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5/8/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

NPE2018 New Technology Focus: Material Blending, Loading, Dosing

Originally titled 'NPE2018 New Technology Focus: In Material Blending, Loading and Dosing - More Functionality, Smaller Footprint'
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The big push is for more functionality in a smaller footprint.

Consistent with the theme of more functionality from the same footprint, Maguire Products is introducing a compact system that combines loading, dosing, mixing and dispensing. The Micro Tower mixes up to three materials—such as virgin resin, regrind, and masterbatch—in 10-lb batches. Throughputs range up to 100 lb/hr for the compact tower, which mounts at the throat of the processing machine, with no floor space required for a vacuum pump. The loader and hoppers operate on a loss-in-weight basis under simultaneous direction by the controller for greater accuracy. 

Mobility and flexibility are key to the latest iteration of Plastrac’s cart-based blending systems, which are designed to be shared among multiple stand-alone processing machines. This new line can make additive changes, for instance, faster and simpler, particularly for shops handling short production runs. 

Plastrac had supplied custom single-cart systems for years, before standardizing the offering and formally introducing it at NPE2015. The new cart systems are duplex and fully independent dual models. In the duplex-dual design, a single virgin feeder and two different color feeders have a shared controller and blower system, operating independently with either manual color filling or an automated color loader. The dual system can manage two different resins for double-shot machines; Plastrac notes that separate hoppers facilitate easy color changes, with a full dual able to accommodate two natural resins and up to two additives, using a shared blower system, with a control box that can manage up to six disc feeders, allowing operators to switch colors electronically.

New to the system at NPE2018 is a touchscreen control. The control offers a full virtual keyboard for recipe entry, while a USB port allows those recipes to be transferred to and from a thumb drive or software updates to be uploaded. The controller features wired Ethernet and allows setup parameters to be stored for later use.

Advanced Blending Solutions (ABS) is introducing its first automated, self-cleaning blender. The Chameleon Simplicity 3000 is a fully automated material-cleanout system that can complete a blender material change without operator assistance. Material is removed from the feeder tray using an automated vacuum system. From there it can be sent to a collection station or bin for later use. Compressed air then cleans the side walls of the component hopper. 

Piovan is promoting its line of Quantum batch blenders, entirely U.S.-made, saying it has expanded the range to cover applications requiring a high degree of accuracy. These work in conjunction with its Easylink automatic coupling stations and Pureflo filterless receivers.

Moretto is showing a self-contained loader equipped with a single-phase vacuum unit, specifically tailored for North American custom processors. The Loader F24 offers high capacity (660 lb/hr) and features stainless-steel construction. Equipped with a wide signal lamp and a die-cast aluminum flange, the units have soft start, fabric filter, and automatic filter cleaning included as standard.