Achieving sustainability through optimized extrusion components
“Sustainable Solutions Worldwide”: battenfeld-cincinnati at the K trade fair
“Today, everybody’s talking about the issues of the circular economy, conserving our resources, and energy efficiency. As a machinery manufacturer, we believe that it is our duty to supply our customers with extrusion concepts that accommodate the needs of this modern world. To demonstrate exactly how we do that, at this year’s K we’ll be showing our innovative individual components in truly impressive style”. That’s the promise made by Gerold Schley, CEO of the battenfeld-cincinnati group, whose new slogan “Sustainable Solutions Worldwide” will be providing the banner for the company’s appearance at the trade fair this year.
Machine concepts from battenfeld-cincinnati can be accessed worldwide thanks to the five production sites that the company runs: two in Kempen and Bad Oeynhausen, Germany; one in Vienna, Austria; one in Shunde, China; and one in McPherson Kansas, USA. It also operates additional sales locations in Brazil, Japan, and Russia. Given this scope, battenfeld-cincinnati is able to produce internationally standardized extrusion lines for manufacturing pipe, profiles, sheets, boards, and granulates – but it is also able to incorporate features that specific countries require. battenfeld-cincinnati offers such a wide range of products – accommodating all kinds of applications – plus some 75 years of experience. From single and twin-screw extruders, tools, and complete downstream equipment all the way through to control elements, every battenfeld-cincinnati component is available as an individual item, as a retrofitting component, and as part of engineered system. The “Sustainable Solutions” part of the machinery manufacturer’s slogan represents the promise of sustainable production that it has made to its customers. To ensure that it is following through on this, every new product and development, battenfeld-cincinnati makes sure to keep tooling and flushing times short, efficient material processing, and reduce energy and material consumption. Naturally, as part of this it also delivers machine components that have long service lives and require little time for maintenance or cleaning. “Sustainable Solutions” also stands for extrusion components that are just as well suited to new materials as they are to regenerated and recycled ones – helping the process of establishing closed-loop recycling.
Extruders that are fit for the future
At the K trade fair, battenfeld-cincinnati will be showcasing several models, all with innovative features, from its wide range of extruders. Its one-of-a-kind standard extruder is the ideal choice for manufacturing small technical profiles, and has carved out an established position in the market over the past 18 years as a cash-and-carry product, with some 1,200 sold to date. The latest innovation to be presented at the K will be the alpha plus: A compact plug-and-play extruder with technical attributes that have proven successful in practice, it is equipped with the BCtouch UX compact control solution rather than a basic relay control. The proven BCtouch UX solution is the foundation of the new control system platform.It is easy and intuitive to use even for those with no prior experience of the equipment. A high-performance temperature-monitoring module is integrated in the compact control system, which comes in handy for temperature-sensitive raw materials in particular. Two gravimetric dosing systems can also be integrated in order to keep energy and material costs to a minimum. These features are interfaced using a 12” touch display panel.
In addition to the alpha plus 60-25 B, the battenfeld-cincinnati stand will also be demonstrating the solEX NG 75-40D, a high-performance single-screw extruder that offers three key advantages: outstanding melt homogeneity, low melt temperatures, and low energy consumption – all of which make it the perfect representation of the company’s commitment to “Sustainable Solutions”. This extruder delivers an exceptionally long service life with low wear and little maintenance required. Its processing abilities also ensure that the end products are of outstanding quality, that scrap rates stay low, and that resource consumption is kept to a minimum. The optimized NG processing unit (NG stands for “New Generation”) opens up a processing window and b the specific output. even in applications where large amounts of regrind are being processed. The NG processing unit is designed to be retrofitted onto an older solEX model with ease thanks to a compatible basic structure and drive unit – another example of a “sustainable solution”. The NG focus technology is delivering such strong results that battenfeld-cincinnati has also decided to make it available for the uniEX range of single-screw extruders, effective immediately. Retrofitting is possible in this case too.
Capping off the range of single extruders on display will be the STARextruder 120, in which battenfeld-cincinnati has developed a machine concept dedicated specifically to processing PET. The extruder’s basic structure consists of a single-screw extruder whose standout feature is a central planetary roller section. Here, the melted material is rolled out into very thin layers, producing an enormous melt surface that is a breeze to degassing and devolatilize. The STARextruder can be used to process both non-predried new materials and any kind of recycled materials, as confirmed by the FDA approval it has received.
There is still a huge amount of untapped potential in the possibilities that this system can offer, especially in the context of the circular economy. As numerous trials have demonstrated, it is also capable of delivering outstanding processing and decontamination results for other materials besides PET.
Solutions for pipes with narrow tolerances
The in-house toolmaking shop that battenfeld-cincinnati operates is a guaranteed source of sophisticated solutions for manufacturing semi-finished products. The company’s stand at the event will be showcasing three models from its pipe range: its fast dimension change (FDC) pipe head that enables automatic pipe dimension changes during production, plus two new spider NG PVC pipe heads. Like the solEX extruder that will be on display, the two spider heads (one mono-layer head and one three-layer head) belong to the New Generation range of equipment and feature an optimized design. The first of these tools have already been deployed at customers’ sites and their low material consumption and narrow tolerances are delivering impressive results across the board. In the three-layer head, the middle layer of the pipe continues to be guided by a mandrel holder geometry, while the geometry of the outer layer has been completely revised. Yet another benefit of the new geometry is its excellent flushing behavior – a key feature in particular for manufacturing work involving classic PVC pipes with a foamed middle layer, highly filled compact pipes, or pipes with a regrind middle layer.
At the K event, both new spider pipe heads will be presented directly alongside compatible extruders. The examples at the stand will show the mono spider head flange-mounted on the conEX NG 65 conical twin-screw extruder. A conEX NG 54 will be available to view on the twinEX 93-34 R parallel twin-screw extruder, demonstrating the spider NG 160-3 in a space saving layout.
The new DTA 160 direct cutting machine is set to be one of the stand’s biggest downstream innovations for pipe manufacturing. With the new cutting unit, both polyolefin and PVC pipes can be cut to customers’ exact length specifications quickly, precisely, and cleanly. A particular highlight of the new chipless unit is that it works entirely without hydraulics. Most importantly, what this means is that it weighs around 60% less than a conventional system. Once it is in place this enables the cutting unit to move much faster and makes it possible to work with short lengths as a result.
Equipped for Industry 4.0
If requested, battenfeld-cincinnati can add the intuitive BCtouch UX control system as a finishing touch to any of its machinery solutions. Featuring a crystal-clear display, this is a system that has already proven itself in applications worldwide. All the specific machine settings for each formula are stored in the system and established as soon as the user switches from one formula to another. This means that salable production standards can be achieved almost instantaneously – which, together with the reproducible product quality, helps to guarantee maximum efficiency and low reject rates. The control system is now also available with a variety of measures designed to make operator interface easier and cut down on the time and effort spent on adjusting extrusion systems. Examples of these include a centering aid for pipe heads and position adjustment for the calender gap in sheet and board extrusion applications. A key highlight being showcased at this year’s K is the Dash button, which puts customers in direct contact with the service team if they have any problems or questions. What makes this feature so good is that all the basic information required by the service team is transmitted directly to them, allowing them to find a solution quickly and keep downtimes to a minimum. battenfeld-cincinnati is currently running a pilot project to test the possibility of storing customer data securely in a cloud-based system in order to further boost the speed and accuracy of the support provided.