Gunther Niedermoser, Plant Manager at AgruAmerica was looking at an economical way to upgrade his 90 mm pipe extrusion line, utilizing existing equipment on the line and blending equipment received from Process Control GmbH. The 90mm line was already equipped with a Gravitrol® (gravimetric extrusion control) system from PCC, which was designed to control the weight per unit length of the pipe by monitoring extruder output and adjusting the puller speed.
With the assistance from PCC’s service manager, Jonathan Phelps, the PCC continuous blender was mounted on a mezzanine above the extrusion line and the existing Gravitrol system was combined with the PCC blender control system. With the addition of hardware and software for the control of the extruder output, now the material blending and full gravimetric extrusion control were integrated into one system.
With the new on-line blending capability, in addition to gravimetric control of both the puller and extruder, the materials feed and total line yield were now fully automated and accurate to within +/- 0.5% by weight. This resulted in faster line start-up, reduced overall scrap and improved product quality. Gunther and Jon were successful in adding a significant level of automation and process improvement to the line, with a minimal capital expenditure and utilization of surplus equipment.
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