Sponsored By

August 1, 2004

15 Min Read
The auxiliaries you'll see

In our second K 2004 preview, we take a look at the auxiliaries developments and introductions that will be awaiting you in Dusseldorf.

Plastics parts welding takes on 3-D characteristics

Laser transmission welding is a relatively new joining process for plastics, and because of problems of contact between joints during welding, it often has been limited to two-dimensional welding. A new joining technique, Globo-Welding, operates as a contour welder. The necessary clamping force and laser beam are selectively focused. The welding instrument resembles a ballpoint pen on a robot arm. Via a rotating ball, a colored proprietary liquid is applied to the spot to be welded while the laser beam and the necessary pressing force are pointed vertically to that point. This method, which allows 3-D welding of plastics elements, eliminates the need to clamp the elements together during welding, therefore relieving mechanical stress on the part. Leister Process Technologies, Kagiswil, Switzerland; www.leister.com

Power Backflush screen change makes quick work of contaminates

A compact melt filter, Power Backflush reduces the interruption of the melt flow to help maintain constant melt pressure during pelletizing. The melt flow is led from the material inlet side into a screen chamber, which can contain filter cartridges or wire-cloth filters.

The Power Flush''s heated, steel housing has two diagonally positioned melt-flow pistons that hydraulically move from side to side. Before operation, the backflush opening is controlled by a stop valve. A defined amount of melt is pressed through the filter with the aid of the displacing piston.

The cleaning effect can be controlled, depending on the type of polymer, output speed, and other processing parameters by adjusting the hydraulic pressure while moving the displacing piston. Backflushing takes about 1 second, after which the backflush port is closed again and the displacing piston brought back into operating position. Only 500g of material is lost during cleaning. Kreyenborg GmbH, Munster, Germany; www.kreyenborg.de

Instrument allows easy, reliable use

Wave-Scan is a quick way to measure color, gloss, and physical surface properties of plastics applications. Prior to its introduction, processors often evaluated surface quality visually and described it in numerous inexact expressions such as glossy, brilliant, greasy, or good/bad leveling behavior. The Wave-Scan DOI uses an objective quantifying method to evaluate surface, brilliance, and structure. It allows measurement of the Orange Peel effect on small or curved parts. BYK-Gardner GmbH, Geretsried, Germany; www.bykgardner.com

Compact pelletizers help where shop floor space is limited

Strand pelletizer ips-SGE30 (with a cutting width of 30 mm) is designed for laboratory use and small quantity production of masterbatches. It is the smallest of a line of units, which also offers cutting widths of 60 and 110 mm.

Throughput of the SGE30 is 5 to 150 kg/hr. The small footprint machine includes an a-c motor with either 1.5 or 2.6 kW to cut up to five strands. Granule size ranges from 1.5 to 5 mm at a throughput of 20 to 80 m/min. Other features include:

  • Compact construction measuring 500 by 740 by 1095 mm

  • Easy-to-use controls

    Controls on left or right for convenient location throughout the shop

    Simple adjustment of the blade with only two screws offers time savings when changing product or performing maintenance

Strand pelletizer ips-SGE30 Combi comes complete with a 3m-long strand cooling trough, including integrated drying. Strand drying consists of a stripping brush and air knife run by compressed air. It is mounted on the end of the cooling trough with quick-change coupling devices. Throughput varies depending on polymer from nylon 6 at 80 kg/hr to 150 kg/hr for sytrenics and acrylics. IPS Intelligent Pelletizing Solutions GmbH & Co. KG, GroBosheim, Germany; www.pelletizing.de

Temperature, pressure sensors provide necessary accuracy

Produced by outside sources but designed to Kreyenborg specifications, melt-pressure transducers are essential components for pressure and temperature control in extrusion and injection molding. xptrigid offers quick and simple mounting. This transducer is said to be similar in construction to classical melt-pressure transducers but at a lower price. If space and high environmental temperatures are issues, the xptflexible offers an alternative. This transducer provides optimal heat insulation. Melt-pressure transducer xptcombi has an integrated thermo element, which allows concurrent monitoring of pressure and temperature at a single measuring point. Kreyenborg GmbH, Munster, Germany; www.kreyenborg.de

