Handling it (Your raw materials, that is)
DESCRIPTION: Distributed I/O 10/80 controller
INFO: The distributed I/O 10/80 controller from AEC Inc. — the newest member of the VacTrac Series — is designed to offer fast, easy and flexible solutions for the general conveying process with control of up to 10 vacuum conveying pumps, 80 loading stations and 80 purge valves. Featuring a distributed I/O network, the 10/80 provides a series of options per block to ensure maximum efficiency, allowing them to be tailored to fit a specific process.
An Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller with 10-inch color touch-screen operator interface with enhanced graphics is standard. The easy-to-follow graphical touchscreens provide total navigational control of the central vacuum system. The setup screen, for example, allows for the naming of loading stations, pumps, purge valves and material sources so you know exactly what is in each hopper and where it’s located.
The touchscreen display provides an icon-based platform for easy maintenance, operation and troubleshooting. Easy-to-read diagnostics, operation and installation instructions as well as spare parts information are all available from the touchscreen.
Manifold sharing capabilities allow the 10/80 to reduce the cost for tubing and purge valves, and can stage and sequence six vacuum pumps per manifold line. The 10/80 can assign each loading station to any of the pumps connected to the same manifold.
CONTACT: AEC Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.); www.aecinternet.com; 847-273-7700
Equiplas (Toronto); 416-407-5456
Lutek Plastic Equipment Inc. (Dorval, Que.); 514-421-8963
Shaw Equipment Technologies (Vancouver, Wash.); 1-800-528-8011
INFO: Designed to accurately add both regrind and color to natural resin, the Dual TrueFeed gravimetric feeder from Conair has two material hoppers and a control system that adjusts color percentages if regrind percentage varies. If no regrind is involved, the second hopper could also be used to stage a second color for quick changeover.
The color and additive feeders use gravimetric (loss-in-weight) metering technology that improves accuracy and makes the units simpler to operate. Unlike volumetric feeders, which have been standard in the plastics industry for years, gravimetric feeders are self-calibrating, adjusting automatically for changes in material type, bulk density or pellet geometry.
The control system tracks material dispensed and compares it to the programmed feed rate, adjusting continually to maintain the correct proportion of ingredients. When feeding color and regrind, the color side of the feeder can be slaved to the regrind side so that more or less color is dispensed, depending on how much regrind (which is already colored) is being used. An optional communications package is available to deliver material usage data to a central host computer for inventory control or process documentation.
No calibration is required for consistent metering, and the operating parameters can be stored in memory for recall the next time the same job is run. The system can store up to 1,500 set-ups.
CONTACT: The Conair Group (Cranberry, Pa.); www.conairnet.com; 742-584-5500
Hamilton Avtec (Mississauga, Ont.); 1-800-590-5546
INFO: FlexFlite Flexible Screw Conveyors from Cyclonaire Corporation use steel augers and flexible tubes up to 100 feet long to move materials at rates as high as 3,600 lbs/hour.
The spiral auger is the only moving part that contacts the conveyed material. It is coreless to minimize clogging, and has an oval cross-section to ensure positive movement of material through the delivery tube and metering accuracy. Close pitching of the spiral allows increased flexibility, a tighter bending radius, and operation at lower speeds.
FlexFlite is easy to run and maintain. The in-line, geared electric motor rotates the spiral and can be set at speeds suited to the density of conveyed materials, the angle of inclination, and distance and rate of transfer. Fully enclosed construction ensures contamination-free operation. The head housing provides access to the drive shaft for maintenance.
The conveyors are readily portable and ideal for conveying product from bags, bins, hoppers, or weigh stations. Rated capacities for the three FlexFlite models are 100, 300, and 400 cubic feet per hour.
CONTACT: Cyclonaire Corporation (York, Neb.); www.cyclonaire.com;800-445-0730
Con-V-Air (Mississauga, Ont.); 905-285-9934
(St-Hubert, Que.); 450-462-5959
INFO: The new Swivel-Port Diverter Valve from Lorenz, which automatically selects from up to 10 sources to destination, has been designed to solve a multitude of material conveying problems.
Made from heavy duty machined aluminum, the unit connects with rigid pipe, instead of flex hose, to orient incoming lines from virtually any angle or direction. Each segment can be rotated to suit an incoming pipe.
With a small footprint, it can be installed in minimal floor space, saving installation labor and maintenance costs.
Individual positive seating valves open on demand to allow a smooth flow of both material and air through the valve to the outlet and back into the conveying air stream.
After the conveying cycle is completed, the valve is resealed and, if necessary, a purge cycle is activated to ensure that the valve is completely clean before the next material is conveyed.
CONTACT: Lorenz Conveying Products (Cobourg, Ont.); www.lorenz.ca; 1-800-263-1942
INFO: The GlassVu GVL loader from Maguire Products is a self-contained unit designed to offer a full view of loading for easy setup and monitoring.
A slanted hinged lid at top provides easy access for cleanout and filter changing. The cylindrical body of the loader has a center section of borosilicate glass. The cylinder shape extends all the way down to the discharge area, eliminating the conventional cone-shaped bottom, whose narrow section can cause agglomeration or bridging of material.
Located at the base of the loader body, the discharge assembly controls the flow of materials with a pneumatically driven, positive-seal discharge valve that prevents vacuum leaks associated with flapper valves. The material drops into a hopper through a mechanical, counterbalanced level switch, which automatically returns to its normal position once material is evacuated.
The discharge area design also makes possible flush mounting of the loader onto a hopper by means of a mounting flange at the base of the loader. For mounting directly onto a processing machine, Maguire supplies a glass hopper, which is contained within a sturdy frame that supports the loader. The hopper pivots out of the frame for easy draining of residual material.
