Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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SHEET SHEET On-Line Tool Calculates ROI For Fast-Change Sheet Die Nordson Corp., Chippewa Falls, Wis., has developed a digital tool for comparing the cost inputs of standard sheet dies with removable lower lips and those of the EDI SmartGap mechanism for rapidly changing sheet thickness. The tool, called the SmartGap Payback Analysis, enables sheet processors to calcu- late the payback time for switching to SmartGap technology. SmartGap reportedly enables processors to make changes in thickness with unprecedented speed, extend the range of thicknesses they can produce, and achieve these improvements while enhancing sheet quality. The single-point adjustment mechanism changes the lip gap while simultaneously modifying the length of the lip land to provide the most appropriate conditions for the newly adjusted thickness as the sheet exits the die. By mechanically linking the adjust- ment of these two key variables, SmartGap reportedly ensures proper die setup and eliminates time and guesswork to achieve desired sheet properties. SmartGap Payback Analysis requires two types of information: 1) one-time investment costs of a standard sheet die with removable lower lip and of a new SmartGap system; and 2) process data including die length, output rate, frequency of die-gap and die-lip changes, number of working days, raw-material cost, approximate product selling price, and hourly burden cost of the sheet line. Using these inputs, the software calculates the daily output values of the two systems, including downtime, missed production output, downtime cost, missed product gross profit, and total downtime cost; compares the time required for changing die lips vs. that needed for changing the die gap with SmartGap; and estimates the how long it would take for a complete ROI with SmartGap. Payback typically occurs in a matter of months, according to Nordson. Reciprocating Head Allows Tubing Profile Changes 'On the Fly' In the new reciprocating head from Guill Tool, W. Warwick, R.I.., the typical tip and die assembly is replaced with a linear reciprocating assembly that changes the tube's profile on the fly within a given length. This process is repeated throughout an extrusion run without interruptions. As a result, only one run is needed to produce a finished product, as opposed to multiple runs requiring tooling changes and manual assembly to connect different tubing shapes. Guill's new reciprocating head also eliminates in-process inventory. As a result, there is no need to store various tubing shapes and connectors needed for assembly, order fulfillment, and replenishment of finished goods. Moreover, the reciprocating head eliminates a connecting piece, allows JIT production and products made-to-order, and reduces total run time from receiving the order to shipping, according to Guill. Next-Generation System For PET Reifenhauser, Maize, Kan. has devel- oped its next-generation sheet extrusion line for PET packaging. The line uses the company's third-gener- ation series of REItruder twin-screw extruders to produce sheet for direct food contact from 100% rPET meeting FDA requirements. Lines can be furnished with various coextrusion feedblocks from Reifen- hauser EDS. Reifenhauser purchased flat-die specialist EDS GmbH about a year ago. As a result, it can furnish feedblocks with fixed-layer geometries along with the more flexible REIcofeed 2.1 feedblock systems, in which material streams can be adjusted during operation. Processors can choose between internal deckling for maximum flexibility in film width, or a lip gap that can be configured during operation for fast thickness changes. Also available are either manual or automatic operation with thermal- expansion bolts. Downstream, Reifenhauser has updated its Mirex-MT-V high-perfor- mance polishing stack with three or four polishing rolls. As an option, the roll stack can be specified with an axis crossing for the first roll to produce thin films with large widths. The entire line has been prepared for incremental implementation of Industry 4.0 functions that are being developed group-wide by Reifen- hauser Digital. TUBING @plastechmag 43 Plastics Technology N E W P R O D U C T S F O R P L A S T I C S P R O C E S S I N G With Technology Keeping Up Extrusion PRODUCT FOCUS

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