Plastics Technology Product Alert, Sep. 11, 2020

The latest technology from Maguire Products, Wilmington Machinery, Conair, and Engel Machinery


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Material Handling: Vacuum Conveying Pump Makes Things Simple

Maguire’s new pump is compatible with the company’s LowPro receivers used for automated ‘mini-central’ conveying systems.

Maguire Products Inc. has introduced a vacuum-conveying pump that’s said to be easy to install, operate. The pump can be configured in “mini-central” systems with Maguire’s extremely compact LowPro receivers mounted on multiple blenders. The NVRBE vacuum pump conveys materials to blenders, dryers, or machine hoppers, and multiple pump units may be used in a single system. Its user-friendly features include:

● Clear-Vu dust-collection bin, allowing the operator to see when cleaning is required.

● Filter-safety switch, which minimizes dust contamination. The switch initiates an alarm and stops the blower if the filter becomes clogged.

● Pressure-differential switch that acts as a clogged-filter sensor, stopping the blower if the filter is over 90% clogged .

Temperature safety switch, which prevents overheating the blower. When the blower temperature exceeds a limit, an air bypass valve opens to cool the blower.

● Air-bypass valve, which prolongs pump life and minimizes power usage by allowing the blower to keep running when no vacuum is called for.

● Quieter operation than positive-displacement pumps.

Vacuum pump

Like all Maguire systems, the NVRBE vacuum pump comes with a 5-yr warranty.

Injection Molding: Low-Cost Structural-Foam Press for Pallets

Wilmington Machinery’s latest is built to compete with Asian machines in this size range.

Wilmington Machinery has introduced what it believes to be the lowest-cost U.S.-made structural-foam machine for molding pallets. It’s positioned to compete on price with Asian-built machines of comparable capacity. The new Lumina Pallateer Model PM-1C has 350-ton clamp and ability to mold pallets up to 48 × 52 in. in size and weighing up to 40 lb. The two-stage (extruder/accumulator) injection unit has an extruder capacity of 1200 lb/hr of HDPE, sufficient to producer 30 pallets/hr.

Wilmington Machinery Lumina Pallateer Model PM-1C in single-nozzle and classic multi-nozzle structural-foam versions.


Wilmington Machinery Lumina Pallateer Model PM-1C in single-nozzle (l.) and classic multi-nozzle structural-foam versions.

The machine boasts small footprint and low energy consumption. Its hybrid design incorporates servo-electric extruders and hydraulic injection and clamping. The 30:1 L/D extruder has an injection port for nitrogen gas and can process up to 100% recycled flake. Two versions are available—single-nozzle and “classic” multi-nozzle structural-foam manifold (both are shown here). Hot-runner molds, robots, and other accessories are available from Wilmington, along with training.

Process Cooling: Portable Chillers Add PLC Control, Color Touch Screen

Conair says a PLC control and a 7-inch, color touch screen are now standard on its EP2 Series of portable chillers.

Auxiliary equipment supplier Conair’s newest EP2 Series portable chillers—available with air-cooled, water-cooled or remote air-cooled condensers—have a sloped top electrical panel that places the 7-inch color touch screen on the front of the unit at an ideal height and angle for easy viewing and operation.

New capabilities made possible by the PLC control system include digital pump pressure display, compressor/pump/fan running hours and performance trend charts for key operating parameters such as process-fluid temperatures.

The new controls also include Modbus RTU communications as standard, easing integration of the chillers with injection molding machines or plant-wide process monitoring. The control system is also fully compatible with Conair’s cloud-based Industry 4.0 SmartServices platform, which provides equipment monitoring, management and analysis.

An optional, premium EP2 control system has an expanded PLC system with additional communications capabilities, including:

  • Modbus TCP/IP
  • BACnet MS/TP
  • BACnet/IP
  • LonWorks
  • OPC/UA

The EP2 chillers feature high-efficiency stainless steel brazed plate evaporators, stainless steel pumps and scroll compressors. Variable-speed scroll compressor options on 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-ton water-cooled and air-cooled chillers provide flexibility and efficiency under varying part-load conditions. The optional variable-speed chillers work only as hard as necessary, reducing power use by automatically adjusting compressor speed.

EP2 air-cooled units have large micro-channel condensers designed for industrial environments. Water-cooled units use cleanable shell-and-tube condensers and include a condenser-water regulating valve to provide constant head pressure. Remote condenser units are available to direct all heat outside the building.

Conair EP2 Series portable chillers

Conair’s newest EP2 Series of portable chillers feature a PLC control and 7-inch color touch screen as standard.

Injection Molding: Determine Barrier Screw Condition Without Screw Removal

The device is installed on the outside of the barrel and uses ultrasound to assess a barrier screw’s condition through the barrel wall and the molten plastic.

Injection molding machine and automation supplier Engel (U.S. headquarters in York, Pa.) is extending its condition monitoring platform for condition-based predictive maintenance to barrier screws, using a device that mounts on the barrel and assesses the component without its removal.

For traditional three-zone screws, Engel already developed an e-connect.monitor solution. With barrier screws, however, the the complexity of the screw geometry, including the different pitches of the flights and the wide range of designs, required a new, proprietary algorithm.

Noting that the barrel is normally a “black box” when it comes to maintenance, screw assessments traditionally involve complete removal of the screw in a time-consuming process—time consuming enough that many molders put it off and risk unplanned shutdowns and possible damage to the machine or mold.

Engel says its e‑connect.monitor uses the latest sensor technology in a measuring system that installs on the outside of the barrel. The device applies ultrasound technology to measure the distance between the end of the screw flight and the inside barrel liner, assessing wear over time. If that gap becomes too large, process fluctuations can occur and lead to quality issues.

Engel says one of its service technicians performs the measurement, collecting the required data in “just a few minutes.” The results are transferred to Engel via a secure data link where they are evaluated and interpreted using what the company calls specially developed mathematical models.

Test results are accessible any time via the Engel e-connect customer portal. By checking screw condition an regular, planned intervals, a molder’s maintenance department can determine the wear rate and how it’s trending, helping plan a replacement without an emergency production shutdown.

Engel notes that regular condition monitoring supports process optimization where evaluation of wear parameters helps molders identify and avoid critical process settings that accelerate screw wear. In addition to screws, Engel offers e-connect.monitor modules for hydraulic pumps and oil, as well as ball screws in electric machines.

Engel e-connect.monitor Engel’s new e-connect.monitor determines the condition of a barrier screw without needing to dismantle the plasticizing unit.