K 2010 ROUND-UP: EXTRUSION
High throughput rates for polyolefin pipe
Research & Development
Extrusion: Machinery & Equipment
Extrusion: New Technologies
Plastics: Technology Advances
High throughput rates for polyolefin pipe
Cincinnati Milacron Extrusion Systems introduced a new grooved feed single screw extruder featuring high torque and high throughput rates for polyolefin pipe.
The GPAK 90-36 extruder shown by Milacron at K has a screw diameter of 90mm and 36:1 L/D ratio for optimum processing length. It has a workhorse 300 kW (400 HP) motor and drive system, and a Koellmann double reduction gear reducer. Other features include a special barrier screw design, and a Mosaic microprocessor control with 381 mm (15 inch) color LCD touch screen.
Maximum throughput of the GPAK90-36 ranges from 800-950 kg/hr when running high-density polyethylene, and 550-660 kg/hr when running polypropylene.
The complete GPAK grooved feed single screw line includes six models (45mm; 60mm; 75mm; 90mm; 120mm and 150mm). Each model is available with L/D options of 36:1 and 30:1, to allow for customization and a precise fit to match customer requirements.
Cincinnati Milacron Extrusion Systems (Batavia, Ohio); www.milacron.com; 513-536-3303
Accuplast Solutions (Beaconsfield, Que.); 514-630-0808
High-speed pouch maker with advanced control
The Vegaplus 610 form Mamata was shown at K running four printed webs to make stand-up zipper pouches at high speeds. This system is capable of running either coextruded or laminated films, and can register multiple printed webs at high speeds.
Job set-up wastage is minimal.
The supervisory control and production management system on the Vegaplus 610 pouch maker features an intelligent processor with touch screen, Ethernet power linked servo drives and multiple web cams. It can be linked on a local area network (LAN). The system is ready for virtual private network (VPN) and can be supported from any remote place in the world.
Applications include: laminated stand-up pouches for the food industry; vacuum pouches from coextruded films; round corner retort pouches; personal hygiene product packaging; beverage pouches; and medical product pouches.
Mamata USA Inc. (Montgomery, Ill.); www.mamatausa.com; 630-801-2320
Robust and straightforward extrusion control
Welex’s new Sentinel system vastly expands the control capabilities of its sheet extruders. For example, it provides management reports on the utilization of time, and looks for maintenance requirements before they become problems.
Built on an Allan-Bradley platform, the controller is robust, modular, and easily scalable. The easy-to-read format of the 15-inch touch screen allows the operator to quickly confirm running conditions of the extruder and any associated components (such as screen changer, gear pump, or die) including machine and line speeds, loads, pressures, and melt temperatures.
It is easy to change languages and units of measure displayed on the Sentinel controller, and instruction manuals and videos may be displayed right on the control.
The Welex Sentinel uses the Ethernet/IP fieldbus protocol for real-time control and information.
All line components may be monitored remotely, reducing maintenance costs while providing improved diagnostic benefits.
Welex Incorporated (Blue Bell, Pa.); www.welex.com; 215-542-8000
Extrusion Systems Inc (Markham, Ont.); 905-474-1896
Nine-layer blown film extrusion line for food, medical packaging
The Reifenhauser Kiefel Extrusion Evolution 9-layer extrusion line is designed to handle a wide range of film recipes, resin structures and layer thickness ratios commonly used in the food and medical packaging industry today.
The system’s centrepiece is its extruder/blown film die-head combination. The new EVOLUTION extruder excels through its great flexibility in the processing of polyolefins and barrier raw materials such as EVOH, PA and PETG, and it has an extremely wide throughput range at very low melt temperatures.
The blown film die-head is designed for trouble-free production with a wide variety of recipes commonly used in the industry today. The rheological and thermal design of the die-head permits manufacturers to consistently produce films with minimized individual layer thickness with highly accurate thickness ratios of the individual layers. The ideal surface texture and geometry of the melt channels allow for quick product changes and very short raw-material dwell times.
