Portugal’s fully vertical ‘terry’ producer, Lasa, has configured the first two chambers of its newly installed Monforts Montex 6500 stenter to be heated by steam produced by the company’ co-generation plant.
Supplied at 150°C at virtually no cost and a pressure of just 13 bar, the technique is providing significant energy savings for the normally gas-heated chambers.
Should a terry fabric require a temperature above 150°C, a simple changeover switch to gas heats the two chambers to 180°C.
Thought to be one of the first installations to capitalise on this technique, it is certainly the first for Monforts in Portugal.
The steam is also routed to the stenters heat recovery system to act as a fire extinguishing system in the rare event of a fire.
The roof mounted heat recovery system recycles hot air back into the Montex chambers, heating the inlet air and providing further energy savings.
The new 5-chamber Montex has been installed to replace a 30-years old stenter in an on-going modernisation programme.
In electing to order the Montex from local representative, Maquicontrolo, Lasa director José Antunes, confirmed that energy savings were top of his ‘shopping list.’
“Today, energy costs in Portugal are perhaps the highest in Europe and savings are essential,” he stated, adding, “Our previous stenter was thermo oil – heated which was proving to be too expensive; the new Montex is gas-heated and is much more beneficial.”
“Although it has only been operational for two months, we are already noticing significant differences – for example, running at twice the speed of the old unit means we are able to double our finished production.”
He also announced that the company was looking at ‘shutting down’ one of its three daily shifts as a direct result of the stenters performance, whilst still increasing production with the resulting energy savings and reduced labour costs.
Although founded in 1971 by Armando da Silva Antunes – producing handkerchiefs – the April 1974 revolution in Portugal and the period of instability that followed, combined with an adverse economic situation, meant that it was not until 1980 that he was able to follow his dream, establishing a fully vertical operation.
Over the next 30 years the company consolidated its structure such that today Lasa is recognised as one of Europe’s leading terry towel producers, and the Group is one of the most important textile groups in Portugal.
As a fully vertical operation with spinning, weaving, dyeing, finishing and confectionery, Lasa produces a wide range of terry towels, bath robes, bath mats and baby articles.
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