KraussMaffei Berstorff advances I4.0 in twin-screw extruders

10 January 2019

KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH has developed two new data acquisition and processing systems for twin-screw extruders to integrate compounding equipment with industry 4.0 technologies.
The new solutions, said the Hannover-based extrusion machinery supplier on 9 Jan, can significantly simplify the daily production routines of compounding companies and provide valuable in-depth information for process optimisation.
Both solutions are available as options for all ZE BluePower twin-screw extruders.
The first system is designed to “synchronously” collect all production data of a compounding line. It is composed of hardware and software components for the acquisition, recording, evaluation and further analysis of all process and measured values. The analysis can provide a sound basis for process optimisation, in particular for process modifications or planned quality improvements.
The system combines pressure, temperature, speed and volume flow values of all upstream and downstream components – e.g. metering systems, melt filters, melt pumps and pelletising systems – as well as the extruder parameters.
The modular solution can be adapted to a wide range of different applications, scaled in size and is suited for interface-independent operation. Additionally, all interfaces can be integrated into an overall system that collects and visualises any desired process data. 
The second development is designed for in-line process monitoring and detects any metering errors to help reduce production scrap and enhance line efficiency.
The in-line measuring system is based on colour measurement, wherein light is projected into the melt, reflected and then detected by a high-resolution glass fibre sensor. The data is then compared with a previously-defined setpoint and any deviation in terms of brightness or colour is recognised and indicated. 
The ZE BluePower twin-screw extruder series is energy-efficient and safe, easy to use and low maintenance.
All ZE BluePower extruders feature an OD/ID diameter ratio of 1.65 and a specific torque of up to 16 Nm/cm3. This feature can allow volume- and throughput-limited formulations to be compounded on a single machine. The special highlights of the ZE BluePower extruders are oval liners, improved side feeders and degassing units as well as the optional energy management tool.