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Plenty of extrusion news at CMM Show.

Not entirely hidden among all the converting equipment at the recent CMM9 International Converting Machinery/Materials Show in Chicago were interesting developments for extrusion processors. New equipment and systems included flat dies and a web-inspection system with predictive-maintenance capabilities. New computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) and control systems appeared at the show as well. And true to its name, the Converting show hosted the domestic introduction of a high-tech flexo printing system and a new alliance between extrusion and converting equipment suppliers.


Just days before the show, Cloeren Co. of Orange, Texas, patented a new encapsulation device for coextrusion flat dies. Unlike earlier designs where the encapsulation unit was set up for a single slot width, the new "encapsulation deckle" is fully adjustable. Company president Peter Cloeren explains that the new encapsulation device has been integrated with the die's internal deckling system so the two can move together. Cloeren had previously introduced internal deckling for its film, sheet and extrusion coating dies (see PT, Oct. '92, p. 13). (CIRCLE 37)

The company also came out with a new design that encloses the feedblock within the die cavity rather than in a separate housing on top of the die. This arrangement saves space in a coex retrofit and cuts the cost and weight of the steel that would normally house the feedblock. Some customers have already used it in five- and seven-layer retrofits, Cloeren reports. Because the feedblock's channels are not variable it does not fit applications demanding the flexibility to run many different products. (CIRCLE 38)

John Brown's Egan Machinery Div. in Somerville, N.J., rolled out its own internal deckling die. Consisting of a set of plugs, flags and rods, the stainless-steel deckling creates an adjustable-width manifold. Because flow can be tapered to precisely match the substrate, the 1o system eliminates edge bead, explains marketing director Ricky Keller. Egan offers the internal deckle feature as a retrofit on all Series 36 dies and as an option on new dies. (CIRCLE 39)

Also new from Egan was a roll stack for those who desire the flexibility to switch between sheet and film applications. An orbital arrangement allows users to rotate the outer rolls around the center roll, creating horizontal, vertical or slanted configurations. (CIRCLE 40)


Measurex Corp. of Cupertino, Calif., introduced a machine-vision system for inspecting film webs. The system was developed by Roibox Oy, a Finnish company recently acquired by Measurex. Like other web-inspection systems, the Measurex device employs a 2048-pixel CCD-camera to spot defects as they pass by on a moving web; the device's computer then processes the camera's signal to classify each defect by size and type (see PT, Sept. '92, p. 94). According to Roibox president Hannu Ruuska, the system employs as proprietary high-frequency light source to give maximum resolution at fast speeds. Besides inspection capabilities, the system has a predictive-maintenance function that helps trace the causal aspects of repetitive defects. Users can enter the rotational lengths associated with each part of their extrusion or converting line. Next, the system automatically completes an FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) analysis to identify these cyclical defects and ultimately tie them to machine performance. (CIRCLE 41)

Measurex's software division meanwhile, had its new Optivision production-control system on hand. Functioning as a link between shop-floor control systems and front-office applications, it provides scheduling and production-planning functions. For example, Optivision enables users to plan slitting operations around different production goals--such as eliminating roll trim. When linked with shop-floor control, it provides a single "window" onto the process, while simultaneously linking up with business systems. As part of Measurex's MXOpen line Optivision features an X Windows-based user interface. Originally developed for the paper industry, the system is currently being implemented at a DuPont-Tejin film plant in Ohio. (CIRCLE 42)


Perhaps of more interest to a wider variety of users were control developments from Eurotherm Gauging Systems of Billerica, Mass., and Ohmart Corp. of Cincinnati, Ohio.

To get in touch with a more diverse market, Eurotherm has introduced two preconfigured CIM products--more of an off-the-shelf approach than in the past. "We've defined a package appropriate for the middle 80% of the market," says v.p. Robert Engel. Versions of this new system, called Quality Cell, are available for extrusion and adhesive-coating applications.

According to Engel, both systems pair high-resolution measurement capabilities with functions normally available only on "custom-engineered" systems. The Quality Cells offer on-line SPC charting, including the ability to automatically identify any process conditions that have strayed beyond "statistically normal" trends. An Assignable Cause feature lets operators document the source of the upset. And the Data-Cell Interface Toolkit enables users to integrate the Quality Cell with plantwide automation and information systems through the industry-standard TCP/IP protocol. Configuration is accomplished through a touchscreen interface. (CIRCLE 43)

Declaring the opening day of the show "Hardware Independence Day," Ohmart announced a move away from proprietary controllers formerly at the heart of its Concept One control system. From now on, the Concept One will employ IBM-compatible personal computers running on OS/2. Ohmart may or may not supply off-the-shelf PC hardware itself, depending on customer specifications.

According to Dan Piroli, general manager of Ohmart's Webart Div., the system allows the use of familiar thirdparty software through a Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) rather than customized drivers. At the show, for example, the Concept One demonstrated its ability to "dump" gauging information directly into Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet. The next step, adds Piroli, is to offer the system with a manufacturing software program such as U.S. Data Corp.'s FactoryLink. (CIRCLE 44)

Black Clawson of Fulton, N.Y., introduced the Integrator, its own 486 PC-based supervisory controller for extrusion lines. It offers data-acquisition and recipe-storage capabilities. According to market manager Laurie Beth Tyldesley, the company previously outsourced its controllers. (CIRCLE 45)

Black Clawson also introduced a more ready-made approach to extrusion coating equipment. Called the Exceline series, it features simplified equipment modules for the extruder and base, winders, and extrusion coater. (CIRCLE 46)


Windmoeller & Hoelscher of Lincoln, R.I., introduced a new quick-change, six-color, central-impression flexo printing press for materials up to 25 in. wide. The Soloflex press replaces conventional cylinders and rollers with a cantilevered arrangement of quick-change sleeves. The design permits a lone operator to complete a color change in as little as 30 min, the company says.

Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co., Inc. of Gloucester, Mass., announced it will enter a strategic partnership with Rotomec Inc. of West Hartford, Conn., to supply turnkey extrusion coating and printing lines--especially ones involving other in-line process steps under integrated control. Rotomec is the U.S. arm of Italy's Rotomec SpA, which supplies coating/laminating, embossing, slitting, pretreating, and printing (flexo and gravure) equipment.

Rotomec has already installed a line at Aluprint in Mexico, with Battenfeld supplying the extruders and the Extrol supervisory controller and Cloeren Co. providing the die. (CIRCLE 47)
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Title Annotation:CMM9 International Converting Machinery/Materials Show
Author:Oganda, Joseph
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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