Color compound at the press of a button
| Andreas Weseler
Flexible laboratory extruder compounding live at the K 2019
In Hall 15, Booth B27, KraussMaffei will be performing a live demonstration of the 42 D long laboratory extruder ZE 28 BluePower and in so doing will be showing several highlights at once: the most compact model of the newly extended ZE BluePower high-performance twin-screw extruder series, the Liquid Color Compounding process for the economical manufacturing of colored plastic compounds and digital concepts for inline spectral photometry of the melt flow and the recording of process data.
"KraussMaffei supports creative players in compounding and other sectors with technologies beyond classic plastics processing. With the compounding system on our K exhibition stand, we will be demonstrating new possibilities for condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and inline quality monitoring," explains Matthias Sieverding, President of the Extrusion Technology segment of the KraussMaffei Group.
"In operation, we use a ZE twin-screw extruder 28 BluePower to upcycle a bucket into a premium quality compound which is used to manufacture an A-pillar trim."Matthias Sieverding, President of the Extrusion Technology segment of the KraussMaffei Group
Four new powerful ZE BluePower compounder extruders
The ZE BluePower high-performance compounder series has long been established on the market. The series, which has been in operation for many different compounding tasks since 2013, will be extended in time for the K by four large models with performances over 2,500 kg/h. Like all models of this series, the new sizes ZE 98 – ZE 166 BluePower feature an ideal combination of large free volume and high specific torque. The flexible configuration options of screws and barrels constitute further advantages. 4 and 6 D-long barrel elements with corresponding equipment for additional metering, degassing and recording measuring data make practically all requirement optimally feasible. The most compact model in the series is the ZE 28 Blue Power laboratory extruder, which was introduced three years ago and is one of the highlights on the exhibition booth this year.
Colored plastic compounds with high coloring precision
Liquid Color Compounding is the pioneering process for all master batch manufacturers, who need to respond flexibly to market requirements. Because the liquid colors are metered directly in the extruder, there is no need for the conventional intermediate step of manufacturing a monoconcentrate, making the process especially economical and suitable even for very small volumes and special colors. Even converting from dark to light is possible without any problem thanks to the self-cleaning effect of the twin-screw extruder. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to experience this live. At the press of a button, nine different colors can be implemented with a PP masterbatch charged with talc.
Consistent melt quality
Equally impressive as the direct production of different color compounds is the fully automatic monitoring of the melt. The spectral-photometric inline system uses high-resolution glass fiber sensors to measure the light reflected by the melt during the process, then compares this with the defined target value to detect even the very slightest difference in brightness or color in real time. The benefits: no need for sampling, no loss of material and real time results. The system thus makes an enormous contribution to minimizing scrap and improving the efficiency of the system.
Another feature of the ZE 28 BluePower is that it has all the sensors needed to collect, record and process production data time-synchronously. Pressures, temperatures, rotational speeds, volume flows of all upstream and downstream components, as well as metering unit and pelletizer are integrated together with the extruder in the overall system control. Not only does this make control easier; it also provides a perfect basis for further process optimization.
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