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A patent-pending tooling system for pipe and profile extrusion uses what it calls the world's first triple helix calibrator to provide precise adjustability during start-up and operation and dramatically cut start up, changeover, and production scrap. Called the Flextrusion system and produced by HG Engineering (McPherson, KS), the technology features a patent-pending adjustable pipe-sizing sleeve to provide precise adjustability during start-up and operation.

MPW Staff

December 30, 2009

2 Min Read
Pipe-profile tooling system cuts scrap, allows adjustable operation

A patent-pending tooling system for pipe and profile extrusion uses what it calls the world's first triple helix calibrator to provide precise adjustability during start-up and operation and dramatically cut start up, changeover, and production scrap. Called the Flextrusion system and produced by HG Engineering (McPherson, KS), the technology features a patent-pending adjustable pipe-sizing sleeve to provide precise adjustability during start-up and operation. In addition, HG says it has "rethought" the way extrudate is cooled with greater thermal efficiency boosting production rates. Specifically, the calibrator sleeve maximizes heat transfer efficiency to significantly improve cooling.

Flextrusion's adjustable pipe-sizing sleeve

Flextrusion's  pipe-sizing sleeve allows adjustments in start-up and operation.

Along with adjustability, the Flextrusion system features a double compression extrusion head that is said to boost product quality by conditioning the material and removing defects caused by die spiders and a lack of compression. An internal temperature sensor provides feedback on the state of the extrusion process, which HG says results in "robust and repeatable control" over wall thickness.

Hans Groeblacher, president and CEO of HG Engineering, told MPW that the system has been used in conjunction with extrusion grades of PVC, cPVC, ABS, PE, PP, PEX, and composite materials. Groeblacher reports that applications cover a variety of pipe and tubing products, including medical, gas, and pressure pipe from ¼-inch to 16-inches outer diameter (OD), with a variety of wall thicknesses. The company has received multiple orders for Flextrusion systems, with "extensive" production tests and evaluations on PE, PP, PVC, and gas pipes, according to Groeblacher. The Flextrusion head assembly has the patents pending for its double compression, X/Y adjustment, and internal temperature monitoring and control features. The calibration system is seeking patent protection for the multiple-helix adjustable-calibration sleeve assembly and the improved heat transfer in the calibration sleeve's front section. - [email protected]

Example of Cost Savings for PEX Production

Traditional

Flextrusion

Product Output Rate (lb/hr)

500

500

Cost of Materials ($/lb)

$0.40

$0.40

Operating Hr/Yr

7426

7426

Total Cost of Changeover Scrap/Yr

$42,752

$5344

Total Cost of Changeover Time/Yr

$22,880

$2860

Total Cost of Production Scrap/Yr

$178,020

$30,418

Total Cost of Lost Production Time/Yr

$47,636

$8140

Annual Operating Costs

$291,288

$46,762

Total Potential Savings

$244,526

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