The film cooling unit has been redesigned and adapted to the particular characteristics of barrier film requirements. This permits barrier films to be run at throughput rates that were only possible with polyolefins until now.
Reifenhauser Kiefel Extrusion Ipswich, Mass.); www.kiefel-extrusion.com; 978-412-9700
Barway Plastic Equipment (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.); www.barway.ca; 450-455-1396
Top-quality blown films for wide range of applications
The Optimex, Windmoeller & Holscher’s new 3-layer blown film line offers an economically attractive means of producing top-quality films for a wide range of applications, including packaging, carrier bags, laminating and shrink- or stretch hoods.
The Optimex is composed of many well-known and field-proven components from the W&H VAREX blown film line as well as with brand new components. Available widths are: 1,300 mm, 1,600 mm and 1,800 mm layflats, as well as 2,200 mm and 2,600 mm side-gussetted layflat.
The unit also includes the Maxicone C die, which has already proved successful with the company’s Varex blown film line. Its low melt volume and short melt path are instrumental for yielding the best film quality and rapid changeovers. Layer ratios range from 1:1:1 up to 1:6:1, offering a unique range of flexibility.
Newly developed low-temperature barrier screws also allow high output rates. Latest generation water-cooled frequency converters of the extruder drives keep the temperatures inside the switch cabinets at an acceptable level – even at high ambient temperatures.
The film sizing cage moves its arms concentrically to the bubble for more accurate sizing of the bubble. Aside from the very tight width tolerances, the film is also characterized by its perfect thickness profile featuring extremely low tolerances, achieved by a capacitive thickness measuring system. Its sensor is continuously circulating the bubble, transmitting relevant data to the proven OPTIL P2K gauge control.
Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. (Lincoln, R.I.); www.whcorp.com; 800-854-8702
Screen changers for direct recycling applications
The newly developed generation of backflush screen changers made by Maag Pump Systems is designed to offer a fully automatic filtration and screen cleaning performance with good process and throughput constancy.
Die flow channel geometry, which is completely free of any dead spots, is optimized for direct recycling processes, such as the transformation of PET bottle flakes to thermoforming sheet. Backflushed material losses and operating costs are minimized and screens’ life is multiplied.
The backflush procedure is triggered by production line-specific nominal parameters in the PLC system. The backflush filter moves to the operating modes and starts th
e fully automatic cleaning of the filter screens which is controlled by pressure and / or time parameters, depending on the degree of dirt accumulations.
Maag Pump Systems Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.); www.maag.com; 704-716-9000
Apex equipment Ltd. (Calgary, Alta.); 1-800-877-5138
Improvements in multi-layer tubing for shrink bags
The DXL-7000 series of “Double-Bubble Lines” from Macro Engineering has been improved to offer enhanced bubble stability and gauge control for production of multi-layer tubing for shrink bags used as meat and cheese packaging.
The film offers a superior barrier to water, oxygen and aromas, as the primary barrier material in the film can be PVdC, EVOH or PA.
The film also features shrinkage (MD/TD) of 40 to 60 per cent, good puncture resistance, and is heat sealable and printable.
As with other Macro lines, the DXL line is offered as a total processing solution, complete with resin specification and operator training.
Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.); www.macroeng.com; 905-507-9000
Peak performance combined with energy efficiency in profile extrusion
The new twinEX extruder is another generation of successful twin screw extruders of Battenfeld-Cincinnati. Three decades ago an output of 100 kg/h in standard single strand production was leading technology, the new twinEX 93-34D sets the new standard with production capacity up to 420 kg/h.
The twinEX machines are available in four sizes from 78 to 135 mm. The twinEX require approximately 15% less specific energy input with a simultaneous increase in output compared to other counter rotating twin screw extruders. This is achieved by an elongation of the processing unit to 34 L/D combined with a reduction of heat dissipation. Key design features include a fully insulated barrel, the intelligent APC barrel air cooling units (Air Power Cooling), Intracool screw tempering system and optimized screw geometries.
Battenfeld Cincinnati (McPherson, Kan.); www.battenfeld-cincinnati.com; 859-746-1530