In June 2023, Masisa S.A. commissioned an EVOsteam steam preheating system from DIEFFENBACHER at its particleboard plant in Cabrero, Chile.
“DIEFFENBACHER’s EVOsteam is a low-investment solution for great improvements, including boosting the capacity of our particleboard production in Cabrero,” says Roberto Stück, Technical Director at Masisa. “It speeds up our production and simultaneously improves mechanical board properties,” he adds.
Installed directly at the press infeed, the EVOsteam preheats the mat by injecting steam. This reduces the time needed to heat the mat inside the press, accelerating production and increasing capacity by up to 20%. “The upper unit of the steam preheating system can be used either in lifted operation as a steam shower or in lowered operation to directly inject steam into the mat,” says Tobias Hempel, Product Manager at DIEFFENBACHER.
“In light of the sharp rise in gas prices, which have also caused an enormous increase in resin prices, EVOsteam has an important benefit besides increasing capacity. It saves resources, especially resin,” explains Hempel. “If the higher mat temperature is not used to increase production speed, the resin has more time to cure in the continuous press. As a result, enough 'resin bridges' are formed to produce high-quality boards, even with less resin,” he adds.
By individually adjusting the amount of steam in each mat zone, the EVOsteam enables excellent density profiles. “The result is better convective heat penetration in the press and a faster increase in the raw density profile at the outer edge layer of the board. This enables lower sanding allowances and lower production costs,” says Hempel. “Adding more steam to the center of the mat instead of the edges also avoids blisters.”
In addition, the EVOsteam prevents condensates on the belts by using thermal oil from the secondary heating of the press to preheat the steam platen. It’s easy to operate, requires little maintenance, and the low wastewater volume keeps the total cost of ownership low. The integrated belt cleaning and drying system ensures high production reliability. “Due to its positive impact on product quality and its contribution to material savings, the EVOsteam can even be an alternative to press extensions,” says Hempel.
For new EVOsteam installations, DIEFFENBACHER ensures complete service from engineering up to technically optimized three-shift operation. “Before we leave the customer, we make sure that the EVOsteam is perfectly integrated into the production process and delivers the best possible production results,” Hempel explains. “We also reduce rejects and workload for our customers with fully integrated recipe management. Whenever the plant is switched to a new product, the EVOsteam changes its settings accordingly.”
Other companies, including Pfleiderer and Sumitomo Group subsidiary Vina Eco Board, are also successfully using DIEFFENBACHER’s EVOsteam. In Baruth, Germany, Pfleiderer operates the steam preheater in an MDF plant, while Vina Eco Board uses the machine in particleboard production at its site in Long An, Vietnam.
“Following a very short installation time, we have operated the EVOsteam for more than two years,” says Christoph Liese, Production Manager at Pfleiderer. “It’s a great solution. From day one, we increased our production speed, and we can produce significantly more boards per day than we could before retrofitting with the EVOsteam,” he adds.
“The EVOsteam helps preserve high-speed production when using low-emission glue, which takes more time to cure than conventional glue. It’s also very effective for lightweight boards with low heat transfer in the press,” concludes Hempel. The EVOsteam can be used in particleboard, MDF and OSB production and is available for both new plants and retrofits.