Retrofittable air ring makes operator''s life easy

Dual-lip air cooling rings can be difficult to adjust during processing to increase blown film output. It is also often not possible to adjust the die gap of the blown film die to completely eliminate a so-called "sinus-wave" effect in the gauge tolerance, which produces unevenness in the bubble. With the patented PeakPower dual-chamber air ring, which can be retrofitted onto existing lines, no height adjustment of the lips is necessary since the airflows themselves are separately adjustable. Higher cooling capacity of the bubble is possible thanks to this airflow adjustment. Also, the "sinus-wave" error can be eliminated by controlling output on the upper lip. Polyrema, Hennef, Germany; www.polyrema.com

Unique lubrication system highlights masterbatch pump

The Extrusion Pump GPE/MB (Gear Pump Extrusion/Master Batch) is intended for thermally sensitive melts. In a standard gear pump, the unit''s bearings are often lubricated by the melt itself; in certain circumstances this can lead to damage of the product owing to high shear stress if the diverted lubrication product is fed back to the product flow. In the case of PVC, recirculation can result in "burning" and formation of contamination.

This problem is resolved in the GPE/ MB. Side valves divert melt used for lubrication out of the pump by means of a heated channel, and the lubricating product is not fed back into the melt flow. When processing less sensitive polymers, the return channel to the pump can redirect the melt by way of valves into the main product flow so that no melt is wasted. The channels are completely filled so there is no build-up of contaminants.

The pump interior is flushed by new melt during product changes. These channels have a rheological design with no dead spots in the inlets or outlets. Georg Gillert, director of the producer''s pump technology division, says this model typically saves up to 130 kg/24 hr of material that would be lost with traditional designs. Product changes that can take up to three hours are shortened to 10 minutes, he says. Kreyenborg GmbH, Munster, Germany; www.kreyenborg.de

Added ring seal enhances protective effect of screw plugs

The nylon Kapsto GPN 737/738 screw plugs are equipped with an O-ring for good seal under harsh conditions. The O-ring assures reliable protection during cleaning, maintenance, or assemblies transport. They are available in all common screw-thread sizes from 8 to 60 mm OD. The yellow screw plugs are used to protect screw threads during demounting of injection molds. The manufacturer says this injection tool technique allows the screw thread to be uninfluenced by the creation of parting line burrs. A precise thread geometry allows rapid and easy screwing without thread burrs from entering the bore holes, thereby eliminating a cleaning step. Poppelmann GmbH & Co. KG, Lohne, Germany; www.poeppelmann.com

Vacuum loader capacity increased for higher throughput

Clear-Vu portable vacuum conveying system has a higher capability than previous Clear-Vu loaders. It can be used as a "mini-central" automated loading system for multiple processing lines. The number of stations that can be loaded by a single Clear-Vu unit is eight, but by linking the controllers in series, it is now possible to extend automated loading capability to 24 stations. Blower horsepower of each loader has been doubled, from 5 to 10. This allows an increased throughput from 420 to 1400 kg/hr over a distance of 120 m. The manufacturer has also added the option of a material receiver to the unit with a capacity of 10 kg. Maguire Products Inc., Aston, PA, USA; www.maguire.com

Polymer dryer, heater operates without contact heat, hot air

With the patented Infrared Dryer (IRD) process, the energy from the radiators in this special unit dries moisture-sensitive resins. This equipment producer says drying can be done more efficiently than by either hot-air or dry-air drying.

In principle, infrared drying can be applied to all polymers with this continuous system. Besides drying pellets, it can also be used to preheat any free-flowing material up to 250C.

Prewarmed resin allows a higher hourly capacity through the extruder of material such as wood/PP pellets, which may contain up to 80% moisture. Owing to the preheating, the wood fibers will be less sheared in the barrel. Longer fiber material may be used without fear of breaking, so the end product has higher stability, or the same stability with less filler than previously used.

The smallest of the three infrared dryer types, the IRD-A, handles up to 150 kg/hr and has heaters with a capacity of 15 kW. IRD-B has a capacity from 100 to 1500 kg/hr and the IRD-C can handle up to 25,000 kg/hr. According to Sven-Olaf Zillmann, sales manager for the IRD series, polymers, fillers, and materials such as cork or shredded leather containing more than 50% moisture can be dried without problems.

