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The key word in extrusion at NPE is control: gravimetric, auto-profile, and plantwide.

New turnkey systems and more flexible and sophisticated individual components will both be plentiful at this show. In blown film, at least eight firms are showing new extruders or complete systems that are new to the U.S. market. Expect similar introductions in cast film, pipe, profiles, and sheet. One new sheet system is mounted in-line with twin-screw compounding.

At least 21 companies are showing off new screw and barrel designs. Sixteen firms will introduce 22 new winders that build larger rolls faster. Among five exhibits of pipe corrugation systems, at least two will show new introductions.

Another big category of extrusion exhibits is controls, where you'll find significant introductions in the areas of dimensional gauging, whole-line controls, and even plantwide control and monitoring systems. New systems offer 32-bit microprocessors and even Internet communications. Gravimetric yield control is rampant among this year's exhibits, and one company will show an integrated combination of gravimetric-feeding and profile control for blown film.


Probably the most elaborate equipment set-up for blown film at the show will be the seven-extruder line running seven-layer film at the booth of Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co., Gloucester, Mass. It will show off the new Traversanip 720 [degrees] oscillating hauloff, a low-profile die (40 in. high), and Gloucester's recently introduced Acurablend gravimetric blending and feeding system.

A new face at NPE is American Kuhne Inc., Norwich, Conn., the newly established unit of Kuhne GmbH of Germany (still allied with long-time representative O/K International Corp., Sudbury, Mass.). Kuhne will showcase new 2.5-in. air-cooled and 3.5-in. water-cooled extruders, both with smooth bores, though grooved feed is available. Also on display is a new 60-mm "lowboy" grooved-feed model with an updated HDPE blown film die.

Clay Group, Inc., Worcester, Mass., will introduce a new Berlyn Challenger Series of single-screw extruders. The 12 models range from 1 to 15 in. diam., all with 30:1 L/D. Also new are the Berlyn Air Flow Cooling System for extruder barrels and the Berlyn Continuous Filter with microprocessor controls.

Five firms will present new extruders as part of operating blown-film lines. Filmaster Inc., Parsippany, N.J., will show a system using one of a new series of 1.5- to 6-in., high-torque extruders. A.R. Engineering Machine & Tools, Inc., Mississauga, Ont., will display a line including a new 1.75-in. extruder. Alpha Marathon Manufacturing, Inc., Mississauga, Ont., will display a new 90-mm, 26:1 grooved-feed model.

Reifenhauser Inc., Lawrence, Mass., will demonstrate a new non-contact IBC unit on an operating line producing HMW-HDPE blown film. It will also use the new FA 400 winder that runs at 800-1000 ft/min.

Kiefel Inc., based in Wrentham, Mass., will demonstrate a new dual-lip air ring for long-neck HDPE film bubbles and a new 100-mm, 26:1, grooved-feed extruder. Together, they will be producing film at more than 500 ft/min.

Macro Engineering & Technology Inc., Mississauga, Ont., is rolling out an improved five-layer spiral die and a new air ring as part of a three-extruder film system at the show.

Some less familiar names to U.S. processors will also be operating complete film lines. Warner Sales Associates Inc., Hanover, Mass., will unveil a new system from Macchi S.r.1. of Italy that will be making three-layer blown film. And from Ye I Machinery Co., Ltd. of Taiwan will demonstrate its new PP blown-film line that uses a downward extrusion/quenching method.

Among more new components for blown film, Addex, Inc., Boston, will present its Constant Path Oscillator (CPO), a vertical oscillating hauloff that uses a moving idler roll to keep web path and line speed steady. Addex will also show its new Reinhold surface winder with reverse-winding capability.

Davis-Standard Corp., Pawcatuck, Conn., will unveil its new Wesjet Air Ring II for low-melt-strength resins. It's said to help reduce gauge variation by 25%. Black Clawson Converting Machinery Corp., Fulton, N.Y., will display the latest in its stackable dies. AEC/Application Engineering, Wood Dale, Ill., will show off a new air cooler for blown film. And Brampton Engineering Inc., Brampton, Ont., will introduce an updated version of its Airfoil IBC system and the CPC32DT dual-turret film winder that's capable of gap winding.


