In June 2023, wood products company Masisa commissioned an EVOsteam steam preheating system from German manufacturer DIEFFENBACHER at its particleboard plant in Cabrero, Chile.
“DIEFFENBACHER’s EVOsteam is a low-investment solution for improvements, including boosting the capacity of our particleboard production in Cabrero,” said Roberto Stück, technical director at Masisa. “It speeds up our production and improves mechanical board properties.”
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,” said DIEFFENBACHER product manager Tobias Hempel.
“In light of the sharp rise in gas prices, which have caused an increase in resin prices, EVOsteam has a benefit besides increasing capacity. It saves resources, especially resin,” said 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 quality boards, with less resin,” he added.
By individually adjusting the amount of steam in each mat zone, the EVOsteam reportedly enables density profiles. “The result is convective heat penetration in the press and an increase in the raw density profile at the outer edge layer of the board. This enables lower sanding allowances and lower production costs,” said Hempel. “Adding more steam to the centre 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. Easy to operate, it is said to require little maintenance, and the low wastewater volume keeps the total cost of ownership low. The integrated belt cleaning and drying system ensures production reliability. “Due to its contribution to material savings, the EVOsteam can be an alternative to press extensions,” added Hempel.
For new EVOsteam installations, DIEFFENBACHER ensures service from engineering up to three-shift operation. The project manager said, “We also reduce rejects and workload for 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 using its EVOsteam. In Baruth, Germany, Pfleiderer reportedly operates the steam preheater in a medium density fibreboards (MDF) plant, while Vina Eco Board uses the machine in particleboard production at its site in Long An, Vietnam.
In a statement, Pfleiderer production manager Christoph Liese said that “following a short installation time”, the group has “operated the EVOsteam for more than two years”. “From day one, we increased our production speed, and we can produce more boards per day than we could before retrofitting with the EVOsteam,” he said.
Due to its ability to preserve high-speed production when using low-emission glue, the EVOsteam can be used in particleboard, MDF and oriented strand board (OSB) production and is available for both new plants and retrofits.