Volumetric dosing at the dryer inlet is required to ensure product evenness. The material to be dried travels along spirals around the IRD''s wall as the unit rotates. Before finished product exits, moisture is sucked off from the top of the chamber. Most IRD units are equipped with halogen IR beams, but Zillmann says a change of heating source to carbon, middle-, or short-wave heaters, if drying other products, takes less than 5 minutes. Halogen lamps heat from the inside to the surface of pellets and are used to preheat, crystallize, or internally dry material. Middle-wave sources use less energy and can warm or dry the outer surface of material, which is important for heat-sensitive polymers. Drying takes 5 to 15 minutes. Kreyenborg GmbH, Munster, Germany; www.kreyenborg.de

Modular solution allows flexible masterbatch feeding

Quick-change weigh-feeders highlight a compact, modular system for masterbatch producers. The system can be extended to any number of ingredients, although the basic system has a circular arrangement of up to six loss-in-weight feeders. Pneumatic conveyors refill each feeder. "Intelligent" electronic controls for the feeders and regulation modules are interconnected by a field bus. This allows easy connection of an increased number of feeders for future expansion.

The loss-in-weight scales with digital two-wire load cells used in the system are equipped with special screw feeders that feature wide turndown ratios and pulsation-free operation, even at relatively low feed rates. The "Easy Change" feeder design permits the screw hopper, together with the screw, screw tube, and extension hopper, to be removed as one unit for cleaning. This does not include any electronic parts and is therefore suitable for wet cleaning. The system reportedly can be used for online compounding as well as small-lot masterbatch and compound runs where frequent recipe changes are necessary. Brabender Technologies KG, Duisburg, Germany; www.brabender-technologie.com

Welder shortens processing times, improves quality

Most thermoplastics and elastomers can be welded using the Novolas laser transmission welding unit. Laser radiation penetrates the upper, transparent joining part and is absorbed in the lower, darker surface. High welding-seam strength can be achieved in the base material. The unit also allows dark-to-dark or transparent-to-transparent combinations with the aid of special pigments. It can also provide simultaneous welding using one or more laser beams to irradiate the entire welding seam in one shot. This is said to lead to short welding times for applications welded in large series. Leister Process Technologies, Sarnen, Switzerland; www.leister.com

Sophistication highlights multistation feeder

The Multigrav multistation feed system can handle up to eight modules. It is designed for flexible adjustment for continuous gravimetric granulate feeding. A rate of 1:80 feed is possible. The unit consists of a scale hopper and vibrating feeder. For the formulation of a polymer or additive mix, the feeders convey material into a vessel for blending. It can be used as a buffer for the downstream process. Feeding accuracy is said to be better than ±.5%, and normal feed rates per system module range from .3 to 400 kg/hr. Schenk Process GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany; www.schenk-process.de

New generation of hot runner nozzles are reliable

The Z3310 series hot runner nozzles has been extended by four single-nozzle units. They are said to have optimum thermal conductivity provided by heat-transfer pipes. The coil geometry of the heater ensures an even temperature distribution and homogenous heat profile along the entire melt channel. Precise temperature control is achieved with an iron- and copper-nickel alloy thermocouple at the nozzle tip. The nozzle head has an additional clamping flange for simple positioning in the mold. Unlike in the past, the nozzle doesn''t have to be fixed via a locating ring. Instead, it is held directly between the clamping plate and the nozzle-sided molding plate. This reportedly facilitates both minimization of the contact surfaces and reduced heat reflection. Hasco Hasenclever GmbH, Ludenscheid, Germany; www.hasco.com

Options help residue cleaner meet environmental requirements

Fully automatic Hypox polymer removing system eliminates caked-on melt from processing components, screen changers, extruder heads, manifolds, and melt pumps. In a hydrolysis phase, the part is first treated in a cleaning chamber with superheated steam to degrade and vaporize residue. In the oxidation phase, heated air removes any remaining soot. No solvents are used.

