Friedrichshafen, Germany — At the Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH booth at Fakuma 2018, it was pretty hard to miss the new ZSE 40 iMAXX twin-screw extruder — the company's latest addition to its ZSE iMAXX series.
Covered with what looked like a bright orange tarpaulin, the new iMAXX is a design study, Managing Director Anton Fürst said.
"We have taken a completely new approach in terms of machine cover," Fürst said. "Instead of being made of metal, our fleXXcover is made of a PTFE-coated glass-fiber textile."
The idea, he said, was to improve the general availability of the machine in terms of machine cleanliness.
"Many of our customers work with pigments, which can be very messy," he said.
The advantages of a textile cover over metal are legion. Lightweight and designed for assembly by a single operator, the machine cover comes in four parts that attach to the base frame by means of plug-in connecting bars and pneumatic tensioning elements.
"Not only is it easy to clean, the fleXXcover has a lower heat conductivity than metal. This results in a lower surface temperature," Fürst said. "In addition, it is a more economical option than metal covers, as each of the four cover parts can be purchased more than once if required, for example, if the process setup is changed."
The fleXXcover on display is a prototype, said Frank Rechter, head of the Leistritz team responsible for the design.
"We are excited about the combination of added safety, lower costs and higher convenience," he said. "We are anxious to hear from our customers what they think."
The company is running a survey to gauge customer reactions, Fürst said.
The extruder itself is a welcome addition to the ZSE iMAXX family. Targeted at medium batch sizes and throughputs of up to 700 kilograms per hour, it features a heating/cooling system with the heating elements fully integrated in the frame or processing unit for optimum accessibility. A central water connection is sufficient for the entire system. The extruder is equipped with a synchronous AC motor for the main drive, for energy-efficient operation, while the majority of electrical components are housed in a separate control cabinet.
Torque measurement is offered as an option; a monitoring system controls the oil pressure and temperature levels of the gear box at all times.
The model previously consisted of machines with screw diameters of 27 and 35 millimeters.