Triple lip air ring boosts productivity
Hosokawa Alpine was showing a live link from its booth to a film extrusion line at Dow's plant at Freeport, Texas. This line is running Alpine's seven-layer X-Die and has been retrofitted with a V-ring triple lip air ring that significantly increases productivity. Bubble stability and gauge control are improved. The increase in output is 25-30%. Alpine points out that the return on investment is measured in weeks and months, not years.
Hosokawa Alpine American (Natick, Mass.);
Integrated film extrusion process control
The Sympronix system for film lines, Gloucester Engineering's new graphical touchscreen user interface, has totally open architecture so that it can communicate with virtually any device. It features precise, full-time measuring , monitoring, tracking, trending, and reporting capabilities. This gives film extruders 24/7 automated monitoring and complete reporting on every aspect of the extrusion line, from loading resin to unloading finished product. Symphonix offers the latest in connectivity including advanced networking functions, wireless remote control capabilities, and simple remote access for off-site diagnostics. It is available on Gloucester's blown film systems, or is retrofittable to existing lines.
Also new from Gloucester and unveiled at the show were: thermal upgrades to its blown film dies; a triple lip air ring that gives a 15-30% increase in output; a new stretch film winder, and a winder that can do either centre drive, surface drive, or both.
Gloucester Engineering Company (Gloucester, Mass.);
Intregrated control brought to downstream extrusion equipment
Auxiliary equipment manufacturer Novatec took advantage of NPE to debut its entry into the downstream extrusion equipment business: the Bessemer Downstream series of cooling tanks, pullers and cutters for tubing, profiles and small pipe.
Novatec has leveraged its expertise in integrated control for auxiliary equipment and applied the same principals to downstream extrusion lines. Until now, each piece of downstream extrusion equipment had individual controls. Now Novatec has connected the controls together, using standard Seimens PLC touchscreen controls, standard wireless connectivity, and standard servo-drive technology. If the system goes out of spec, it can call or email alarms and out of trend information to an off-site location.
For the cooling tanks, Novatec has written a program that allows the user to enter the resin type and product diameter, and the software calculate the precise length of cooling needed in the spray tanks. This saves water and energy.
For the pullers, a load cell detects the impression on the product when the puller belt is tightened. This is programmed, and then automatically set the next time that product is run.
Standard recipe menus help make the process more repeatable.
Novatec Inc./Maguire Canada (Vaughn, Ont.);
Barway Plastic Equipment Inc. (Vaudreuil-Dorian, Que.); www.barway.ca; 450-455-1396
Versatile new mid-range controller
A new mid-range controller from Davis-Standard, LLC – the DS-eVUE – offers processors added versatility for nearly every extrusion process. The controller replaces Davis-Standard’s MESA III product and existing HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems. It is also an option for customers previously requiring the Harrel Tubetrol controller. Davis-Standard will continue to service older controllers subject to availability, but the DS-eVUE will be the standard mid-range option available from this point forward.
Davis-Standard replaced the MESA to further improve features for customers requiring an option between the company’s DS-eTPC (basic control) and EPIC III (advanced control) systems. Improvements over the MESA include a solid state hard drive, which offers a slimmer package and flexible mounting options; a 15-inch (381mm) wide-screen HMI; a temperature auto-tuning option; an FDA-21 Part 11 ready for medical systems; and an optional wireless LAN connection. In addition, the DS-eVUE has an increased data tag count, which enables it to control larger systems than the MESA. Other notable features include a graphic overview, reports, trending, event log and data collection, a WEB interface for two concurrent users, remote diagnostic capabilities, multi-level programmable security and e-mail notifications.
Davis-Standard LLC (Pawcatuck, Conn.); www.davis-standard.com; 860-599-1010
Auxiplast Inc. (Ste-Julie, Que.); www.auxiplast.com; 450-922-0282
Innovations for pipe, profile and PP sheet
battenfeld-cincinnati showcased new equipment from each of its three divisions at NPE.
SolEX is a series of high performance 40D single screw extruders for high-density polyethylene and polypropylene pipe extrusion, available in five sizes with screw diameters from 45 to 120 mm. Their outstanding feature is high output with low melt temperature.
The twinEx series of parallel twin screw extruders consists of four machines in sizes from 78 to 135 mm and is ideal for the production of PVC pipe and profiles. The extruders require approximately 15% less specific energy input with a simultaneous increase in output compared to other counter rotating twin screw extruders.
The Multi-Touch roll stack is a new development for polypropylene sheet extrusion. The Multi-Touch allows for space saving while ensuring product quality. The sheet passes through a number of polishing rolls, with the first two being larger than the following for optimal cooling and transmission. The result is PP sheet with higher transparency and surface gloss.