In controls for blown film, two major themes will be gravimetric feeding control, auto-profile control, and even combinations of the two. Three firms will display new auto-profile control systems based on segmented air rings. NDC Systems, Irwindale, Calif., will show its APC system (see PT March '97, p. 24), which places the nuclear thickness sensor on the bubble in order to permit corrections to be initiated up to 10 times faster than when the gauge is placed downstream on the layflat. NDC is also bringing out a new non-contact thickness sensor for blown film, a new beta-gauge sensor, and a new line of scanning frames for single-sided thickness measurement.

The new 3-Sigma auto-profile air ring will be showcased on a three-layer line at the booth of Brampton Engineering. The line also features Brampton's recently introduced ITALYCS II line-control system (now based on Windows NT) and Dial-A-Gap technology for quick die-gap changes on the fly. All of these will communicate via Allen-Bradley's ControlNet bus architecture, which is said to greatly simplify wiring.

U.S. processors will get their first look at the Pro-Con profile-control system from Plast-Control Inc., Newburyport, Mass. It's also based on a segmented air ring and measures thickness at the bubble rather than the layflat. Pro-Con can be integrated with the company's gravimetric feeding control to provide compensation for both machine-direction and cross-direction film-gauge variation (see story on p. 23 of this issue).

Plast-Control will also introduce a lower-cost model (LRC3200AS) of its Layer Ratio Controller, a gravimetric feeding system for controlling individual layer thickness in coextrusion. The LRC can control up to five layers (in special cases up to seven).

Process Control Corp., Atlanta, is expanding its product range by introducing a thickness gauge for blown film that is integrated with the firm's Gravitrol gravimetric extrusion control system.

Another gravimetric extrusion weight-per-length control system will be introduced for monolayer or coex applications by Maguire Products, Inc., Media, Pa. This is the company's first expansion from gravimetric blending into extrusion control.

TSM Control Systems, Louth, Ireland, will also introduce a gravimetric blender with extrusion weight/length control - but with an integrated vacuum loader. The gravimetric system, width-control system, and temperature controls can all be coordinated by TSM's new Windows NT-based line control for coextrusion, which displays all key process parameters on one screen.

Alpine American, Natick, Mass., plans to show its new SmartBox distributed control architecture for coextrusion lines that eliminates the need to wire each component on a line directly to a controller.

American Kuhne will show a new Extruder Analyzer that monitors pressure and temperature at the screw tip to determine process stability. The firm will also exhibit a new PC-based touchscreen computer control system for its lines.


For flat-die processes, there are lots of new dies, coex feedblocks, and deckling systems. There's also some new downstream equipment and controls, as well as one demonstration of in-line compounding and sheet extrusion.

Several new offerings from Extrusion Dies Inc., Chippewa Falls, Wis., emphasize flexibility and adjustability. Its Ultraflow I-S coex feedblock incorporates interchangeable flow-path inserts that let you change layer sequences without having to block off flow channels or disassemble the feedblock. In a similar vein, EDI is exhibiting new feedblocks and dies incorporating a flexible membrane (serving as a preland in the case of dies) that is used to make thickness adjustments. EDI also recently brought out the Proteus feedblock that has 15 interconnecting flow channels, each with its own independently adjustable screw valve.

Cloeren Co., Orange, Texas, will present its new Autogauge 5.1 die-lip adjustment system on a 124-in. flat die. The flexible lip system uses electrically heated elements that reportedly provide 50% faster response than other thermal diebolt systems. Cloeren will also present its brand-new Epoch R sheet die with special restrictor-bar technology.

Production Components/Chippewa Valley Die, Inc., Eau Claire, Wis., will display a flat die with new Uni-Flex single-point adjustment of the die-lip opening across its entire width.

The company will also introduce its new Power Wedge Deckling system that permits web-width changes on the fly. EDI also has a new deckling system that mounts on a hinge bracket so it can swing away from the die slit.

Moving downstream, Battenfeld Gloucester will show a new cast-film oscillation unit that reportedly reduces induced stress in the film while randomizing sheet gauge variation during winding. Merritt Davis Corp., Hamden, Conn., will showcase its new Millennium casting/coating systems in 24-72 in. widths and line speeds up to 600 ft/min. And Black Clawson is introducing a two-stage machine-direction orienter for blown or cast film that gives up to 10:1 total draw ratio at each stage versus a max. of 7:1 on previous models. It also runs films up to 120-in.-wide at up to 700 ft/min, versus a max. speed of 400 ft/min on prior models.

