63 panel production facilities, 40 of which produce MDF.
Another significant innovation is the Dynasteam, which injects steam into the mat before entering the press without creating damp spots. Independent steam distribution areas on each of the two sides, also vary the amount of steam across the board width. There are no thickness limits with Dynasteam, which can accommodate 2-50 mm thick panels. Recently, steam on a PB line increased line speed by over 20%. It is also possible on all MDF lines to achieve a 10-15% increase, which can be even higher when producing thick panels. On a large MDF line in Northern Europe, where for various reasons, the customer was not interested in running the line faster after putting the Dynasteam into operation, other production benefits also became evident because when steam is injected into the mat, the core reaches 100° C, much earlier than it would normally.
Thus, after applying steam on the line, the internal bond value rose by 15% and the operator began lowering the resin load to return to the IB value required for production. This drop in resin addition automatically leads to resin savings, which has to be an on-going cost-effective production benefit.
IMAL celebrated 45 years of business in the manufacture of equipment and complete plants for the production of particleboard, MDF and OSB panels on 4 April 2015. Since it started from scratch in a tiny industrial area, the IMAL-PAL group has now grown to total over 350 employees working at the 5 facilities they have in Italy.
Continual innovation, the design of new technology and products, and a sales turnover forecast for 2015 of around 120 million euro, are what make the IMAL-PAL group today one of the largest in this industrial field.
The EC program “Life”, an opportunity for businesses.
The definition of new processes is supported by a partnership between companies and the European Union, with financial resources for the development of real innovation. The experience of projects “Hprs” by Imal and “Plastic Killer” by Pal.
The European Community provides companies based in its territory with funds to support research and development, innovation and introduction of innovative products to the market. These funds are contributed by all member countries. As we know, Italy is not among the best users of such funds, with the result that we actually give financial resources to foreign competitors.
Some virtuous companies are trying to change things, also in our industry, leveraging the opportunities offered by Europe. One of these is the Imal-Pal group, an Italian leader in the construction of complete wood-based panel plants, and a member of Acimall. These two companies are mid-sized, well-organized and growing, against the current trend of crisis and stagnation.
In this article we present two projects supported by the “Life” program, a funding instrument for technological innovation with an eye to environment and sustainability, aiming at reducing environmental impact through an optimized use of resources. Acimall is involved as partner in these projects for information and promotion.
HIGH PRESSURE RESINATION SYSTEM
Imal’s project “Hprs-High Pressure Resination System” (www.hprsproject.eu) is designed to minimize the quantity of resin (glue) in wood-based panels.
The starting point is conventional manufacturing processes, where wood chips or fibers are conveyed at high speed through drums where the glue mixture is injected through nozzles at fixed pressure and spread without any accurate control of the proportions between resin and wood. This results into panels with a resin content equal to 30 percent of their weight (Mdf). The most popular resins, in view of the structural properties they lend to the panel, are based on urea and formaldehyde, whereby the latter is partially released into the environment and is harmful to health.
The “Hprs” solutions adopts special nozzles (injectors) provided with a variable diameter orifice to adjust and control resin pressure while preserving its high speed, in order to achieve a quick and even distribution of glue onto the chip or strand layer. “Hprs” also introduces a surface-related instead of weight-related process, i.e. the quantity of resin is proportional to the surface to be glued rather than to the weight of wood particles, which is more sensible and logical. This approach helps reduce excessive resin consumption and consequently achieve an optimal mixing process.
Simply stated, if resin is dosed and spread more efficiently, you can reduce the exceeding quantity, which was necessary in the conventional process to compensate for inaccurate distribution monitoring.
Significant results are expected: “Hprs” cuts resin consumption by 10 to 20 percent, according to the panel type and the previous process. As glue represents approximately 80 percent of panel costs, the benefit is significant. In addition, you save 15 percent energy in the mixing process, plus another 5 percent in Mdf drying. If you should apply “Hprs” to the entire production of wood-based panels in Italy and worldwide, you would get a massive reduction of carbon footprint. So, the benefits are not only for business, but also for environment and health.
After twelve months of design and inspections in different factories for the definition of operating parameters, Imal has built a prototype line in collaboration with their Spanish partner Colomer, installing it at the end of August at another patner, Xilopan in Cicognola (Pavia).
