Compounding: Extruders Now Come with Industry 4.0 Solutions

New systems allow for increased data collection and analysis.

In order to meet the ever-increasing demand for data acquisition and analysis, KraussMaffei Berstorff has developed two new systems as options for its line of ZE BluePower extruders. The first of these developments is designed to synchronously collect all production data of a compounding line. It is composed of perfectly tuned hardware and software components for acquisition, recording, evaluation and further processing of all process and measured values. Data analysis provides a sound basis for process optimization, particularly when it comes to process modifications or planned quality improvements.

Thanks to its modular design and easy configuration, the system can be adapted to a wide range of different applications, scaled in size, and is suited for interface-independent operation. All interfaces can be integrated into an overall system that collects and visualizes the desired process data. Pressure, temperature, speed, and volume-flow values of all upstream and downstream components, as well as the extruder parameters are combined in a single system.

The second development is designed to detect instantly any metering errors in order to reduce production scrap and enhance line efficiency. This in-line measuring system is based on color measurement: light is projected into the melt, reflected and then detected by a high-resolution glass fiber sensor. Upon comparison with the previously defined setpoint, any deviation in terms of brightness or color is instantly recognized and indicated. The color-measuring system can be integrated into the overall line control.