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Extrusion equipment parades vast, mighty capabilities

From twin-screw extruders for compounding applications to melt filtration products and innovations galore, exhibitors are showing a wide range of extrusion capabilities at this year's NPE.

Visitors will also find film, pipe, profile, tubing, sheet and compounding extruders alongside a growing assortment of automation and Industry 4.0 developments. Here is a brief overview of what some companies are planning to have at the show.

Entek Manufacturing LLC, a Lebanon, Ore.-based supplier of extrusion equipment for natural fiber plastic composites, pelletizing, custom compounding and specialty sheet lines, will have two extruders on display at Booth W5189. Entek Manufacturing operates as Entek Extruders.

Entek's exhibition at NPE2018 comes just over a year after Entek International LLC, which includes business operations in Lebanon and England, announced its joint venture with Indonesia-based polyethylene battery separator producer Separindo Industry PT as a means to expand into the Asian market.

The company's QC3 co-rotating twin-screw extruder, introduced in 2017 and publicly on display for the first time, has "quick-change, quick-clean and quality control" features in addition to patented self-aligning screw-gearbox couplings for faster screw installation, Entek said. The machine fits snuggly as an option in between its 27 mm extruder and its 43 mm extruder.

"We were getting a lot of requests from customers for something in-between: a machine specifically designed for small lots, but with more output than the lab machine," Linda Campbell, Entek's director of sales, said in a news release.

Additionally, Entek will feature its 73 mm twin-screw extruder for high-output custom compounding. The machine — what the company says is one of its most popular models — is used in the production of bioresins, wood-plastic composites as well as color compounds. The 73 mm model is available with a 600-horsepower motor and screw speeds up to 900 rpm.

German extruder maker KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH will show its KMD 73 K/P conical twin-screw extruder geared toward plastics processors in the construction industry, specifically polyolefin pipe production, and its QuickSwitch calibration basket designed for automation and Industry 4.0 capability at Booth W403.

"Particularly in North America, we are seeing a very high demand for conical profile machines that can be used both as main extruders and as coextruders," Matthias Sieverding, president of extrusion technology for KraussMaffei Group in Munich, said in a news release. The U.S. operation is in Florence, Ky.

"Since introducing the conical extruder series to the American market in 2013, we have sold more than 40 models," he added.

The Kuhne Group, another German extruder maker, will exhibit equipment at Booth S35139. The group is made up of three member companies: Kuhne Maschinenbau GmbH, a maker of specialty extruders, high-speed extruders, flat film and sheet lines, and geomembrane and engineered membrane lines; Kuhne Anlagenbau GmbH, a manufacturer of blown film extrusion equipment; and K-Tool GmbH, which makes components used in the extrusion industry.

TWWomer & Associates LLC, an Edinburg, Pa.-based plastics firm run by industry veteran and Plastics Hall of Fame member Tim Womer, will show its small, but mighty patent-pending extruder at Booth W1891.

The firm says its TWW Micro Extruder enables small- and medium-size 3D printers to efficiently and reliably extrude standard-size or micro pellets at faster speeds. The extruder weighs only 15 pounds and has a throughput rate that can reach up to 20 pounds per hour for a variety of resins, including carbon fiber-filled ABS and polylactic acid.

Farrel Pomini, a maker of machinery for compound and masterbatch production, said it will show project engineering and service solutions at Booth W6345.

Project engineers will be on hand to help customers select equipment for efficient compounding lines. Service and process experts will show the company's portfolio of genuine spare parts, technical services and remanufacturing services.

Farrel Pomini opened its 60,000-square-foot U.S. headquarters in May last year in Ansonia, Conn., an investment of more than $10 million. The company was established in 2011 as part of the HF Mixing Group, which consists of three polymer processing businesses: Harburg-Freudenberger Maschinebau, Farrel Corp. and Pomini Rubber & Plastics srl.

German compounding extruder maker Coperion GmbH will have an STS 35 Mc 11 twin-screw extruder for masterbatch on display, an SP 100 pure strand pelletizer and a barrel bore measurement system at Booth W729. The company will also show its Coperion K-Tron feeders.

Additionally, Coperion, which has North American headquarters in Sewell, N.J., will give booth visitors a chance to experience virtual and augmented reality applications for its equipment and systems.

