Prime among these is FET (feed enhancement technology) that promises to increase the throughput of feed-limited products such as powdered materials with low bulk density–talc, for example. This is done by improvements to the screw geometry as well as by creating a vacuum in the feed zone on a wall section that is porous and permeable to gas. The vacuum on the outer walls improves the material's feeding. The company foresees this technology will be applicable to compounding of highly-filled compounds, polypropylene-filled with glass spheres, wood-plastics composites (WPC), masterbatches, recycling, and powder coatings.
Heidemeyer reports another development, the ZS-EG twin screw side degassing unit, promises easier operation, higher throughput due to a higher degree of filling (up to 30%), no black spots, and easier cleaning when compounding thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), WPC, glass-fiber-reinforced compounds, and highly-filled materials. Operated by a high-powered motor, it can be fitted next to the barrel. The optimized screw setting permit an easy exchange of parts, he says.
The company’s EpcNT control system now has a feature that functions like a “black box” on airplanes. It traces problems if a main drive should stop and it provides high-speed traces (40ms) of important analog signals such as torque to generate an audit trail for quality control. Another feature is integrated downtime analysis to allow for quick analysis of faults or the production process. —[email protected]