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September 1, 2001

8 Min Read
WEB EXCLUSIVE:K 2001 preview: Auxiliaries

You can't run a molding machine without an array of auxiliary equipment to support it. Among the hundreds of auxiliary equipment suppliers that will be exhibiting equipment at K, here is just a small sampling. 

New sprue pickers, temperature control units, and chillers can be found at Conair's stand. Among the highlights are the latest sprue pickers from the MX Series. Molders no longer have to climb on top of the machine to make stroke changes. Now available with a handheld operator-interface pendant, the latest sprue pickers allow molders to make vertical and kick stroke adjustments remotely. The pickers are available in eight models for molding machines ranging from 20 to 550 tons. 

On the chiller side, Conair will show off its GC Series. The large units in this series come with scroll compressors and a microprocessor control with digital temperature display and LED indicator lights. Also new is the AX Series, which is available from 8.2 tons (AX25) to 100 tons (AX300). Each unit comes with standard scroll compressors for a reported 15 percent greater energy efficiency and a microprocessor control system that provides setpoint and actual temperatures, component status, multiple alarm settings, and diagnostic messages. Both chiller models feature corrosion-free stainless steel water circuits. 

Three new water temperature control units in the TC90 range and two new TC200 oil units also will be shown. The water units feature two-stage switchable heating capacities of 9, 12, and 18 kW and deliver hot water up to 90C. The oil units offer a maximum temperature of 200C with 4- and 6-kW heating. These units feature a larger-capacity reservoir to allow for increased expansion of oil when used at higher operating temperatures. Both oil and water units include submersible pumps that eliminate seal leaks. In addition, both are equipped with the Eurotrac microprocessor control, which provides PID control, dual digital display of setpoint and actual temperatures, and full fault diagnostics. The units have a footprint of 290 by 655 mm. 


Several exhibitors will showcase options in temperature control, including Tricool, which has a new control interface for its Combi line of control products.

Even more options in temperature control will be offered by Tricool. A new control interface has been incorporated into Tricool's total diagnostic system on its Combi line of temperature control products. The line now has switched heating using solid-state relays. High-temperature products are supplied with magnetic drive pumps for applications up to 350C. 

Another product, the 160C self-pressurizing water temperature control unit, is designed for the company's Viceroy range of thermoregulators. The units reportedly provide efficient high- and low-temperature heat transference capabilities through water. 

PMS Systems will offer a temperature control of a different kind, which is appropriately titled the K Series. The compact controllers have a color touch-screen user interface programmed with Easyview. The program allows users to place live temperature display panels onto a hot runner photograph or layout drawing for easy zone identification. The control cabinet, which measures 100 by 45 by 40 cm, houses modular control cards with inline current measurements. Visitors can see an operating example of the new controller at Milacron's booth, where it will be used with a 128-cavity, two-color, rotating stack mold made by Foboha. 


Novatec's new PLC controller for resin dryers will be installed on an MDM-25 Micro dryer at K.

If a dryer is what you're looking for, Maguire will show the latest addition to its low-pressure line. The unit, which dries by pulling vacuum on the material, can reportedly dry most any material in about 40 minutes. Designated the LPD 30, the new beside-the-press dryer accommodates molding machine throughputs of up to 50 lb/hr (22.7 kg/hr), depending on resin type. The 30 refers to the .30-cu-ft volume of any of the three vacuum chambers or canisters on the indexing carousel inside the dryer. The combination of vacuum drying and multistation indexing reportedly cuts drying time and energy consumption by 80 percent, eliminates the need for desiccant dryers, and makes on-the-fly material changeovers possible. 

The LPD dryer differs from conventional hot air desiccant dryers in two ways, according to Maguire. One, instead of heating the resin and flowing dry air over the pellets to draw the moisture out slowly, the LPD dryer uses a vacuum to pull moisture from within the pellets. Secondly, the LPD dryer carries out heating and vacuum drying simultaneously in separate stations. 

