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Smart blender control options for injection, extrusion

Bringing together control technology developed for its TrueBlend family of gravimetric polymer blenders and the TrueBlend EXT extrusion-control system, Conair (Cranberry Twp., PA) is now offering three distinct blender-control options for both extruders and injection-molders.

PlasticsToday Staff

March 11, 2011

2 Min Read
Smart blender control options for injection, extrusion

Bringing together control technology developed for its TrueBlend family of gravimetric polymer blenders and the TrueBlend EXT extrusion-control system, Conair (Cranberry Twp., PA) is now offering three distinct blender-control options for both extruders and injection-molders.

NF_110311_Conair_lo_res.jpgSmartBlend SB-1 and SmartBlend SB-2 offer, respectively, standard and high-performance control for either process. The SB-2 platform can also be supplied with a software upgrade to add adaptive control of extruder throughput and finished product dimensions in mono-layer extrusion applications.

SmartBlend SB-1 is the standard control on Conair TrueBlend blenders and it represents the best choice for rapidly changing processing jobs and general-purpose molding and extrusion. Automatically calibrating itself to material flow rates, the SB-1 uses direct-to-target dosing and generally hits ingredient targets in one shot.

The SB-2 control, meanwhile, ensures repeatable, finely tuned precision dosing of multiple ingredients in either extrusion or injection molding. Many of the set-up and operation features are the same as in the SB-1, but it is based on an entirely different "feed forward" learning algorithm. Instead of making a single dispense and then adjusting for errors in subsequent batches, the new system uses incremental dispenses in each batch to hit the target weight more accurately.

Set-up procedure is the same as that of the SB-1 but the premium control adds other capabilities including the ability to set individual component dosing accuracy. The SB-2 also features a Virtual Network Client view to allow remote monitoring and control of the blender. It also has built in help screens and can deliver alarm notification via text message.

The SB-2 platform can also be supplied with a software upgrade that allows it to accept inputs from a TrueWeigh gravimetric weigh hopper mounted between the blender and the extruder feedthroat. The TrueWeigh hopper incorporates a highly accurate load cell that constantly reports the loss-in-weight of blended material as it flows out of the hopper and into the extruder. The SB-2 automatically makes extrusion line control adjustments to maintain a consistent throughput over time (to within 0.5% of the extruder output). —PlasticsToday Staff

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