Other features include a rotating inlet that allows 360 access for hoses, a blowback system that cleans the entire surface of the filter with one blast, and a handle for easy portability.
CONTACT: Maguire Canada/Novatec Inc. (Vaughan, Ont.); www.maguirecanada.com; 1-866-441-8409
INFO: Pelletron is introducing a new low-leakage rotary valve series for pneumatic conveying
of granular products, designed to provide low leakage of air, continuous product flow, and high filling efficiency.
The company’s GRM Series is intended for medium pressure applications, while the GRH Series has been built for high-pressure applications.
The rotor design features expanded tips at the end of the rotor blades; also, expanded vanes at the ends result in lower air leakage.
In combination with the special rotor design, the number of rotor blades could be increased as well, which also contributes to a lower leakage rate. More vanes also provide more pockets, and result in an improved continuous product flow at higher filling rates.
The new rotary valves are available for various pressure applications, from a medium differential pressure of 22psi (1.5 bar), to a high-pressure version for 50psi (3.5 bar). The valves are available for conveying capacities of 4,500 lbs/hour (~2t/h) up to 220,000 lbs/hour (~100t/h), depending on the bulk density of the conveyed product. A quick-clean version for adhesive products or for easy cleaning during product change over is available as well, called GQM Series.
The housing is made in stainless steel or hard-coated aluminum, and the rotor is always made in stainless steel.
CONTACT: Pelletron Corporation (Lancaster, Pa.); www.pelletroncorp.com; 717-293-4008
INFO: The standard version of Motan’s fully automatic coupling station, Metrolink, supplies up to 15 processing machines automatically with up to 16 material options.
Due to the modular construction, the capacity can easily be expanded and the compact, sophisticated design of the material distribution system enables space-saving integration into the process.
Using the Metrolink in production plants with numerous processing machines, manufacturing will continue even if there is a malfunction within the system, and all machines will continue to be supplied with material. Moreover, when a material change is required, this can be done manually.
Unlike conventional automatic distribution systems, the Metrolink is only in action when the material is changed, and not whenever a conveying point needs material. The system throughput can also be increased using the Metrolink, since several machine lines can be fed with material at the same time.
CONTACT: Motan Inc. (Plainwell, Mich.); www.motan.com; 1-800-991-9921
Dier International Plastics Inc. (Unionville, Ont.); 905-474-9874
D Cube (Montreal, Que.); 514-272-0500
INFO: The new AccuMeter continuous loss-in-weight feeding system from Sterling is designed to handle most pellets, regrind, powders and liquids, even at very low levels (>50 grams/hour).
The AccuMeter series features a modular, compact design that provides complete flexibility for changes in your process. Pellets, micro-pellets, powders, liquids, and regrind are all accurately metered, while twin-screw feeders and special agitators are also available for non free-flowing materials. Self-calibration eliminates the need to take manual weight samples or calibrations.
The refill system is designed for up to 40 refills per hour, which can reduce system size and cost, especially when used with integral conveying systems. The vacuum receiver can also be used as the refill hopper to further reduce the overall height of the system. Smaller components allow quick changeover, since less material needs to be drained and fewer components need cleaning.
The AccuMeter can feed from 50 grams/hour to 16,500 lbs/hour (7,500 kgs/hour) and can accommodate up to eight precision feeders per extruder. All components are continuously dosed, and the material flow is constantly monitored and controlled.
The system has a cumulative dosing accuracy of 0.5%, and is driven by variable speed DC drive motors.
CONTACT: Sterling Inc. (New Berlin, Wis.); www.sterlco.com; 262-641-8610
CN Smith Machinery Sales Inc. (Georgetown, Ont.); 416-917-3737
INFO: The new Quantum Series 4-Way Wye Line Diverter from Vortex Valves has been engineered to handle dry bulk solids in pneumatic conveying systems with vacuum or positive pressures up to 15 psig (1 barg).
Available in two-inch to six-inch (50 mm to 150 mm) pipe or tube, the system can direct dry bulk material from one source to four destinations, or converge from four sources to one destination.
The Quantum Series provides positive shutoff of air and material improving process efficiency, minimizes cross contamination, and eliminates material buildup beyond the closed port.
CONTACT: Vortex Valves (Salina, Kan.); www.vortexvalves.com; 785-825-7177
(Mississauga, Ont.); 905-607-5200
(Edmonton, Alta.); 780-432-3612
(Dorval, Que.); 514-684-0058
INFO: The new FeedMax B, the latest generation of the FeedMax Series material loaders from Wittmann, features a complete construction redesign.
By slanting the cylindrical part of the center section, a greater cross sectional area of the loader is achieved, ensuring easy access for thorough cleaning, long operating life, and efficient use.
The FeedMax B units feature connections to the material inlets and vacuum outlets that can be adapted to fit various system tubing diameters. By means of a modular kit consisting of two different cylinder segments, the loader can be configured for any desired throughput.
The units are suited for dedicated as well as common material line conveying. Also, loaders can be equipped as an option with a triple-shielded capacitive level sensor in order to avoid programming and faulty entry of loading times.
Unchanged from the previous series, the FeedMax B loaders employ a pneumatically-actuated material discharge bell. By pneumatically actuating the discharge bell, atmospheric pressure differences between the interior of the loader and the discharge cone have no influence on the function of the unit. This also eliminates the need for a filter in the cone that would otherwise need to be cleaned after material changes.
CONTACT: Wittmann Canada Inc. (Richmond Hill, Ont.); www.wittmann-canada.com; 1-866-387-4590
Anplast Inc. (Anjou, Que.); 1-800-387-4590