Also at the Maguire stand will be an adapter module that communicates between the company's weigh scale blenders and other machines via fieldbus protocols. Called the Maguire Fieldbus Interface (MFI), the adapter enables molders to draw on batch-by-batch material consumption data from the blender or to perform centralized plantwide control. Specifically, molders can integrate raw material metering data from the blender with information on molding cycles from the press. This makes it possible to pinpoint the average shot weight in a given number of cycles. The MFI adapters are available in two forms. A small external module is available that connects to the serial interface on the blender controller and to the cable linked to the fieldbus system in the plant. The adapter is also available as an internal card that replaces the standard RS232 serial port in the blender controller. 

Novatec also will show a new PLC controller for resin dryers. It will run on an MDM-25 Micro dryer at the show. Called NovaTouch, the Siemens S7-224 PLC with touch panel is expected to become the primary controller on all Novatec desiccant dryers by the end of 2001, though the company's MCD-1000, 2000, and 3000 Series microprocessors will remain on the market. Options for the PLC controller include an Eprom memory card, as well as modules and communication cards that can be added to enable networking and remote control. 


One of Piovan's new keypad controllers can manage up to eight conveying systems and 47 granulators.

New to Europe, also from Novatec, is the NovaDrier, which debuted at last year's NPE in Chicago. It operates without the use of desiccants or moving parts. According to Novatec, the system dries with standard compressed air and reduces the energy and maintenance costs associated with the moving parts used in conventional drying systems. Air from the drying media is -40F or lower, which helps maintain a constant low dewpoint. The dryer is made of stainless steel and its hoppers are insulated for better temperature control and to reduce the amount of heat generated into the atmosphere. There is no process motor, regeneration motor, or regeneration heater. And on higher-temperature applications, there are no valves or cooling coils. 

Lastly, Novatec's dust bag kit will also be at the booth. The kit consists of an electro-polished stainless steel adapter, a hose clamp, and a dust collection bag. The adapter is installed in place of the standard filter cartridge and is reportedly clog-proof. The dust collection bag, which measures 12 by 19 inches, is designed not to rub on the loader and wear prematurely. The unit is priced at $135. 

Wittmann will show off its resin dryers, material handling systems, granulators, and temperature controllers. One highlight is the new, portable Dry Air Drymax 100, which uses two separate drying hoppers. Wittmann will also exhibit the MB 18-18, a new low-speed, beside-the-press granulator. It features optional noise insulation and comes equipped with a Wittmann vacuum receiver. Another new product, a series of temperature controllers called New Tempro Plus, controls temperatures up to 250C as an oil unit or up to 160C as a water unit. 


Wittmann's portable Drymax dryer can be rolled up to a molding machine as needed.

A range of auxiliaries will be found at the Piovan stand. Among them is the new EasySystem, a centralized feeding and conveying system that allows for gradual upgrades. With it, users can manage material storage and distribution with a single extended keypad. The keypad manages and controls all components of the system and checks the working parameters and functioning status of each element. One keypad can manage up to eight conveying systems and 47 material receivers. 

Also making its debut at the show will be the RN15 series of low-speed granulators. Three versions are available that provide either direct connection with the hopper loader, an integrated collecting bin with an inclined screw, or a cyclone and blower. These models offer a reversible feeding mouth. 

Tria will introduce Europeans to Nissui's S-cutter, a low-revolution granulator for the inline recovery of runners. The system is composed of a granulator equipped with a rotary cutter, which has cutting edges that contrast with toothed counterknives. 

For molders looking to operate at higher injection pressures and temperatures than current machine barrels allow, plan to stop by Xaloy's stand. The company will present the new X340 barrels, designed to withstand pressures of up to 43,500 psi at temperatures up to 450C. To complete the high-pressure/temperature system, Xaloy will also showcase two alternative screw constructions. 

Gas-assist nozzles for structural foam molding can be found at Wilmington Machinery's booth. New individual onboard control nozzles for up to 48 filling sequences will also be showcased. Also at the Wilmington stand, look for new wood-filled molding applications. Wilmington has had reported success with 30 percent wood-filled PP on a specially designed 375-ton two-stage injection machine. 


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