Installation and startup were fully successful, thanks to optimal scheduling of equipment downtime for maintenance and other activities required to restore the full operations of Xilopan’s process line from September 1. In October they started to check consumption rates, the variation of process parameters and the subsequent mechanical checks in order to improve measured performance. Early data collections indicate a 15 percent reduction of glue consumption; the results will have to be confirmed by different tests to achieve validation by the end of January, in line with the schedule.
The industrialization of new components has already translated into a reduction of nozzle costs below one half of the expected cost. Meanwhile, three batches of 500 cubic meters of prototype panels will be produced, one batch for each type of panel, namely particleboard, Mdf and Osb. Prototypes will be tested according to technical standards on the quality and performance of wood-based panels.
The “Plastic Killer” project (www.plastickiller.eu) by Pal is an innovative system to remove all plastic residues from recycled wood, so that it can be used instead of virgin wood to make high-quality panels or clean fuel.
Currently, panels, especially Mdf, are made from virgin wood and only a small portion of recycled wood (up to 10 percent, according to Pal’s own market surveys). The reason is that the process to clean recycled wood from impurities and other materials requires several stages but cannot eliminate all foreign parts completely. So, Mdf panels are low quality, not suitable to meet the technical standards for panel quality. At present, no system exists to achieve an adequate separation of impurities, but demand is growing for clean recycled wood to replace virgin wood.
“Plastic Killer” fills this gap, providing totally purified recycled wood that can be used to make high-quality, compliant Mdf panels, more sustainably and cost-effectively: it has been estimated that up to 60 percent of production might come from recycled wood.
The wood processed by "Plastic Killer" is so pure that it can also be used as biomass for clean energy generation, without the risk of pollutants released from plastic materials, as the latter are completely eliminated.
This will help reduce the use of a limited resource such as virgin wood, sparing it for applications that cannot do without, and extending the lifecycle of already used material. The project will encourage wood recycling in the European Union, paving the way to new business and job opportunities, and contributing to relieving the pressure on dumping sites in the medium term.
Benefits from an economic and environmental standpoint are significant. With only 58 kilowatt installed power, the plant can process about 30 cubic meters per hour of wood wastes, equal to some 78 tons daily. Removed plastics can also be recycled, and Pal estimates that there will be 750 kilos each day based on their experience. If waste wood must be used as fuel, removing plastic residues heavily cuts polluting emissions.
Going back to wood, if it is used to make Mdf panels, it avoids cutting 40 trees every day, which means 9,600 trees annually (considering working days only). Considering carbon dioxide (CO2) trapped in trees (approx. 0.9 equivalent tons per cubic meter) and no longer released during transport (based on an average forest-to-factory distance of 300 km and the emissions from trucks by km and ton), you get a total reduction of CO2 emissions y approximately 88 equivalent tons each day.
From an economic standpoint, assuming average virgin wood costs of 70 Euro/ton, versus 40 Euro for recycled wood, savings are huge and estimated at 2,340 Euro daily, which means more than 500 thousand Euro annually.
Finally, “Plastic Killer”, unlike other conventional plants, uses no water. Considering the volume of processed wasted indicated above, water saving amounts to more than nine thousand cubic meters annually, equal to the average consumption of 46 European families.
Machine parameters were defined and its design completed in line with the planned schedule; prototype construction is starting soon and installation is planned in January 2015.
We will keep you updated from these pages about the developments of these projects and the achieved results, as well as other similar projects.
Acimall Technical Office director
VIETNAM FIRM ORDERS MDF LINE
The IMAL-PAL Group reports it has won the order for the supply of a complete continuous press line to MDF QUAG TRI – VRG (Vietnam Rubber Group) in Vietnam.
The contract was signed in April 2014 and the line is scheduled to start production within 20 months.
Plant capacity will be approximately 120,000 m3/year, but all the major equipment has been sized to process more than 180,000 m3 of board a year with thickness varying from 2 to 30 mm. The line will produce board widths varying from 9-7 ft. at a maximum pressing speed of 1500 mm/sec.
The continuous DYNASTEAMPRESS, fully designed and constructed by IMAL in Italy, combines steam and thermal oil for board cure, thus cutting press times by 30% with respect to standard continuous presses. With the supply of this press, following that of IPAN, Italy, the number of continuous DYNAPRESSES produced by the IMAL-PAL group has risen to six.
