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22nd July 2019, Bensheim

Two premieres for ProTec at K 2019

Depending on the required throughput, the modular stationary Somos RDF resin drying system can be made up of a number of independently operating drying modules. © ProTec Polymer Processing

Depending on the required throughput, the modular stationary Somos RDF resin drying system can be made up of a number of independently operating drying modules. © ProTec Polymer Processing

ProTec Polymer Processing will be presenting the Somos RDF modular resin drying system for flexible stationary use without a central dry air generator at K 2019 in October. The system consists of autonomously operating units with their own Industry 4.0-capable controllers. Depending on requirements and desired throughput, the individual modules can be combined into a variable overall system with central visualization and control.

Another premiere at K 2019 is a high-speed retrofit for ProTec's LFT pultrusion lines. This retrofit can straightforwardly boost the production speed of existing manufacturing lines for high quality long fibre reinforced thermoplastic pellets from 30 m/min to 50 m/min, so considerably increasing output of high-quality pellets and cutting production costs, the company reports.

To illustrate the many possibilities offered by an LFT pultrusion line, ProTec will also be showing various products produced on the line. These include impregnated fibre strands, which are used to provide part of the reinforcement for automotive and aerospace injection mouldings.

A high-speed retrofit is the straightforward way to boost production speed on existing ProTec LFT pultrusion lines. © ProTec Polymer Processing

A high-speed retrofit is the straightforward way to boost production speed on existing ProTec LFT pultrusion lines. © ProTec Polymer Processing

ProTec will also be giving live demonstrations of physical foaming using the Somos Perfoamer manufacturing solution, which was presented in 2018, and offering an overview of its comprehensive range of components and solutions for efficient materials handling.

Creating complete RDF system

Depending on the required throughput, the modular stationary RDF (Resin Dryer Flexible) drying system can be made up of a number of independently operating drying modules. Components are available with capacities of between 50 and 400 litres, each one being individually controllable by its own controller. Alternatively, when interconnected, they can be controlled using a common operator control unit. As standard, they offer drying temperatures of 60°C to 140°C and high-temperature variants for up to 180°C are also available. Each module has an integrated air generator, so ruling out complete failure, as may occur with a centrally supplied drying system.

Installation requires little space and effort as the modules are compact and, in comparison with a central drying system, do not require extensive supply and return air piping. The RDF modular drying system also saves energy because only the components which are actually required are operated. If requirements change, modules can be simply added or removed.

Like the tried and trusted mobile Somos RDM series resin dryers, the RDF modules also have an Industry 4.0-capable PLC controller capable of storing up to 200 formulations. They have their own dry air generators and also provide various smart energy-saving systems: drying air volume is automatically adapted to actual throughput while regeneration cycles are controlled on the basis of the actual water content of the pellets.

Boosting throughput

A simple high-speed retrofit can boost output volumes on an LFT pultrusion line for high-quality long fibre reinforced thermoplastic pellets. The production speed of existing systems can be distinctly boosted from 30 m/min to 50 m/min by various modifications and additions. 

The Somos Perfoamer manufacturing solution combines the ease of handling of chemical foaming processes with the high foaming pressure of physical foaming. © ProTec Polymer Processing

The Somos Perfoamer manufacturing solution combines the ease of handling of chemical foaming processes with the high foaming pressure of physical foaming. © ProTec Polymer Processing

“For instance, ProTec has incorporated an additional preheater and optimised die geometry, so accelerating fiber temperature adjustment and ensuring high-quality fibre impregnation even at high production rates. Cooling capacity was also increased with an additional water bath. ProTec has also made adaptations to the pelletizer. Carefully arranged rotary knives cut the pellets at high speed to the ideal processing length of 6-12 mm,” the manufacturer explains.

Numerous LFT compounds can be produced using ProTec's custom manufactured LFT pultrusion lines. Any conventional thermoplastics can be used as the matrix, while reinforcement can be provided by glass, steel, aramid and carbon fibres. Recycled material and additional fillers can be included.

Simple and efficient physical foaming

K 2019 will also see ProTec exhibiting the Somos Perfoamer manufacturing solution, premiered at the last Fakuma, for physically foaming plastics parts. The innovative Plastinum Foam Injection Moulding process presented by Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid and Linde AG in 2017 can now be used on an industrial scale. Somos Perfoamer is said to combine the ease of handling of chemical foaming processes with the high foaming pressure of physical foaming. Even with thin-walled moldings, good foaming results and thus considerable material savings can be achieved.

ProTec's production cell, which will be shown in operation at the trade fair, includes all the components for drying and temperature adjusting polymer pellets, loading them with CO2 under pressure and then feeding them to any desired injection moulding machine.

www.sp-protec.com

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