Press Release

KST-80-712 – Steam Tunnel Facilitates Chia Pods Launch, and Fast Ramp-Up to Full Production

PDC International Corporation, a world leader in high-volume shrink tunnel technology, was chosen by The Chia Company (Port Melbourne, Australia) for the launch and subsequent full-scale production of Chia Pods, a dairy-free pudding-like treat that is flavored with fruit and sold by grocery and natural food retailers.    

PDC’s Shrink Team and Contract Sleeving Services Group worked with Chia Company personnel to finalize label specifications, test films and adhesive patterns, and produce samples for the launch of the product at trade shows and special events. Following the highly successful introduction, Chia Company selected the PDC 80-712 Steam Tunnel for full-scale production.

The KST 80-712 with Steam Venting Package is a high quality tunnel system that’s compatible with the widest range of containers, including those that are challenging to shrink consistently, and many that previously required a second tunnel to complete the task.  

This dual-zone system has five rows of steam distribution tubes on each side. Each row is externally adjustable for steam volume, flow and rotary position, so adjustments can be made without waiting for the tunnel to cool. A proprietary nozzle positioner directs steam during the shrinking process, optimizing steam resources and keeping utility costs low.

Steam regulation is key to consistency, so PDC precisely regulates steam flow in five distinct ways:  step-down regulators, condensate traps, steam filtering, a proprietary steam valve and electronic regulation.

The Electronic Regulator developed by PDC monitors tunnel temperatures in real time, and makes continuous adjustments in steam release to compensate for the “thermal loads” of incoming product.  This is particularly useful when the system is running full or cold containers.   A digital controller indicates the target temperature, actual temperature, and percent open for the main steam valve, and controls the chamber temperature to + 2 degrees F.

The KST 80-712 operates up to 200 cpm, depending upon container shape.  Containers can be filled or empty, and virtually any shape, including round, oval or square.  PVC, PETG, OPS and PLA films, in gauges as thin as 30 micron, all shrink uniformly in the KST 80-712.

The system has stainless steel walls and is designed to mount over existing conveyors; alternatively, PDC can provide conveyors specifically constructed for use in steam.  Upgrades include product counters, lift stands, and two options for managing condensate.  Steam venting options include a stainless manifold to direct steam to the exhaust, and a blower stand with variable frequency drive.

The KST 80-712 is an excellent solution for end-user packagers and contract packers who need an exceptionally flexible and reliable shrink tunnel at an economical cost.  It was designed as a versatile stand-alone system, but is effective as well as a pre or post-shrink module.  

Like all PDC steam tunnels, the KST 80-712 is manufactured in the USA using high quality, readily available components. This assures that the system will be easy and inexpensive to maintain throughout its long service life.

PDC manufactures shrink tunnels for every packaging task, including convection hot air and radiant infrared systems, single and multiple-zone tunnels, and pre and post shrink systems.  Systems can be fully integrated with packaging machinery, or operate independently.  

For more information, contact Gary Tantimonico, PDC International, Norwalk, CT      203-853-1516 or