The IMAL scope of supply, in addition to the Dynasteampress, also includes the engineering of the entire factory, technological support, diagonal saw, board handling, automatic stores, all the electric control, on line quality controls, laboratory equipment and the HI jet Blow line resination system which can reduce resin consumption with respect to standard systems by over 20%.
PAL will supply a high performance rotary debarker to remove the bark from acacia logs, Dynascreen and the DCC for dry cleaning the chips, two vertical chip silos and the fibre former. The former distribution head will be equipped with a system that is able to automatically modify the transversal mat weight profile on the basis of the information received from an IMAL X-ray operated system placed on the mat, downstream of the press.
The whole log feeding line, chipping and waste bark refiner will be supplied by GLOBUS, another member of the IMAL-PAL group.
IMAL PAL GROUP the sole supplier for all your quality control requirements!!!
The IMAL PAL Group offers the most extensive range of quality control equipment currently available on the market today.
The on line quality control equipment offered includes the WINTHICK thickness gauge, the WINBLISTER blow detector, the combined WINBLICK thickness and blow detector, the WINLEV thickness gauge for the sanding line, the FBC100 full bond blister classifier, the CDP700 on line density scanner, the ISO30X X-ray mat weight per area analyser, the FDM100 X-ray density scanner, the UM700 infrared moisture meter, the UM900 microwave moisture meter, the UM300 moisture meter, the specially designed UC950 microwave moisture meter to measure chip moisture content upon delivery to the facility, the BPM and BPP mat and panel weighing systems and lastly the automatic FWR mat transversal weight regulation system.
Safety quality controls include the SDS-1, SDS-4 and SDS-BUS spark detection and extinguishing systems, which are able to handle all requirements in terms of spark detection and extinguishing, from a minimal one point control (SDS-1), through to monitoring an entire area with one electronic unit controlling 4 spark detection and extinguishing points (SDS-4), right up to a network system capable of controlling 8 zones, each consisting of 90 areas, to monitor the whole facility, thus minimizing cable costs and relative laying (SDS-BUS). In addition, IMAL PAL Group also offers the APX X-ray cyclone plugging detector for MDF production and lastly the PSD300 press safety device to identify and discard foreign bodies in the mat prior to the pressing process.
The range of laboratory control equipment includes the GA717-2 and GA717-4 lab formaldehyde emission testers (with 2 and 4 testing chambers respectively), the FIBERCAM 100 fibre optical screen along with the SCREENCAM100 for chip screening, the DPX300 density profile analyser and its compact DPX300-LTE version, the IBX700 laboratory tester for testing a host of mechanical properties, including density profile, recording all the details in a single database, the IB700 laboratory tester , the SWELLING & BOIL water bath for carrying out the swelling/absorption tests, the UM2000 moisture meter, of which 630 units have been sold worldwide, together with its compact UM2000-LTE version, the GEL TIMER for measuring resin gel time, the VM100 vibrating sifter, the LGB laboratory glue blender, the VU100 infrasonic sifter and the AUTOLAB, an automatic laboratory manufactured exclusively by the IMAL PAL Group.
No other player on the market is able to offer such a vast range of equipment to meet the specific work process quality control requirements.
Visit our website for more details and where you will find the answer to all your requirements: www.imalpal.com
Traditionally, the IMAL-PAL Group has focussed its R&D activities on designing equipment and systems that can offer a noteworthy contribution to cutting panel production costs, one of the top priorities for panel manufacturers today.
The DynaSteam is without doubt the most innovative of the proposals that will be showcased at Xylexpo 2014. The unit is rapidly installed on any continuous press line and, thanks to its flexibility, may be used to increase line production capacity by between 15 and 30% or to lower production costs by cutting resin consumption by at least 10%.
The economical impact that this unit could have on line management is easily calculated and the end result will always be “an investment which is paid back within a few months”.
Another innovation which IMAL will be presenting at the Xylexpo 2014 is its latest high pressure resination system for PB, MDF and OSB, which can reduce resin consumption by between 10 and 25%.
