Conair’s opening of an extrusion-equipment manufacturing facility in Pinconning, Mich., has allowed the machine builder to create an 8000-ft² lab dedicated to extrusion development and testing. The Conair Extrusion Development & Testing Lab houses four production-scale extruders and it is staffed by three experienced full-time process engineers.
In addition to performance-testing new complete extrusion lines, the lab is available for processors to conduct trials. Conair, headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pa., also uses the facility to develop and improve its line of downstream cooling, pulling, and cutting systems. For instance, recent work has been aimed at perfecting online gauging and adaptive control of precision medical tubing, including cardiac and brain catheters. The lab could also be used to develop larger equipment for siding, pipe, or profiles.
Unlike other extrusion-related labs, Conair says this one is built to evaluate and maximize the performance and productivity of the entire line, including downstream equipment and even auxiliary systems like dryers, loaders, blenders, and heat-transfer equipment.