Graham Shows Advances in Controls, Extrusion, Blow Molding
New extruders and systems for sheet and tubing along with the first showing of an accumulator-head blow molder.
Graham Engineering Corp. is displaying extrusions systems for sheet, medical tubing, wire and cable, and other applications, each equipped with a proprietary Navigator control system for live demonstration of its accuracy and ease of use. At Booth W2743, it is also showing an accumulator head blow molding machine.
The extrusion displays include:
● A Welex brand Evolution sheet extrusion system—a complete production line for use in sheeting, winding, and in-line thermoforming applications equipped with XSL Navigator control. While the equipment on display is for thin-gauge PP, the Evolution system can be customized for widths from 36 to 90 in. (90 to 230 cm), gauges from 0.008 to 0.125 in. (0.2 to 3.2 mm), and throughputs up to 10,000 lb/hr (4535 kg/hr.). Monolayer or co-extrusion systems are available, with up to nine extruders. In addition to a customized roll stand, the Evolution system can also be equipped with screen changers, melt pumps, mixers, feedblocks, and dies. Additional features of the line on display include a proprietary roll-skewing mechanism for thin-gauge applications while maintaining quick roll change and electric gap adjustment under full hydraulic load without interrupting production.
● A 2.5 in. (63.5 mm) American Kuhne Ultra extruder equipped with XC100 Navigator control and a 3.5 in. (99 mm) extruder with XC200 Navigator control. Building on the proven performance of the Ultra family of extruders, Graham has made improvements designed to make maintenance simple and accessible. Serviceability features include newly designed barrel covers that allow for quick and easy access to barrel heaters and thermocouples and an automotive style wiring harness with quick-change plugs for routing wiring and thermocouples between the electrical cabinet to the barrel heater/cooling zones.
● An American Kuhne tri-layer medical tubing line, consisting of modular micro extruders and XC300 Navigator with integrated the TwinCAT Scope View high-speed data-acquisition system.
● An American Kuhne AKcent co-extruder. This versatile customized system is available in fixed horizontal versions or units that can be fully tilted from horizontal to vertical. An EZ-Tilt feature makes angular adjustments quick and easy. The control panel is on located on an arm that is mounted to a ground post allowing the panel to swivel around the post for flexible positioning.
In blow molding, the Mini Hercules accumulator-head blow molder is a small-shot system (2.5, 5, or 8 lb) with a small footprint (15 × 11 ft × 15 ft high). It was previewed at NPE2015, and the first several units are now in the field. Graham’s XSL Navigator touchscreen control has been adapted for this machine, like others in the company’s line.
The Mini Hercules comes with single or dual heads and bottom or side discharge. Graham’s spiral-flow diverter head is said to allow for color and material changes in 1 hr. The diverter head also provides continuous internal cleaning during production, so there is no need to disassemble the head for cleaning.
Graham Engineering also is showing a modular clamp station for its Revolution MVP wheel-type blow molder. Each clamp station is independent of the others, with all forces self-contained within the clamp. A quick-change system allows individual clamps to be removed for offline maintenance. And modular design lets users vary the number of clamp stations from 12 to 24 on the same platform.
Thin-gauge sheet production presents some unique challenges to the extrusion operator, including the following set of 10 commonly encountered considerations
Synthetic paper based on filled polyethylene or polypropylene film has been around for decades without causing much excitement--until recently.
Just like selecting the extruder size and drive combination, the L/D should be carefully evaluated.