The resin injection system consists of a high pressure pump, a micronizer to crush and homogenize the resin crystals to achieve a better distribution and a set of special sprayer nozzles that keep nebulising pressure constant as the flow rate of the dosed resin varies.
This resination technique distributes the resin over the wood in a much more uniform manner to ultimately improve the physical-mechanical properties of the panel, thus consenting a reduction in the amount of resin utilized in the process.
R&D activities have also been pursued in the direction of on-line process control systems for monitoring production quality real time.
The FBC100 is the result of intense IMAL R&D activity to produce the first and only system in the world that can offer 100% monitoring of the board’s surface for blisters and/or delamination defects. Furthermore, the FBC100 provides a host of information on production, such as cure, moisture content, and internal bond, to optimize pressing parameters to achieve an end product that corresponds perfectly to production requirements.
These are just some of the interesting new products which IMAL will be offering its customers at this year’s edition of the Xylexpo.
Over the last twelve months, the IMAL-PAL group has strengthened its position as a leader in the wood-based panel industry, thanks to ongoing R&D activities and to the operational synergy formed with Globus, who recently joined the group, to complete the already wide range of products offered.
The Imal-Pal group maintained its position in 2013 as a world leader in the production and supply of complete plants, machinery and innovative systems for the manufacture and processing of particleboard, MDF, OSB, insulation board, pellets and pallet blocks.
The group further strengthened its presence on the market when it was joined by Globus Srl, a merge which has completed and amplified the wide range of services and products offered.
Pal will be presenting its new Cleaning Tower at the Xylexpo which is able to clean all kinds of pollutants from the flow of wood chips. This new cleaning technology combines three grading principles: the first being that of demetallization accomplished with highly efficient magnetic systems, the second adopts the principle of aerodynamics, where inert substances are separated from the wood particle flow by a jet of air which removes them on the basis of their density, surface and shape; and lastly the spectrographic principle which optically identifies the spectrum of the wood and all the other contaminants and, by applying jets of compressed air, separates out all the materials which are not wood. With this principle it is also possible to identify black bodies which, despite being unclassified material, may be separated out from the wood.
IMAL’s article about Resination Systems.
IMAL has specialized in the supply of resination systems for over 40 years, being the only supplier to have sold more than 850 systems world wide. Resin savings are guaranteed with its Dyna Hi Jet system in contrast to other systems, that simply spray the resin with steam, which every manufacturer can do themselves.
Development first began by analysing the resin crystals, the size of which was reduced on line to provide a more even distribution over the fibres. A high pressure pump which disperses the resin at over 100 bar is sprayed through special IMAL designed injector nozzles, which are designed to maintain a constant pressure, even when flow rates vary. This is important, because when on-line production variables affect resin flow rates which can go from 10 to 50 kg/min, the sprayer nozzles will maintain a constant pressure of 100 bar. IMAL’s sprayer nozzles are of a unique design, since the system does not mix steam with resin, but sprays it in small quantities into the blow line through separate sprayer nozzles. These are positioned opposite the resin nozzles, to help open the fibres to achieve a better distribution. The quantity of resin that can be saved typically ranges between 8% to over 20%, depending on the amount that is used in the process prior to installation,
Injecting the steam separately has the added advantage of being able to eliminate the troublesome blow valve, as the blow valve is opened completely and the steam is dosed to maintain constant counter-pressure in the Refiner. The resultant effect is that the more fibre that is present, the less steam is used and vice versa. The lower the fibre flow, the more steam will be needed. The present system is currently achieving excellent results on some 40 MDF lines. For example, a customer in the Far East has installed five IMAL systems on five of its MDF lines. A customer in Korea, after installing the first system on their MDF Line 1, promptly ordered a second system for Line 2.
Another leading development is the Dynasteam system, which injects steam into the mat before it enters the press. IMAL has installed around 50 such systems, which rely on a special box that houses 9,000 parts and distributes the steam without forming damp spots. In addition, there are three independent steam distribution zones on each of the two sides, so that the amount of steam injected can be varied across the width of the board. A recent installation on a particleboard line in Spain, where the press factor had dropped to 3.1 sec/mm, resulted in a 23% increase in production, following the application of steam,
It is possible to achieve a minimum 15% increase level on all MDF lines, which can run with ease in producing 2-50mm panels. In a recent installation on an MDF line in Britain, the customer was not interested in running the line faster. However, after putting the Dynasteam into operation the benefits became obvious. When steam is injected into the mat, the core reaches 100°C much faster than is normal, thus after applying steam on the large MDF line, the internal bond value increased by 15%. The operator therefore began lowering the amount of resin added to return to the IB value required for production. Thus resin consumption fell by 13 kg/m³, which, on the basis of the customer’s calculations, implied an annual saving of over £1mn, or $1.5mn/yr.
