In-line color blending trims waste in plastisol rotomolding.
A new continuous color-blending system for vinyl plastisols has eliminated batch mixing and material waste in the rotomolding operation of UT Automotive Inc. in Detroit, a div A DIV Associate of Divinity . of United Technologies Corp. UT Automotive designed Automotive design is the profession involved in the development of motor vehicles or more specifically road vehicles. This most commonly refers to automobiles but also refers to motorcycles, trucks, buses, coaches, and vans. and developed the Roto Mold Color Match system to make automotive armrests. Custom built by Bran bran, outer coat of a cereal grain—e.g., wheat, rye, and corn—mechanically removed from commercial flour and meal by bolting or sifting. Wheat bran is extensively used as feed for farm animals. +Luebbe Inc. of Buffalo Grove Buffalo Grove
A village of northeast Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Population: 43,300. , Ill., the system performs in-line static mixing and dispensing of plastisol and color pigment.
OLD WAYS ARE WASTEFUL
Traditionally, pigment paste is batch mixed with plastisol in a 55-gal drum then fed into a rotational mold using a standard pneumatic pump an air-exhausting or forcing pump.
See also: Pneumatic . A color change would require an exchange of mixing drum and pump. Furthermore, the batch process is prone to uneven mixing, which then requires an additional painting step to correct defective part appearance. Color repeatability from batch to batch is also unreliable.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Bran+Luebbe, the typical mold-filling procedure is also wasteful. It is reportedly a common industry procedure to overfill o·ver·fill
v. o·ver·filled, o·ver·fill·ing, o·ver·fills
To fill (something) to overflowing.
To become too full. the mold by up to 15% to ensure a minimum acceptable piece weight. Also, an inadequate pump or dispensing nozzle often results in leaks and further material losses.
NEW IN-LINE SYSTEM
Bran+Luebbe addressed the deficiencies of plastisol batch-mixing methods by applying metering and dispensing technology that it has used successfully in other industries. Each pigment paste is contained in a separate 5-gal tank and has an individual dispensing line with a dedicated reciprocating-plunger pump, static mixer A static mixer is a device for blending (mixing) two liquid materials. The device consists of mixer elements contained in a cylindrical (tube)or squared housing. The static mixer elements consist of a series of baffles that are made from metal or a variety of plastics. , leak-free dispensing nozzle, and control. Changing colors involves simply turning off one piston pump on the pigment line and turning on another.
Bran+Luebbe can build machines that have up to eight color-metering heads and pumps. Each machine also has one common plastisol head and pump. A valve in the plastisol line directs material to the selected pigment head.
Pigment and plastisol are continuously and automatically proportioned and blended by an in-line static mixer on their way to the mold. The mold is filled by a handheld, leak-free dispensing nozzle developed by Bran+Luebbe.
System controls determine how much material is delivered by each stroke of the pistons in the pigment and plastisol pumps. An operator can dial in pump-stroke adjustments to regulate pigment concentration and total amount of material dispensed into the mold. Other dials at the control panel select the pigment to be used for a given shot. Uniform and repeatable mixing reduces the need for painting, and control of dispensing avoids overfilling the molds.
Although Bran+Luebbe will custom design a plastisol pigmenting/dispensing system to meet specific needs, a standard system costs approximately $20,000-25,000 per color, based on a two-operator station with three colors per operator.