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Keywords of this article:  CHINAPLAS 
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Quick Change Feeders from Coperion K-Tron offer high flexibility when changing recipes in powder coating manufacturing.
Quick Change Feeders from Coperion K-Tron offer high flexibility when changing recipes in powder coating manufacturing.

In the process of transformation of plastic materials, dosing is a matter of precision, but also of control and monitoring. The latest feeders and dosing units in the market adopt simple but intelligent designs for purposes of quick cleaning and frequent changeovers, maximizing the productivity of materials handling.

An optimized upgrade for quick cleaning

At this year’s European Coatings Show, in addition to the core Coperion ZSK twin screw extruder for manufacturing powder coatings, Coperion also highlighted the ZS-B easy side feeder.

The company offers the side feeder which has very low cleaning times, in order to introduce raw materials with process reliability into the ZSK process section.

Twin screw extruders from Coperion distinguish themselves with high achievable throughput rates at very good product quality, as well as with their longevity. The ZSK extruder process section features a modular design. The extruder’s design focus rests on closed surfaces that are easy to clean.

Depending upon the properties of the raw materials to be fed, the ZS-B side feeder may be used. It functions like a small extruder and even leads material with low bulk density into the extruder process section with process reliability.

Recently, Coperion introduced an optimized design of its side feeder in the market with the ZS-B easy. The ZS-B easy can be dismantled much more quickly from the ZSK process section and its twin screws can be exchanged very easily. Time required for cleaning, for example when changing formulations, drops markedly.

Intelligent, reliable and flexible for extrusion

At the European Coatings Show, a highly accurate Coperion K-Tron Quick Change Twin Screw Feeder with the intelligent ActiFlow bulk solid activator was also on display. It is optimally designed for ZSK technology, works with high accuracy, and is easy to clean.

The Coperion K-Tron T35/S60 Quick Change Feeder (QC) was designed especially for applications requiring maximum flexibility in feeding and material changes.

The QC feeder allows for the removal of the entire feeding module with screws in place for replacement with a second unit. The removed feeding module can then be transported to a cleaning facility and prepared for its next use.

The S60-QC single screw feeding unit is especially well suited for free-flowing powder as well as for numerous other free-flowing bulk materials. The T35-QC twin screw feeding unit is used for floodable powders and more difficult, sticky or poorly flowing materials.

Thanks to the highly accurate D5 platform scale with patented SFT weighing technology, the KCM feeding control ensures that the exact quantity is correctly fed for maximum end product quality and minimum product loss.

The intelligent ActiFlow bulk solids activator offers an innovative method to reliably prevent bridging and rat-holing of cohesive bulk materials in stainless steel hoppers without internal hopper agitation. ActiFlow works with no product contact and can be installed in any Coperion K-Tron gravimetric feeder.

With a patented vibration drive and intelligent control technology, bulk material is kept in continuous motion at an optimized frequency and amplitude inside the hopper without exercising mechanical forces upon it.

Simple design facilitates frequent product changeovers

Brabender Technologie unveiled a new pellet feeder at Powtech. The new DS series has a choice of four sizes, and is characterized by a simple design that concentrates on the essentials. The main goal is to reach out to compounders such as those specializing in films or textiles.

As pellets are typically simple materials and can be fed using spiral screws requiring no additional agitation, the company therefore concentrated on creating a feeder featuring only a few easily accessible components when designing the new series.

At the design stage, the developer focused on applications, and therefore the DS is available in two different versions for various customer applications: the S version for continuous operations involving one material and the E version for frequent product changeovers.
 For DS-E series, the motor remains on the unit when changing or cleaning a screw.
The difference between them can be explained by the way the motor and screw are configured. On the DS-S, the standard version, both components are linked together. This is ideal for long-term feeding. For product changeovers and cleaning, both can only be removed together.

On the other hand, the enhanced DS-E version features a different design. When a screw is being replaced or the device is being cleaned, the motor remains in place and is only shifted to allow the screw to be removed from the rear.

The slide gate and the tight pipe connection, which allow the hopper to be emptied completely, are also practical details that make bulk material changeovers and cleaning easier. The DS-E is therefore excellent for various pellet feeding processes that involve frequent product changeovers.

The entire DS series is typically equipped with an analog load cell. A digital load cell can also be installed if required. This would be more expensive, but is feasible using the existing baseplate.

The DS28, the smallest version of the new feeder line, is a special case. It features a somewhat different design. In this case the motor remains permanently installed. However, the entire hopper with screw can simply be removed as a unit at the front of the device once the quick-lock clamps have been released, and without any leakage of material. The feeder does not need to be emptied beforehand, because no material can follow through.

New loss-in-weight dosing unit avoids unnecessary wastes

In CHINAPLAS 2019, Moretto presented its new compact loss-in-weight dosing unit DPK, the gravimetric dosing unit DGM Gravix and DBK Gramixo. These devices allow high precision dosing, modularity, reaction speed, connectivity and remote control.
The DPK dosing unit is a compact, loss-in-weight, precision feeder.
Among them, the DPK is a compact, loss-in-weight, precision feeder, suitable for the intermittent or continuous dosing of small quantities of color or additives into a flow of base material.

The masterbatch or additive to be dosed is contained in a hopper made of a specific transparent shock-resistant acrylic material that makes immediately visible the material contained and the level of load. The hopper is easily removed with no tools for replenishment or additive change.

Thanks to the exclusive vibration immunity system, the machine control algorithm and the hopper removable from the dosing unit, DPK achieves a dosing accuracy up to ±0.03%, allowing processors to avoid unnecessary wastes of expensive additives.

Moretto introduced three new types of maintenance hoppers in last year’s Fakuma, which were designed for the containment of plastic granules on the processing machines.

The TM hopper is made of stainless steel and with a characteristic cone shape, which guarantees an optimal flow of any material. Meanwhile, the TMC hopper features the double-wall insulation with removable cone that avoids heat loss, and is used for the treatment of dried hot materials.

For the TMK hopper, it is made of transparent shockproof acrylic material, which ensures an effective containment of plastic granules and offers a great visibility.

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