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Pipe extrusion: Cost, production efficiencies highlighted at symposium

Elimination of work steps can help processors stay competitive. During a recent in-house symposium attended by MPW, pipe processing equipment manufacturer Unicor (Hassfurt, Germany) highlighted one technology, pipe-in-a-pipe (PIP), that could provide substantial savings in processing and meet the demands of plumbers and pipe fitters who want ready-to-install solutions to ease installation.

Elimination of work steps can help processors stay competitive. During a recent in-house symposium attended by MPW, pipe processing equipment manufacturer Unicor (Hassfurt, Germany) highlighted one technology, pipe-in-a-pipe (PIP), that could provide substantial savings in processing and meet the demands of plumbers and pipe fitters who want ready-to-install solutions to ease installation.

In PIP, a corrugated outer shell provides protection for PEX pipe, cables, or PEX barrier pipes during installation. By extruding the smooth pipe at the same time as the protective corrugated outer shell is produced, energy and time are saved. This also eliminates the need for manually threading one pipe into another.



Unicor’s R&D director Hubert Kossner explains features of the company’s UC58 corrugator technology during its recent pipe symposium in Germany.



The company’s latest corrugator series, the UC58/90V, includes 90 pairs of mold blocks (the larger UC58/120V has 120 mold-block pairs for higher production speed). Both lines are said to be low maintenance and user-friendly. The two units have an extra-long middle channel that is designed for optimized cooling of the corrugated pipe. Special indirect water cooling, along with an innovative guiding device, help avoid pipes sticking together when one is extruded into the other, says Hubert Koßner, Unicor’s R&D manager.

After exiting the corrugator at approximately 90°C, the pipe enters a 6m- or 9m-long cooling spray bath. A haul-off, which pulls the pipe and is synchronized with the speed of the extruder, guides the finished PIP to a semi- or fully automatic coiler. Both corrugators are equipped with SPS S7-200 control units. Output rates up to 35 m/min can be achieved. Both models can process pipe with an ID as small as 8 mm and an OD sized up to 58 mm. [email protected]

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