Need a better feeder/blender control?
19. April 2010
Need a better feeder/blender control? This molder may have invented it. I heard about it last week at the Molding 2010 Conference & Exhibit in San Antonio, Texas, sponsored by Executive Conference Management. One of the dozen or so exhibitors was Noble Plastics, a small (seven machines, 11 employees) custom molder in Grand Coteau, La., with a strong engineering and technology focus. Co-owner and technical director Scott Rogers started working on this before small, affordable gravimetric feeders were readily available. He took apart his optical computer mouse to see whether the vision apparatus could “see” plastic pellets. It could. So now he has a prototype of a “smart” camera device that looks through a clear tube at the pellets and calculates the mass flow from the speed of movement and bulk density. It’s very compact, gives instant results, and requires no weight transducers. He thinks it could be the heart of a smaller, faster, and less expensive system than today’s gravimetric blenders. Yes, he’s got it patented.