Plastics Industry Chillers

Injection Molding, Extrusion, and Blow Molding Process Cooling

Plastics Process Chillers

If you work in the plastics processing industry, you understand the importance of producing high-quality products while maintaining machine productivity. Plastic process chillers help to ensure that your machining operations run smoothly and efficiently. Interested in learning more about process chillers and how they work? Read our guide!

At Smart Family of Cooling Products, we carry high-performing plastic chillers that set the standard for quality and durability. We’ve spent decades perfecting our refrigeration technologies while delivering exceptional customer service. Our leadership in engineering enables us to provide custom solutions for each project while expanding equipment life beyond the average rate.

Plastics are all around us. Everything from everyday items such as plastic plates, cups and silverware to advanced medical equipment relies on safe, consistent and clean plastics production processes. For that reason, keeping plastics production processes cool, clean and safe throughout the operation is essential for the success of plastics manufacturers.

Plastic molds can sweat during the production process, often resulting in deformities or spots in the final product. Cooling time is also crucial as cooling too fast or too slow can also create abnormalities. That’s why having reliable cooling equipment is integral to your operation.

What Is a Plastic Process Chiller?

Most plastic processes require cooling of some sort. Whether they are using injection molding, extruding plastic, blow molding, rotational molding, or thermoforming, all of these processes require cooling.

The cleanest and most recommended method of cooling is using a plastics chiller. A plastics chiller is a refrigerated device that cools plastics throughout the manufacturing process. It’s a closed-loop system, so no debris from the environment can mix with your process water.

Plastic chillers work by cycling coolant through the cold side of a processed water system to remove excess heat from molds and transfer that heat to the surrounding environment.

When it comes to cooling your plastics process, quality and reliability should be your number one concerns for choosing the right plastics chiller. With our years of experience as a leader in plastic chiller manufacturing, Smart Cooling Products should be the first and only company you call.

What Does a Plastic Chiller Do?

Industrial plastic chillers cool down hot plastic products and maintain stable temperatures throughout production.

Some processes that use plastic chillers include:

  • Plastics extrusion: Heated plastic is forced through various form shapes to create specific shapes. Keeping the melted plastic at the right temperature is critical for adequate flow, form filling and fast solidification.
  • Rotational molding: Melted plastic is introduced into a large rotating drum. The spinning action of the drum sends melted plastic into the mold cavities around its outer perimeter, which allows you to create complex shapes that would otherwise require the assembly of individual parts, saving you time and money.
  • Injection molding: The most common method for producing plastics. With injection molding, cooling takes up 80 to 95% of each injection molding cycle. Cooling is critical because it maintains the quality of your production line and ensures your manufactured parts meet target dimensions.
  • Blow Molding: Plastic is melted, formed into a parison or tube-like shape, clamped into a mold and then filled with compressed air. This procedure expands the plastic into its final form. It’s essential to remove heat from this process at a monitored rate because cooling the mold too fast or too slow can lead to deformations.
  • Thermoforming: This process involves taking large sheets of plastic, heating them and then shaping them with a mold using air or vacuum pressure. As with other methods, maintaining the plastic’s temperature is key to providing a perfect result. Too cold, and the plastic can break or fail to take the shape of the mold. Too hot, and the plastic can thin or tear in complex bends and shapes.

Our Smart Family plastics-chilling processes are well suited to a variety of thermoforming industries and products, including the manufacture of shower enclosures, consumer product packaging and plastic furniture and many other large thin-walled plastic products.

 Features of Plastic Chillers

The type of chiller your facility needs depends on many factors, including your output, your facility’s size and your products. Luckily, there are multiple types of chillers, each with its own features and specifications.

There are two main configurations for plastic chillers: portable and central. These are the overarching types– subtypes are based on the way the machine cools the plastic or where it can be installed.

  • Portable: Portable plastic chillers are easy to move and normally used to cool one machine, making them more practical for smaller-scale operations.
  • Central: These chillers are large and fixed in place. They’re normally used to cool all the machines on a floor or even throughout a whole building, which is why they’re best for larger operations.

There are also two different types based on their cooling mediums. Each one has its advantage depending on your facility’s needs:

  • Air-cooled: Larger, more aesthetically pleasing chillers that cool plastic by cycling hot condenser air away from the product. These chillers can generate high amounts of heat, so they’re best for outdoor or split configurations.
  • Water-cooled: Smaller chillers that cool products by circulating water through the system to condense and cool refrigerant, which in turn cools the plastic. They’re highly efficient and lower in cost, however require external cooling means to cool the chiller condenser (typically an evaporative cooling tower).

Additionally, there are three different types based on where you can install the chiller — indoor, outdoor or split-system. Which location you choose depends on the space available in your facility, and you have to keep that chiller in the environment it’s designed for. Indoor and outdoor chillers work best only when in the correct environment.

How to Purchase a Plastic Process Chiller

A plastics chiller is an essential part of your process, so you want to make sure you’re buying the right one for your facility. These factors are the most important things to consider:

  • Available space: Certain types of plastic chillers will take up more space than others. For example, portable air cooled chillers can be placed right next to the process equipment, while larger, central chillers typically must be located outdoors (air cooled) or in a mechanical room (water cooled).
  • Cost-effectiveness: Portable models tend to cost more upfront because you must buy multiple units but offer a higher degree of flexibility than central chillers. However, central chillers are more cost-effective for large-scale operations.
  • Scale of operation: How many machines need cooling? If you use many machines, it makes more sense to purchase a central chiller than multiple portable chillers.
  • Noise level: How loud is too loud? The amount of noise your chiller generates depends on type and model. Generally, placing a chiller outside or in an equipment room can cut down on noise levels.

Keep this information handy when you begin the search process, as it can help guide you to the perfect model.

Plastic Process Equipment Delivers Reliable Performance

When we engineer custom and standard chilling systems for plastic production, we’re focused on the following:

  • Reliability: Your chiller needs to deliver maximum performance every day, all day to provide top-notch, error-free plastics. A dependable chiller also ensures your production line keeps moving, instead of slogging along due to errors.
  • Scalability: Your chiller needs to scale to your unique needs. Removing heat from plastics processing requires a customized solution, not a one-size-fits-all. That’s why we manufacture several types and models of chillers, as well as custom ones.

Our experienced team designs and manufactures all our chillers for plastic processes in the U.S. For standard chillers, we have the ability to deliver them within 4-6 weeks to U.S. locations, keeping your downtime to a minimum. Then, our refrigeration service team helps keep your equipment running at peak performance.

Here are the five signs you need a Smart Family chiller:

  1. You need a safe, reliable way to cool your plastics.
  2. You want to reduce deformities like air bubbles and uneven surface finish in your final products.
  3. You need to maintain the temperature of your production process.
  4. You want to maximize the efficiency of your production line without sacrificing quality or time.
  5. You want to make a cost-effective, high-quality choice for your operation.

Ultimately, if you want the best for your plastics process, choose Smart Family of Cooling Products.

High-Quality Chilling Systems for Your Plastics Production

At Smart Family of Cooling Products, we offer more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing high-quality, reliable and scalable chilling systems for numerous plastic productions. So start your search for the right plastics chilling equipment now by using our chiller sizing calculator, visit our rental cooling equipment page or contact us directly to discuss your application so we can help create the right cooling solution for your business. We’ll help optimize your plastic manufacturing process!

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