Special Report: Twin-screw advances enhance production, flexibility
Two makers of twin-screw extruders have recently introduced new machines.
MAS Maschinen und Anlagenbau Schulz GmbH, Pucking, Austria, now offers a new conical co-rotating twin-screw extruder.
The new MAS 93 Plus extruder is designed with a larger drive and updated screw to provide 20 to 25 percent greater capacity than the MAS 93 model, said eFactor3 President Hartmut Bendfeldt. The company is the exclusive representative and distributor of MAS machinery in the U.S.
The new unit, designed for repelletizing and for direct extrusion, can process about 4,750 pounds per hour of polyolefins. The MAS machine combines the higher filling volumes, high pressure ratios and low melt temperatures of a conical design with the homogenization quality of a parallel co-rotating screw, Bendfeldt said. It has the highest output in the lineup, which includes six other models that process from about 44 to 3,960 pounds per hour.
In the U.S., Pineville, N.C.-based eFactor3 LLC, a supplier of compounding machines and turnkey systems for recycling and waste handling, is the exclusive distributor for MAS products.
ENTEK UNIT DESIGNED FOR QUICK CHANGES
A trend toward shorter production runs prompted Entek Extruders, Lebanon, Ore., to introduce its new QC3 line of co-rotating twin-screw extruders, said Kirk Hanawalt, president of the extruder division.
QC3, which stands for quick change, quick clean and quality control, can improve machine utilization rates by shortening changeover times and by minimizing the potential for errors that can occur when adjusting the system to process a different formulation. The first QC3 unit, featuring 43mm-diameter screws, was unveiled last year.
Entek has sold two QC3 43mm units, which were installed last year. The design and features that make up the QC3 technology will be incorporated into larger and smaller models and will eventually replace the company’s existing lineup of twin-screw compounding extruders, which include 27mm, 53mm, 73mm, 103mm and 133mm models.
The company announced last month that it will add a new twin-screw extruder to its lineup in the near future.
The lineup’s features include quick-opening access panels with the required tools stored at the point of use, and a new self-alignment feature that guides the screws into couplings. The screw segments fit on the splined shaft only one way, preventing installation errors. The machine delivers better compounding with an increased screw OD/ID ratio to handle challenging formulations. The line’s features allow a single operator to execute a screw changeover in 5 minutes, which compares to a screw changeover time of 25 minutes or longer with previous designs, using two operators, according to Hanawalt.
Entek also developed a new software program that allows compounders to design screw and barrel layouts for their specific compounding applications more quickly and easily. The program can help cut lead times by improving the lines of communication between Entek and its customers.
Features include the ability to specify all related components, including the metallurgy of barrel sections and screws, using a drag-and-drop screen tool. The software automatically calculates remaining space on the screw shaft as each element is added virtually.
Mikell Knights, senior correspondent