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Leistritz plans to commercialize quick-change extruder in 2005

Extrusion equipment maker Leistritz Extrusiontechnik expects to market by March a new generation of extruders, ZSE FLEXX and ZSE MAXX, which is calculated to increase performance by up to 35% and make barrel/screw changes possible in 30 minutes. At the time the prototype idea was first reported (February 2004 MP/ MPI), the company said it decided to take an idea from equipment used in the pharmaceutical sector using twin-screw extruders and apply it to plastics processing.

The new ZSE FLEXX extruder (below) allows the barrel and screw to be lifted off a frame via a special grip mechanism to be placed next to the base for cooling and cleaning. At the same time the gripper replaces a new one set of screws and barrel onto the unit. The barrel clamps onto the extruder body and operators connect power and water lines before it is ready for production. Depending on operators efficiency, the entire operation can take less than half hour of downtime.

While the clean screw and barrel start up production, the original unit can cool for cleaning and maintenance. Marketing director Richard Steiner says cleaning downtime can be reduced by up to 70% and the system is more cost effective than investing in a second extruder.

The ZSE MAXX range, which replaces the HP range, is said to increase performance 25% to 35% through the optimization of volume and torque ratios. It includes an integrated barrel cooling system and shrouding of the drive to reduce shopfloor noise levels. Leistritz Extrusionstechnik, Nurnberg, Germany; +49 911 43060; www.leistritz-extrusion.de

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