To meet stringent regulations in countries like Germany, Sweden, the U.S., and Italy regarding wastewater and contaminated air leaving the cleaning chamber, the manufacturer offers two options. A drain box can be added to the Hypox unit to concentrate and seal contaminated water for waste control collection by specialists rather than allowing the wastewater to return to municipal sewage treatment. The second option is a chamber following the Hypox operation that burns any acidic fumes before the air is freed into the atmosphere. MOVEngineering, Parre (BG), Italy; www.movengineering.com

K-Tron expands Bulk Solids Pump feeder line

The BSP 150 is the third and largest model in the company''s new BSP feeder line; models BSP 100 and BSP 125 were introduced in March. They use positive displacement action to feed free-flowing materials with high accuracy. The BSP employs vertical rotating spools that create feeding ducts. While within the duct, material moves in "plug flow," moving smoothly from storage hopper to discharge outlet, achieving true linear mass flow. The BSP 150 uses four feeding ducts to reach feed rates of 45 to 4500 cu dm/hr.

Both gravimetric and volumetric models are available, and the BSP 150 can also be incorporated into K-Tron''s new K4G continuous gravimetric blender. In-house tests done on the smaller BSP 125 showed it approached a linearity error of ±.1% at over its 100:1 turndown range compared with a volumetric screw feeder''s average error of ±2%. It also exhibited a 50% to 70% improvement in repeatability. K-Tron International, Pitman, NJ, USA; www.ktron.com.

Washing granulator takes the mess out of containers

A special granulator system targets the recycling of bottles and containers containing residual liquids. Waste is collected and fed into the granulator using a special lifting and tilting device. Water is added to apply friction to dissolve any hardened material from the surface of the plastics. The dirty water is spun off, and the scrap is dried. The units come with capacities from 100 to 5000 kg/hr. Systems can be dedicated to PET bottles, polypropylene battery casings, and high-density polyethylene containers. Herbold Meckesheim GmbH, Meckesheim, Germany; www.herbold.com

Blending control system eases operator work

A special blending-management system, COLORnet, capitalizing on the recently redesigned Gravicolor range of gravimetric batch blenders, is the first of a generation of controls that will be sold under the CONTROLnet name. This Ethernet-based operating platform integrates control of storage, drying, blending, and conveying of plastics materials into one family. Communication between the blending units and other conveying and drying units is made by an embedded microcontroller and onboard Ethernet port. Besides controlling the blending unit, COLORnet includes an integrated conveying control that eliminates the need for a separate control of the hopper loaders. It is possible for one vacuum pump to be shared between several controls, reducing purchase and operating costs.

The graphic display with touch-screen COLORnet unit is one-third the size of the former text-based controller but costs the same. Other units of the CONTROLnet family to follow COLORnet in the future are LUXORnet for drying, METROnet for conveying, and POCKETnet for remote, wireless control access. Motan GmbH, Isny, Germany; www.motan.com

Large slate of in-line measurement systems offered

Application-specific wall thickness measurement and control for tubes and hoses can be handled by the ultrasonic UMAC-Cl system. It allows flexible and specific configuration of the measuring task. UMAC G scanners measure wall thickness at the hot end of pipes up to 1600-mm OD. Type A scanners are compact in design for integrating directly into cooling tanks. These scanners can be used for measuring extruded medical tubing.

The measuring data processor, Wallmaster, in conjunction with the UMAC system, has easy-to-understand graphics featured on either a conventional or touch screen panel. It can be connected to a UMAC unit, several types of sensors, as well as fault detectors. If connected with the ODAC laser-measuring gauge, outside and inside diameters of tubes can also be controlled.

The ODAC 333TRIO unit provides three-axis diameter and ovality measurement of tubes and hoses. Contrary to conventional two-axis gauges, this laser scanner provides accurate measurement of minimum, maximum, and mean diameter, independent of shape and orientation of the product. Zumbach Electronic AG, Orpund, Switzerland; www.zumbach.com

Line of new equipment helps processors cut costs

A number of new equipment highlights should encourage better use of energy and reduce production costs. A self-cleaning dryer allows masterbatchers and compounders, who need to produce small color lots requiring frequent material changes, the chance to reduce the operator''s work load.

This unit cleans itself automatically, requiring no human interactivity, says Michael Eloo, technical manager at the producer. Also new is the Gala Form C-PET technology for compounders. It produces crystalline pellets straight from the unit and eliminates the cost of energy required, as well as an extra work step, to reheat the pellets and change them from an amorphous to a crystalline state. Also new is a system targeting compounders to produce low-wear glass-fiber compounding. Gala Kunststoff- und Kautschukmaschinen GmbH, Xanten-Birten, Germany; www.gala-europe.de

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like