Sinzig-based Feddem, a K.D. Feddersen company specialised in the manufacture of extrusion machinery and accessories, was showcasing its compact extruder FED 26 MTS at the Fakuma this year, as well as a few new developments.
“Our focus is on flexible extruders,” said Michael Hampf, sales manager at Feddem. “Machines that can be reconfigured or restructured in set-up within two to four hours.”
The FED 26 MTS machine, which has been sold to the MOL Group, has a base length of 42 L/D but comes with two extensions for customers who need longer process lengths for products requiring a longer residence time.
“Customers, therefore, don’t need to buy a second machine. The extension means it is suitable for many different kinds of compounds.”
The machine, like Feddem’s other extruders, has a kneading block free configuration, instead boasting special mixing elements that, said Hampf, minimise polymer degradation. “Processing can be done at substantially lower melt temperatures – 60 to 70oC lower. It’s proven technology. Benchmark test performed by sister company Akro-Plastic show that using this technology, compounds are produced with up to 35% improvement in mechanical properties, compared to our competitors, including for glass-filled products. The mixing elements allow for a better distribution of the glass fibre in the compound, as well as less degradation of fibre length.”
Completely new is the double cleaning brush for cleaning the barrel of the extruder that, said Hampf, can substantially reduce downtime for operators. The brush unit comes with a hand-held electric drive, similar to a drill, and is resistant to temperatures up to 400oC, which means it can be used at operating temperature – no need to cool the machine down first, which yields considerable time savings. The brushes are customised according to the centreline distance of the customer’s extruder dimensions.
“Downtime has a huge impact on compound price. As lot sizes are becoming smaller, the extruder barrel needs to be cleaned more frequently, which means ramping the extruder down and ramping it up again,” he said. “The less often that has to happen can ultimately have a big impact on the price of the compounds produced.”