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COPERION EXTRUSION DAYS | OPEN HOUSE REPORT


focus on what value it brings to the customer; if it brings value they will buy it.”


Targeting leadtimes One area Coperion is currently addressing is lead times. Extended delivery and material and component shortages have presented a problem for all plastics equipment machinery makers but especially so for its production of its high performance machines (von Hoffmann explains that orders for the highly special- ised aerospace-grade steels used for its ZSK extruder shafts may typically have to be placed a year in advance). To ease capacity bottle-


necks the US operation has taken on additional sub- assembly work while


assembly of some of the larger ZSK models has been relocated from the Stuttgart factory to an assembly partner in the east of Germany. In addition, one of the Stuttgart test bays has been convereted to an assembly cell, adding capacity for a further two machines. Von Hoffmann says these


moves, together with the decision to increase invento- ries for some key compo- nents, means it has been able to reduce leadtimes by up to half on its most popular machine sizes, albeit with some impact on the specification available. That limitation is due to the sheer number of options available; across the ZSK range there are 45 barrel


types, 2,900 design and 11,800 screw variants. “For the customer it’s a choice. Do they want a specialised machine or do they have an advantage to have a machine faster,” he says. The Extrusion Days event also gave Coperion the opportunity to show its latest technical develop- ments. Key among these were the company’s Involute screw elements. Unlike the classic constant radius self-wiping profile, originally developed more than 70 years ago by Rudolf Erdenger and that remains in use today, Involute elements feature a changing radius that means elonga- tional stress in the melt can be varied. This is said to be particularly beneficial in


processing of highly filled formulations — PP or PE with up to 85% CaCO3 or up to 50% talc — where output rates can be lifted by more than 50% in some cases. Coperion also demon-


strated the use of its throughput-lifting Feed Enhancement Technology (FET) on a ZSK 58 Mc18 compounding line running a 20% silica-filled PET antiblock masterbatch. The line was equipped with a semi-automatic SCP strand conveyor and SP200 strand pelletiser and was running at up to 2 tonnes/h. FET uses porous elements in the wall at the feed zone and is claimed to improve intake of feed limited products by up to three times. � www.coperion.com


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