MeasureTech (Measurement Technology Corp.), St. Paul, Minn., will introduce the 700 series scanning capacitance gauge, a single-sided sensor with 0.001-mil resolution that can measure web thickness up to 10 mils.

Raytek Corp., Santa Cruz, Calif., will introduce an improved Thermalert MP40 infrared line scanner for temperature profiling on a continuous web. The non-contact unit gives edge-to-edge profile data at a faster rate than before.

In sheet, Welex Inc., Blue Bell, Pa., recently upsized its World Standard line with a 4.5-in. extruder and added a new winder as well. An even larger system with 6-in. extruder is in the works.

A new tandem foam sheet line will be featured by Sencorp Systems, Inc., Hyannis, Mass. And chemical foaming-agent supplier Reedy International Corp., Keyport, N.J., will show new foam extrusion equipment developed together with Italproducts of Italy. The system makes low-density PVC foam board with a twin-screw extruder.

Reedy is also introducing an inert-gas metering system for extruding thermoplastic foam sheet and board that is available through an agreement with Harfmann Technology.

In-line compounding and sheet extrusion is something new from American Leistritz Extruder Corp., Somerville, N.J. The company mates its ZSE-27 (27 mm) modular twin-screw extruder with a new three-roll stack that has independently driven, reversible rolls mounted in an adjustable base.

A demonstration line at the show will be outfitted with a loss-in-weight feeder, gear pump, a 10-in.wide flexible-lip sheet die and calendering stack with 14-in.-wide rolls.

Mega Machinery, Inc., Fontana, Calif., will present its new Megatronix PC/PLC system that provides automatic die- and roll-gap control. The firm is also showing a complete sheet line with special roll stack for making lenticular lenses.


Among numerous introductions in film thickness gauging and layflat control, look for the following:

* A new single-sided, non-contact capacitance gauge for blown film from Solvetech, Inc., Wilmington, Del.

* The LFC1 layflat controller for non-IBC blown-film lines from D.R. Joseph, Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas.

* The lower-priced FG-7 blown-film width and thickness controller and higher-end model FE-7 automatic width control, both from Hch. Kundig & Cie. AG of Wetzilron, Switzerland.

* The Infragauge Pro thickness-gauging system for blown film or coatings from Infrared Engineering Inc., Concord, Mass. It can control up to four scanning and four fixed i-r gauges, and its profile display software works on a Windows NT platform.

* An updated IBC layflat control with a 32-bit microprocessor and quick-calibration technology from Battenfeld Gloucester. The system reportedly holds bubble diameter to within 0.1 in.

* New process-monitoring software from Betacontrol of America, Towaco, N.J., that permits a measuring frequency of one millisec, which allows for extremely high resolution of a web profile on a high-speed line.

* A new economical gauging system for cast film and sheet from LFE Industrial Systems Corp., Clinton, Mass.

* A new generation of EzGage with a larger monitor and enhanced software from ATI-Adaptive Technologies, Inc., Frederick, Md.

* Zumbach Electronics Corp., Mt. Kisco, N.Y., will unveil its new UMAC A20CF-4K four-sensor ultrasonic gauge for tubing wall-thickness measurement.


A number of suppliers are branching out into new product areas for the first time. Cincinnati Milacron Plastics Machinery Group, Batavia, Ohio, which is known for conical twin-screw extruders, will unveil its Atlas 112-mm parallel twin-screw, as well as the new Pinnacle E-65 (65-mm) conical machine.

PVC pipe and profile specialist American Maplan Corp., McPherson, Kans. (now part of the Battenfeld Extrusion group), is jumping into the HDPE pipe market with a new line of single-screw, grooved-feed extruders said to give 40% higher output than similarly sized competing models. A 3.5-in., 30:1 version capable of 1400 lb/hr will be shown.

American Maplan will also introduce the BEX 168-mm, its largest-ever parallel twin-screw for pipe and siding. It can produce up to 48-in. PVC pipe at up to 4400 lb/hr, said to be the highest rate for an extruder of this type. American Maplan is also showing a new double-spider head for 2-10 in. diam. pipe.

HPM Corp., Mt. Gilead, Ohio, will display 2.5- and 3.5-in. extruders in a new Prodex I series for pipe and profiles, along with a new EPM process-management system.