In a fourth-quarter conference call in November 2017, Joe Raver, CEO of Hillenbrand Inc., which owns Coperion, said orders for compounding extrusion lines were picking up, citing the U.S. shale gas boom.

Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH will present its 3D filament system and a twin-screw extruder at Booth W5545.

Its ZSE 18 3D filament system features loss-in-weight feeders, the ZSE 18 co-rotating twin-screw extruder, gear pump and die to produce 1-5 mm 3D filaments. A custom air rack for air quench cooling and sizing of the filament, belt puller, laser gauge and winder are also part of the system. Filament samples can be produced every 10 minutes, the company said.

Additionally, the company will display its ZSE 50 Maxx twin-screw extruder, which is ideal for wide-ranging compounding and can be equipped with a 600-hp motor. Other features, such as a comparison between PLC and HMI control systems and an elongational rheometer, will also be on display.

The German company's U.S. subsidiary, Leistritz Advanced Technologies Corp., operates out of Allendale, N.J. Its extrusion business unit is based in Somerville, N.J.

Davis-Standard LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of extrusion and converting technology in Pawcatuck, Conn., will have a diverse display of equipment on view at Booth W5947.

Highlights include a running thermoplastic elastomer tubing line equipped with Industry 4.0 capability to provide real-time data to help operators and managers optimize line operation and avoid downtime; two rebuilt extruders that show the company's ability to transform aging equipment by replacing the extruder barrel, feed section, screw and breaker plate and controls; and its next-generation direct-drive groove feed extruder.

In a news release, Davis-Standard President and CEO Jim Murphy said 2018 is poised to be a strong a year for capital equipment investment.

"We look forward to a productive show," he said.

Flat die maker Cloeren Inc. will show the EBR (Edge Bead Reduction) V Die for extrusion coating applications as well as what the Orange, Texas-based company says is the "world's widest NanoLayer," a 55-layer NanoLayer paired with a 5,435 mm Epoch III Die. Cloeren's patented Moebius-Manifold Die will also be on display at Booths W6673 and W6683.

Last year, the company bought the remaining stake in Micheldorf, Austria-based flat die maker EMO GmbH. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but EMO now operates as Cloeren GmbH.

Germany-based Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, a manufacturer of film stretching machinery, cast film lines and sheet production equipment, will exhibit at Booth W2727.

Its U.S. operations, Brueckner Group USA Inc., was formed in 2012 when Bruckner Inc., Kiefel Inc. and PackSys Global merged into one entity. The group is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H. At NPE, the company will show its battery separator film production lines as well as its shrink film and label portfolio, among other products.

Addex Inc. Addex is launching its height-adjustable twin-stack system for high- and low-melt processes.

At Booth W4773, Addex Inc., a Newark, N.Y.-based maker of cooling technologies for blown film extrusion, will take its Intensive Cooling technology to new heights with the launch of its height-adjustable twin-stack system for high- and low-melt processes.

The fully enclosed Intensive Cooling Twin-Stack system can be separated over a range of 1-16 inches, allowing the operator to change the height between the cooling elements to control the amount of cooling.

The company will also show its Intensive Cooling Dual-Flow Air Rings, which Addex says deliver a 10-15 percent greater output and bubble stability.

New for PSI-Polymer Systems Inc. at Booth W5791 is the Conover, N.C., company's ILF-55 in-line filtration system and its Vessel Gear Pump.

The melt filtration system is a discontinuous, high-capacity filter ideal for long batch production runs where the extrusion process cannot be interrupted. The company says its Vessel Gear Pump series can accommodate pilot operations to full production, with models available for rates up to 20,000 pounds per hour.

Maag Automatik Inc., the North American division of Switzerland-based Maag Pump Systems AG, will show a wide variety of extrusion products at Booth W5775, including three different pelletizers. The Ettlinger ERF 50 Continuous Melt Filtration Unit, designed for highly contaminated materials, will be among the products on display.

Maag purchased German machinery supplier Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH for an undisclosed amount in January.

Other companies showing at NPE2018 include Dynisco LLC (booth W4863), which will have a range of rheometers, sensors and temperature controllers on display; and Schwing Technologies GmbH (S26199), which will feature its thermal cleaning systems for the plastics industry.

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» Publication Date: 03/04/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609149].

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