Mike Botting 报道
近几年，如同它的姐妹公司意玛，帕尔公司正在经历营业额以及相应员工数量的显著增长。在我六月份拜访期间，位于Ponte di Piave, Treviso的公司办公楼的扩建工作正在进行，这个新建筑将在八月开放。
“我们已经对我们的设备进行了大量的改进，还研发了很多新设备；并且在生物质领域开拓了一个非常广阔的市场。”安东尼奥·德尔本（Antonio Dal Ben）这样说道，他和别人在1978年联合创建了帕尔公司。
DYNASTEAM : New Steam Technology For Mat Preheater
IMAL’s patented method for injecting steam into the mat prior to pressing does not create condensation or spots. This new patented method is rather unique and the results are excellent. “The pre-heater can be installed on any kind of continuous press, it does not require foundations, and takes just one day’s production shutdown to install. Benefits gained with this application include the following”.
Production capacity increase
Saturated dry steam injected into the two surfaces superheats the mat so that the core reaches 100°C well before it would normally do. This increases capacity on MDF lines by over 20% and the additional costs only apply only to wood, resin and power. Steam requirements are very low at around 1 t/h for a line producing 1,000 m3/day of MDF.
Fixed costs are not affected hence “excellent profits may be made”.
Some plants do not have extra drying capacity, or wood preparation to handle an increase in production, but this does not mean that other benefits offered by Dynasteam should be excluded. At each maintenance shut-down or for some other reason for example, the bins are normally full when the line is restarted. “However, if Dynasteam is installed the line can operate 25% faster, while the material is still in excess. Furthermore, production capacity remains the same with all thicknesses across 12-15mm board or 38-45mm board.
Production losses restricted
if the type of resin used is changed to E0 instead of E1 for instance, the press factor can decrease by up to 18%. However, “by using the Dynasteam this loss is easily regained” by a return to the same production speed obtained with the other resin.
Better degassing process
The wider an MDF line, the more likely it is that the internal bond is lower in the centre than at the sides, because degassing is more problematic in the centre. With the application of the Dynasteam, it has been noted that the internal bond is more homogenous over the entire width of the board.
Better surface profile
The steam softens the two surfaces of the mat as it enters the press, making it easier to compress. A significant and immediate improvement is seen in the density profile when steam is applied.
Less porous surface
The steam greatly reduces the pores on the two surfaces, resulting in a more compact surface. The results of the toluene test are much better and a significant reduction in lacquer consumption will be noted during the lacquering process. “Some customers report that they have managed to decrease lacquer consumption by as much as 20%” with the obvious effect of lowering their costs.
Lower formaldehyde emission
“Less formaldehyde is released with a tighter and more compact surface and customers who have installed our Dynasteam report a reduction in board formaldehyde emission”.
Less mechanical strain, less maintenance and longer lifetime
Since the two mat surfaces are softer, the mat is easier to compress and consequently the main drive motor tends to absorb less current. Absorption on an MDF line in Italy for example, has dropped from 240A to 200A, clearly putting less strain on the chains, less wear on the steel belt and naturally reducing the amount of oil consumed. A decrease in pressure of 50-60 bar has also been noted on the hydraulic cylinders due to the effect of the steam on the fibre.
Reduction in resin consumption
By slowing down line production speed, an increase in cure time will improved board property values, in particular in the internal bond value. For various reasons, when steam is injected into the mat, it may not be possible to increase production capacity due to insufficient material, insufficient drying capacity etc. But by maintaining the same production speed, this will have exactly the same effect as increasing board cure time because 100°C is reached much earlier. “As a result, injecting steam into the mat at the same line speed, will increase internal bond values and hence reduce the amount of resin applied. The success of Dynasteam is well proven in that around 43 units have been sold over some 23 months.”