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MACHINERY | FEEDERS


Right: The Coperion K-Tron Vibratory Feeder uses a new drive design that offers improved feeding


performance


materials with light and fluffy characteristics. Schenck Process also introduced the ProFlex


IMAGE: COPERION K-TRON


C100 at the show, the latest addition to the ProFlex C family designed to enable low feed rates for masterbatch applications. It joins the ProFlex C 500, 3000 and 6000 units, which were launched a couple of years ago. The new model is equipped with an integrated gearbox for turndown ratios of up to 1:120. It allows up to five feeders to be grouped around the inlet of a lab or small size extruder. The ProFlex C feeding system is used for continuous feeding of bulk materials such as powder, granulates, pellets or fibres. Optimised design, flexible hopper walls and a multitude of installation options make the ProFlex C a good solution for the compounding and masterbatch industries, according to Schenck. Features such as a quick-change hopper option enable fast and clean changeover without having to disassemble the feed screw while the asymmetric design prevents bridging and plugging of sticky materials. Feeding tools for solid bulk materials come in various shapes and sizes, with the screw feeder the most popular. However, Coperion K-Tron says requests from the market for faster product changes, shorter cleaning times and reduced maintenance prompted it to investigate alterative solutions. “It was determined that vibratory feeders could be the ideal solution,” the company says. Until now, vibratory feeders have been seldom used as accuracy has not always been


Above: Coperion K-Tron’s KCM-III controller features a user-friendly interface with context-


sensitive help


Alternative vibes The company has developed an alternative flexible pendulum absorber design, which keeps the movement of the drive parallel to the desired direction of motion and eliminates rotational forces. As a result, it says material flow is consistent along the entire length of the tray with minimal pulsing, significantly improving feeding accuracy.


44 COMPOUNDING WORLD | November 2020


great and they tended to transfer vibrations to the environment. In addition, tray length was also limited. Using simulation technology and high- speed camera observation, the company’s researchers concluded that shock absorber design lay at the root of all three issues. Traditional rubber shock absorbers created a rotational movement of the drive, causing turbulence in the flow of the bulk material on the feeding tray.


The vibratory feeder is used with the company’s


latest KCM-III feeder controller, which measures acceleration, displacement, load, current and temperature up to 25,000 times per second and then adjusts the drive signal to maintain clean sinusoidal displacement for optimal mass flow. This combination is said to make the new vibratory feeder more accurate than a screw feeder. The mechanical package is modular in design, accommodates custom tray configurations and lengths, and features an extended feed rate range of 1:500. A special quick-release clamp mechanism on the feeder tray allows for quick product changeover. Coperion K-Tron points out an additional positive benefit in that power consumption of the vibratory feeder is 20 times lower than that of a screw feeder. And, unlike a screw feeder, there are no rotating parts, which makes cleaning easier and cuts maintenance requirements. The KCM III feeder controller features an


improved user interface and includes a number of new functions. The unit, which features a stainless steel housing and 5-inch LCD screen, includes built-in Ethernet capability (wired or wireless) and can be accessed remotely via a web page. Control modules equipped with an optional Wi-Fi gateway can create their own local network, with the Wi-Fi access point allowing an operator using a mobile device to access any module on the network to remotely control dispensing, check status or view files. “The new feeder controller is equipped with all the technical prerequisites to expand Industry 4.0 functions such as preventive maintenance, electronic service options, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), outlier detection, machine optimisation and much more,” says Coperion. A more powerful CPU, extended memory and optimised control algorithms ensure faster communication with the feeder drive, weighing system and peripherals and, when used in combination with the latest generation of the


www.compoundingworld.com


IMAGE: COPERION K-TRON


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