The following article about DRTS was posted on plasticsnewseurope.com and written during the K Show by Karen Laird.
Drip irrigation market shows no signs of drying up
Drip irrigation may not be the first thing that leaps to mind when it comes to extrusion applications. For extrusion machinery producer DRTS Sulama Ürünleri ve Teknolojileri San. Tic. A.S., however, it is a core business. “We may not be as well known as some of the other names in the extrusion machinery business, but that’s fine with us,” said Edan Shayak, DRTS director of sales. “Our customers know how to find us, and that’s the important thing.”
The company, headquartered in Turkey, has more than 500 lines running throughout the world. With some 200 of these in India, geographically speaking, that’s where it has its biggest customer base, according to Shayak, although the company is also very active throughout the Middle East, Europe, the United States and South America. And while in some parts of the plastics industry business has slowed over the past year, DRTS has not been affected. On the contrary: The irrigation business has picked up, Shayak said.
What Does DRTS Produce?
So what does DRTS actually produce? “We build the machinery that is used to produce drip irrigation systems,” Shayak explained. “A drip irrigation system is essentially a long tube, or pipe, equipped with emitters, small devices inside the hose that deliver the water to the crops. We deliver the machine our customer needs and supply the drip emitters as well. Our customers put these together to create drip irrigation systems.”
DRTS supplies pressure compensating emitters — emitters that deliver the same, measured amount of water regardless of pressure changes, ensuring a uniform rate of flow.
While the company also offers turnkey production lines for polyethylene, polypropylene random copolymer and PVC pipes ranging in diameter from 16 millimeters to 630 millimeters, this activity is a ‘byproduct’ of the irrigation core business. Its customers were being requested to supply the pipes feeding into the irrigation lines, and they required machinery to produce these. The lines are available in a wide variety of con gurations.
Exciting New Recyclable Extrusion Technologies
At K 2019, in addition to demonstrating its capabilities, DRTS is introducing its new, extremely compact, high-capacity extrusion machine for the first time to the market. “Normally with an extruder this size, the capacity would be around 125 kilograms per hour. This machine has a capacity of 300 kilograms per hour,” Shayak said. The machine is equipped with a three-layer die head developed by DRTS, as “demand for three-layer pipes vs. single-layer ones is rising,” Shayak said.
In this sector, the competition is fierce, which means that manufacturers are eager to cut costs. In applications of this kind, material is a major part of the cost. A three-layer crosshead makes it possible to use inexpensive regrind or off-spec polymer for the core of the pipe, which is about 80 percent of the material. The remainder, 10 percent for the outer layer and 10 percent for the inside ring, are made from a higher-quality virgin material. These pipes therefore very significantly reduce the amount of virgin material needed, which fits well with the increasing demand
for sustainable products in the industry. “Our customers not only recycle their scrap, but are increasingly starting to buy recycled material,” Shayak said. “Also, some of the bigger companies are starting to organize the collection of the used pipe systems from the fields so that these, too, can be recycled. The material is all PE, including the emitters, so it’s a monomaterial product and very suitable for recycling.”
The DRTS Advantage
Part of the company’s strength is its flexibility. DRTS builds its machines using top-of-the-line components from all the well-known suppliers to deliver lines that are custom tailored to its customers’ application needs. “Gear boxes, drives, controls — if our customer wants ABB instead of Siemens, for example, or specifies some other brand, we are fine with that. We work with all the major suppliers. What’s important is that we deliver a high-quality product to our customer that they are comfortable with,” Shayak said.