The company announced at NPE that it has completed the phase out of the American Maplan Corporation name, effective April 2012, and has changed its name to battenfeld-cincinnati USA to reflect the brand name of the parent group of companies. It has three customer-focused divisions: Infrastructure (pipe); Construction (profile, PVC sheet, WPC) and Packaging (sheet, pelletizing).
battenfeld-cincinnati USA (McPherson, Kan.);
Nine-layer blown film die for barrier films
Macro Engineering showcased its latest 9-layer blown film coextrusion die, an adaptation of the manufacturer’s TaperPack stackable die design, which Macro uses on smaller-diameter blown film lines as well as its double and triple bubble lines.
The key adaptation to this latest design is the extruder adaptor heights are all level; meaning extruder centerline heights don’t need to be staggered to accommodate the die’s adaptors. This greatly simplifies installation and frees up space in the extrusion area.
As with previous versions of the TaperPack die, this newly designed die has the versatility to run the majority of today’s polymers. With a short residence time and the ability to carefully control temperatures and layer thickness, the die provides the processing flexibility that allows for a wide array of product changes that include barrier structures comprised of PA and EVOH.
The die is available up to 11-layers and can be outfitted with IBC hardware and Macro’s ACCUPRO Automatic Gauge Control die lip heaters.
Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.);
ENTEK shows new twin-screw technologies, services
ENTEK Extruders had two twin-screw extruders on display, a 27mm model for laboratory applications and small-lot compounding, and a 103mm machine for large-scale production of biopolymers. The 103mm model was used by DaniMer Scientific of Bainbridge, GA for producing high volumes of renewable hot melt adhesives (RHMA); it features an all-new base design for easier access and a 52:1 L/D, 300 rpm, 600hp motor with a 93mm side feeder attached.
The company also showed a variety of new products and technologies: numerous updates to ENTEK’s line of twin-screw extruders that provide easier maintenance and operation, including a new single-panel base design, a redesigned lube system for easier access and viewing, a new barrel shroud for cleaner operation, and redesigned connection points for auxiliaries; a new, patent-pending ‘Ultimate Kneader’ that provides processors with an industry first – a combination single-piece screw for co-rotating twin-screw extruders; new screw remanufacturing capabilities for extra-large elements (250mm and 133mm), providing processors with significant cost savings by bringing new life to old, worn elements that were previously discarded; and new enhanced control functions for ENTEK twin-screw extruders, including enhanced trend monitoring as a standard on every machine, 24/7 remote access for machine support, an enhanced recipe/formula system, and remote data storage to servers
ENTEK Manufacturing Inc. (Lebanon, Or.);
Dryer-less twin-screw sheet extrusion system
PTi introduced its dryer-less sheet extrusion system, an eco-friendly manufacturing solution, which delivers major energy savings and cost reduction; it’s said to be the only full-scale dryer-less twin-screw sheet extrusion demonstration system available for trials in North America. PTi has invested more than $3 million to install the unit at company headquarters for North American customers.
The production-scale unit, which is capable of processing rates in excess of 2000 lb per hour (900 kg/hr), runs a variety of resins including post-consumer and industrial PET/PLA.
The company also presented its new line of winding systems, specifically the company’s first three-position turret winder.
It’s a compact system that allows slit material to be wound two-up; for example, half-slit material can be run on two rolls at the same time. It has a maximum diameter of 40-in, capability for three- and six-in cores, a maximum roll weight of 4300 lb, and maximum width of 70-in.
PTi’s line of sheet winding system also includes cantilever, A-frame, and automatic designs. Fully automated features include cut and transfer, shaft extraction, roll un-loading/core loading, and roll weight measurements and recording. Several of the winders are capable of differential shaft winding, allowing for multiple webs on a single shaft. The winders were initially developed to support PTi’s sheet extrusion systems but are also offered as stand-alone products.
Processing Technologies International LLC (Aurora, Ill.);
New “air bubble” multi-layer sheet extrusion process
Alpha Marathon has expanded its plastic extrusion business by introducing the Alpha BubbleRigid sheet line, a multi-layer sheet extrusion process to manufacture a rigid sheet board using air bubble extrusion technology method as the core layer.
Fully automatic turnkey co-extrusion cast line includes laminating station, and corona treater and printer. The rigid sheet is extruded into a variety of different thicknesses and basis weight, with a multitude of different required applications.
The BubbleRigid technology has the following characteristics: Weight: 250 to 3000 GSM; thickness range: 2 to 9 mm; bubble diameters of 4 mm, 8 mm, and 12 mm; standard sheet sizes of 1.22 mm x 1.82 mm, and 1.22 mm x 2.44 mm; surface texture of either matt or gloss.
Alpha Marathon (Woodbridge, Ont.);