For corrugated pipe, Drossbach N.A. Inc., Trenton, Ont., will roll out the Corrugator HD 250 and an in-line belling unit for large-diameter HDPE pipe. Unicor, Inc., Cleveland, Tenn., will introduce its newest corrugator, model UC 75/81 iV, which produces up to 75-mm double-wall pipe at rates over 90 ft/min using its technique of direct cooling of the aluminum mold blocks. The unit makes single- and tri-wall pipe as well.

A new line of extrusion crossheads and spiderless in-line dies for products ranging from surgical tubing to 9-in. pipe will be presented by Guill Tool & Engineering Co., Warwick, R.I.

A new venturi vacuum tank will be presented by Killion Extruders Inc., Cedar Grove, N.J.

A pipe wall-thickness scanner and a low-pressure air regulator with fast response will be introduced by On Line Controls, Inc. Westboro, Mass. Meanwhile, LaserMike, Dayton, Ohio, is showing its new 6050S self-centering ultrasonic gauge for tubing. Also new from LaserMike is the Endura 201, billed as the world's smallest dual-axis laser micrometer, capable of measuring product diameters from 0.01 to 1 in. The unit can scan at either 800 or 2000 measurements per second.

Rollepaal-USA, Columbia, Md., will demonstrate the new RRS250 ultrasonic scanner that gives a continuous readout of pipe wall thickness and diameter. Two rotating sensors are linked to control the die temperature, puller speed, and vacuum level in the calibration tank. Rollepaal will also show a new line of pipe dieheads.


There's even something new for fiber extrusion at the show: a 2.5-in., 30:1 Fibermaster II extruder from Davis-Standard. It has H-beam construction and heavy-duty barrel support to sustain overhung loads and manifold expansion forces. It also incorporates high-velocity blowers and the patented DSBM barrier screw.


Barber-Colman Co., Loves Park, Ill., will make two control introductions for extrusion. Its MACO 5000 Series total control systems have on-line SPC, auto-tuned temperature control, automatic set-up, and networking capabilities. At the plantwide control level, Barber-Colman will formally introduce its powerful new I/A Series software based on Windows NT, developed with sister firm The Foxboro Co., Foxboro, Mass. (see PT, Nov. '96, p. 29).

Another way to integrate line controls on a plantwide level is with the new Process Network Computing (PRO.Net) system from NDC Systems, which is Internet compatible. It's based on Windows and Java programming.

Harrel, Inc., East Norwalk, Conn., will roll out its new Windows-based plantwide control and management system for extrusion, which includes full SPC capabilities and access from any PC terminal.

Branden Technologies, Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., will show hardware and software enhancements to its Shotscope CIM-Link process-monitoring system, and Shotscope process and production monitoring systems.


Among extrusion developments that are not linked to a particular process, Akron Extruders, Canal Fulton, Ohio, will present a new water-cooling unit for its machines.

Wayne Machine & Die Co., Totowa, N.J., will show a new Ultra-High Temperature Extruder for processing engineering polymers.

Maag Pump Systems/Textron, Inc., Matthews, N.C., will bring out a new Maax 20 melt-pump controller.

A new Normag Endura gear pump for highly viscous materials and a new line of static mixers will be displayed by Dynisco Gear Pumps/Screen Changers, Hickory, N.C.

Dynisco will also show off its new EH Extek hydraulic screen changer with a larger filtration area and its EM Extek manual screen changer, introduced last year.

Other new screen changers and melt filters on display include the model KCNC continuous automatic unit from Key Filters Inc., Woonsocket, R.I. The company will also show Chiva manual screen changers from Spain, which it recently began distributing.

Beringer Div. of John Brown Plastics Machinery, Marblehead, Mass., has an updated line of manual screen changers using Autoseal technology. High-Technology Corp., Hackensack, N.J., will present its new PLC controller for screen changers.

What to Look for

* Gravimetric-feeding joins auto-profile control in blown film.

* Feedblock's interchangeable inserts allow quick changes of layer sequence.

* New sources of single and twin screws for PVC and HDPE pipe.

* New systems for plantwide control.

* Compounding ties in with sheet extrusion.

* Flat dies and feedblocks are easily adjustable.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Gardner Publications, Inc.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:NPE '97; new plastics extrusion machinery to be shown at the 1997 National Plastics Exposition
Author:Knights, Mikell
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1997
Previous Article:Injection molding.
Next Article:Blow molding.

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