ResinWorks with Optimizer™, a new optional AI-driven feature for Conair’s ResinWorks centralized, multi-hopper drying system, automates the tricky process of maintaining process-ready resins at perfect temperatures and varied throughputs, while preventing over-drying and realizing significant energy savings. One of several new AI-driven control options from Conair, ResinWorks with Optimizer will make its world premiere in the Conair booth (W2113) at NPE 2024, May 6-10 in Orlando.   

ResinWorks with Optimizer was developed to address a very common challenge: “Central drying systems, including those like ResinWorks with multiple hoppers, are often ‘up-sized’ to meet maximum demand and throughput requirements. Yet, in many cases, they run at less-than-maximum levels, resulting in suboptimal airflow, potentially over-dried material, and excess energy usage and cost,” explains A.J. Zambanini, Director of Product Management for Conair.  

Typical ResinWorks systems rely on operators to physically actuate a manual damper to manage and balance airflows into to each active hopper. While such balancing is mechanically simple and very reliable, it is generally based on the use of fully loaded hoppers and a predicted throughput rate for each material. Therefore, any changes or interruptions in hopper usage, resin mass flow through each hopper, or process resin demand can introduce imbalances that are difficult for operators to manually detect and correct.  

The Optimizer package for ResinWorks changes all that, Zambanini explains. “The Optimizer starts with the same conditions as a manual operator would: a required resin delivery temperature and predicted throughput of each resin through each hopper. In operation, the Optimizer monitors overall airflow, first ensuring that only active hoppers are served.  Then, its AI-driven logic optimizes airflow through each active hopper based on changes in mass flow and temperature.  Once material at the bottom of the hopper achieves the proper temperature, the Optimizer logic holds it steady, while incrementally adjusting airflow through the rest of the hopper to match the actual processing rates, incoming material condition, and material drying requirements.  

Rigorous testing has shown the Optimizer to be versatile and highly reliable under changing conditions typical of an active plastics processing plant. Not only can its AI-driven logic efficiently dial back and rebalance airflows for unused hoppers or reduce airflows for less-than-full hoppers, but it also can boost airflows – and alert process operators – when process resin rises unexpectedly, says Zambanini. “ResinWorks with Optimizer can automatically support small increases in drying throughputs over time.  When maximum predicted throughput rates are exceeded, the Optimizer logic detects the change and alarms to alert process operators so that they can increase resin inputs to the drying system to meet process demand. Current systems don’t offer this feedback and can result in scrap production and lengthy periods of troubleshooting and restarting.”   

“ResinWorks with Optimizer has demonstrated energy savings of 10 to 40 percent in virtually every situation,” says Zambanini.  He adds that the airflow detection and management system used in ResinWorks Optimizer is designed for reliability. It does not require complex sensors (e.g., pitot tubes, orifice plates, velocity probes) that are vulnerable to breakage, inaccurate readings, or constant calibration in industrial environments. Instead, its proprietary logic realizes continuous energy savings that eliminate the potential cost and maintenance burden of similar systems. 

 The Optimizer artificial intelligence package may be ordered with new ResinWorks multi-hopper carts from the factory.  Retrofits are possible and involve removal and replacement of the manual airflow lever and valve with new hardware, plus a software upgrade to an existing Conair DC-B “common” control.  

Zambanini notes that most processors who invest in the ResinWorks with Optimizer upgrade can expect payback within one year, even with process energy savings as low as 10 percent. 

The Conair Group ( offers innovative auxiliary equipment solutions to plastics processors around the world. With 32 degreed engineers, including 16 senior team members with an average of over 23 years of experience, Conair brings unparalleled technical expertise and support to its customers, guaranteeing its products will deliver maximum productive uptime. Twenty parts and service team members respond to tens of thousands of calls each year, answering in an average of about 15 seconds. Over 450 individual products include resin drying systems, blenders, feeders and material-conveying systems, temperature-control equipment, and granulators. Extrusion solutions include line-control systems, film and sheet scrap-reclaim systems, and downstream equipment for pipe and profile extrusion. Conair also has specialized expertise in every major end market – such as packaging, medical, transportation, building and construction, and many others – and strives to ensure plastics processors succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace. 


ResinWorks with Optimizer, a new AI-driven feature for Conair’s ResinWorks multi-hopper cart drying system, automates airflow management to dry resin across multiple hoppers and realize energy savings up to 40 percent.