The Treffert Group (Bingen am Rhein, Germany), a supplier of masterbatches and specialty compounds, has added a twin screw extruder from Coperion (Stuttgart, Germany), a leader in compounding systems, feeding technologies, and bulk materials handling systems and services, to its production line. Treffert has installed the machine at its French facility in Sainte-Marie-aux-Chênes primarily for the production of masterbatches and concentrates for laser-based and other sensitive applications for customers in the medical technology, pharmaceutical, and automotive sectors.
First introduced at K 2013 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the ZSK 32 Mc18 smart extruder with 32-mm-diam screws is designed for easy cleaning, a key requirement in medical applications. Treffert also appreciated the extruder's safety features and ease of use, Coperion's Kathrin Fleuchaus told PlasticsToday.
"The screw shaft axes are 800 mm above floor level, allowing visibility of the entire extruder," says Fleuchaus. "The process section and all peripheral units are easily accessible by operators," she adds, and auxiliary units such as the side feeders and devolatilization systems can be mounted on extruder barrels using a swivel arm. "They can be operated from the floor without the need for stepladders, platforms, or overhead cranes, which improves operator safety," says Fleuchaus. The configuration also means that the peripherals do not come into contact with the floor and, therefore, are not exposed to potential contaminants.
The extrusion system's fully enclosed base contains all of the connections, water supply system, and manifold, making the smooth, readily accessible surface easy to clean.
In addition to the extruder, Coperion also supplied the pelletizing system, which includes the water bath, strand suction device, strand pelletizer, and pellet screener.
In recent years, Treffert has focused on the production of masterbatches and compounds for demanding applications in the medical and optics manufacturing sectors. This has, in turn, led to more demanding requirements for the production systems themselves, says Treffert CEO Heinrich Treffert. Product purity and contaminant-free production methods are a priority, and these attributes were guiding principles in the development of Coperion's ZSK 32 Mc18 smart system for its facility. The two companies have a longstanding professional relationship, and Treffert was actively involved in this development project from start to finish.
As for Coperion, the project represented an opportunity to deepen its expertise in meeting the rigorous requirements of the medical technology industry. "Medical [currently] is not the biggest market for Coperion," says Fleuchaus, "but it is getting more and more important. High purity is the most important requirement for this market, and extrusion systems designed to meet this demand also will benefit other markets, such as the automotive sector," adds Fleuchaus.