At K 2007, sister extruder makers Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH, American Maplan Corp. and Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH will display extruders and dies for pipe, profile and film.
SMS GmbH sold the companies to a European private equity firm, Triton, earlier this year. At K, they will be exhibiting together.
Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik, based in Bad Oeynhausen, will introduce a single-screw extruder to make sheet for packaging from amorphous PET - with no need for pre-drying - and a twin-screw line for high-output vinyl window extrusion.
Making its world debut at K, the single-screw, direct-processing sheet line is a less-expensive alternative to using corotating twin-screw extruders with a venting zone for degassing.
Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik said the process is designed for processors operating single-strand extrusion lines with an output between 1,760 and 2,200 pounds an hour that also want the flexibility to run polystyrene and polypropylene, not just PET.
Transparent sheet for packaging cannot have any contamination from foreign substances or dust. The sheet also needs a high level of homogeneity of the dispersion of colorants, the correct viscosity and a crystallization degree of more than 40 percent.
Typically, when using a single-screw extruder, you need to pre-dry the material thoroughly, Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik said. But that takes a lot of energy. An alternative to this, one that uses about 60 percent less energy, is a single-screw extruder combined with an upstream infrared dryer.
Another option is a single-screw extruder linked to a downstream crystallizer. That also cuts energy costs, but is mainly used for reclaim applications, because of poorer end-product quality, company said.
The innovation by Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik is to combine a single screw with a modified planetary section, to give effective melt degassing, with no need for pre-drying.
Planetary gears, long used in PVC processing, use several planetary spindles that revolve around a rotating central spindle. The melt is moved along by cogs cut into the spindles, creating a high vacuum to degas the material thoroughly through a large vent, tied to a vacuum pump. The planetary section is followed by a second, short single screw to build up pressure and convey the plastic into the melt pump, then through the die.
Another advantage of the planetary gear section, the company said, is it ensures a short, preselected dwell time, minimizing the thermal degradation of the polymer chains.
Visitors to the company's K show booth will get a look at the planetary gear section, which will be shown with a glass barrel.
Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik said one of the lines has been running for several months at a European maker of PET sheet for thermoforming, which it did not identify.
In other sheet news, the company also will roll out a high-speed, single-screw extruder, the BEX 1-75-34, for making thermoforming sheet from polypropylene, polystyrene, PET, ABS, linear low density polyethylene or polylactic acid. It runs at 1,500 revolutions per minute, as part of Battenfeld's effort to boost output of an extruder by modifying the screw speed instead of building a larger machine.
Turning to profile extrusion, the company also plans to introduce a BEX 2-135 V plus, a parallel twin-screw extruder that can run PVC window profiles at 2,200 pounds an hour.
The ``plus'' model has a powerful, high-torque motor, with direct drive. That boosts the output about 30 percent from its predecessor model, to reach a rate of 2,200 pounds an hour.
Engineers optimized the machine to prepare for future higher line speeds of 20 feet per minute, up from the current 16.5 feet per minute, on dual-strand window extrusion lines.
Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik said one of the new extrusion lines is making window profiles at a major German window profile extruder, but it did not identify the customer.
The extruder maker's sister company, Vienna, Austria-based Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH, will show a basic version of its new ExcDat software. Cincinnati Extrusion developed the version jointly with Boom Software AG, also of Austria.
ExcDat handles data collection, storage and analysis for up to 50 parameters on a customer's personal computer.
The new software has been developed for data collection from extruders equipped with Exc PRO-NT, EXc PRO-XP or EXcXP-touch control systems. The program is installed via the extruder's Ethernet interface.
The software is priced at about $4,000. The basic ExcDat control software can be upgraded at any time into a centralized, plant-wide system for machine and production data acquisition.
The following are available as options through Boom Software AG: centralized overview of machine and order status, order management and detailed planning, interface with administrative systems and quality management.
You also can integrate other brands of extruders, energy measuring devices, quality testing equipment, and additional equipment such as metering devices, weighing machines or resin silos.