OIL DEGASSING AND FILLING MACHINE FOR UK OPTICAL MANUFACTURER
A system for filling their product – a small fluid filled lens assembly - with degassed silicone oil for a small scale, pilot production line. The lenses are used for adjustable focus eyewear. This was a novel application and there was no ‘off the shelf’ solution available. Therefore, the client required a bespoke vacuum degassing and filling solution.
MechaTech Systems were commissioned to provide the vacuum system used for degassing and filling. The silicone oil needed to be air free, so it needed to be degassed and filled under vacuum. The filling chamber was designed to be large enough to support filling 4 lenses in parallel. The lenses needed to be filled a rate of up to 24 per hour. The lenses had to be filled by a narrow bore pipe so the oil had to be pumped. The product was to be sealed while still under vacuum, requiring a linear mechanical motion.
VACUUM DRYING SYSTEM TO CONDITION ILW FOR NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING CUSTOMER
To condition intermediate level nuclear waste in its final, disposable, transportable container., so that it is dry and stable for long term storage
After conducting a series of vacuum drying trials, MechaTech Systems were commissioned to develop the prototype Advanced Vacuum Drying System (AVDS) by Magnox Berkeley Site. A Vacuum Conditioning Unit and two different types of Heating Station were designed, to accommodate two different types of Ductile Cast Iron Containers (cuboidal and cylindrical DCIC). The AVDS won the Magnox I4 Innovation Award, and MechaTech Systems were highly commended by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
FREEZE DRYER, CUSTOMISED FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONSERVATORS
English Heritage needed a Freeze Dryer to preserve archaeological artefacts, with a chamber that could accommodate bulky materials such as long planks of timber from ancient ships or even a neolithic body if required. For example, ancient bodies discovered in peat bogs, such as ‘Lindow Man’, have been preserved by freeze drying.
The requirement was for a Freeze Dryer Condenser that was tried and tested, easy to operate, economical to service and as future proofed as possible in terms of replacement component parts. The LyoDry Midi (which directly replaces the old Edwards SuperModulyo Freeze Dryer) met all of these requirements with ease.
The vacuum chamber, however, needed to accommodate long planks of wood - even a well preserved body which might be discovered in a peat bog, such as ‘Lindow Man’ mentioned above. Therefore the chamber was a bespoke design to enable horizontal orientation and a
length of 2m, larger than MTS’s core range of freeze dryer chambers. The chamber was designed to accommodate five stainless steel shelves, re-used from the client’s old freeze dryer, for bulk drying of several artefacts per batch. Both the condenser and the vacuum chamber were fitted with castors for portability.
The operating system includes a number of ‘recipes’ to enable controlled yet versatile freeze drying of products with differing process requirements – essential for the client’s diverse array of products. The system incorporates data logging to provide English Heritage with a secure audit trail, and alarm/event management to protect the product against potential product loss in the event of power or component failure. It also allows the operator to monitor the process in real time, remotely from a desktop PC, so the software was configured to allow remote operation.