Instead of using motor-driven augers, the new MicroAutoWeigh gravimetric blender uses pneumatic technology for all major functions, including dispensing, metering, and mixing. This technology makes the blenders simpler mechanically, easier to clean and service, lighter in weight, and safer to operate. It is small in size?24 inches high with a 6-by-6-inch footprint?and weighs less than 60 lb. This makes it suitable for blending up to four ingredients right on the feedthroat of small injection molding machines. It has been fitted on a machine with a clamping force of 70 tons and, according to Conair, can fit on smaller ones.
After material and additives have been metered into the weigh bin, a pneumatic actuator opens the valve at the bottom of the bin, dropping the batch into the mixing chamber. There, a two-way air cylinder is used to rotate the agitator, eliminating the need for an electric motor. The valve moves the agitator both clockwise and counterclockwise for effective mixing. The agitator itself is attached to the chamber access door, so it comes out when the door is removed, eliminating the need for an interlock.
This Model GBM40 blender uses new micro-pulsing dispensing valves, in conjunction with new software, to meter minor ingredients. The valves can accurately dispense just three or four pellets (.1g) of color or additive and can blend as little as 1 lb/hour or as much as 50 lb/hour.
The basic unit is a four-position, four-bin blender intended for manual loading of two major and two minor ingredients. For molders wanting to use the MicroAutoWeigh as part of an automated central materials handling system, the unit can be equipped with two larger bins for major component materials and standard vacuum receivers. The blender is self-calibrating and continually adjusts during operation to compensate for batch-to-batch material variations. It stores up to 98 material recipes and is controlled from a compact operator panel, which can be located up to 50 ft away from the blender itself. The MicroAutoWeigh ranges in price from $6400 to $6800, depending on the configuration.
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