For years, PDC International Corp., Norwalk, Conn., has developed, manufactured and sold an array of steam, infrared and convection shrink tunnels mostly used for applying decorative sleeve labels or tamper-resistant labels for packaging that includes food packaging for fresh produce.

PDC International integrates generator with steam tunnel

Courtesy PDC International Corp.

PDC International's KST 55 steam tunnel now comes with an integrated steam generator which supplies power to the machine.

Now, the company is offering one of its steam tunnels with a new twist.

The KST 55 steam tunnel now comes with an integrated steam generator so that the machine is self-powered. No longer do users have to find or purchase an outside power source.

“We’ve been selling the steam tunnels for years, and we’d had a lot of requests for (an integrated power source),” said Gary Tantimonico, vice president sales at PDC. “It’s been pretty well received.”

Tantimonico said the KST 55 is one of PDC’s smaller tunnels, but is as robust as any in the line, made with dual-wall stainless steel construction. Steam tunnels use much lower temperatures in softening and shrinking film, he said, and they’re used for applying decorative labeling much more than hot-air tunnels, because higher temperatures tend to distort the labels.

“It’s perfect for putting labels on odd-shaped containers,” Tantimonico said.

The KST 55 is able to apply heat in a single zone, which also is perfect for affixing labels. This also minimizes energy use, optimizes container appearance and minimizes the risk of container distortion. Five rows of steam distribution tubes on each side of the packaging, each with externally adjustable steam volume control, makes for uniform application of labels.

The unit also can come with an optional electronic regulator so that tunnel temperatures can be monitored and adjusted according to the types of incoming product, an especially important feature, Tantimonico said, for incoming full and cold containers.

The KST 55 can operate up to 100 containers per minute and can be used on empty or filled packaging with any geometry and a wide assortment of films.

For higher speeds, PDC also offers the KST 80, a dual zone 80-inch steam tunnel which also can be fitted with the integrated steam generator.

For more information on PDC’s products, go to