Plastics Processing: Vacuum and Pressure Pneumatic Conveying and Automated Feed Systems by Coperion K-Tron

The automation of plastics processes such as plastics extrusion, compounding and resin manufacturing can be accomplished with pneumatic conveying, feeders and related bulk material handling equipment. Coperion K-Tron builds material handling systems for transporting powder and granular bulk materials from rail car unloading to storing and dust collection systems, conveying to feeding, blending, scaling, and sifting operations and integration with drying systems.


Coperion K-Tron's gravimetric and volumetric feeders and pneumatic conveying components are in the flow of plastics, from resin manufacturing, to precision compounding, high speed compounding, and end product extrusion.

Coperion K-Tron offers plastics processors volumetric and gravimetric feeders, including the new Bulk Solids Pump™ (BSP), single and twin screw, vibratory, weigh belt, liquid loss-in-weight, Smart Flow Meters, gravimetric blenders plus self-contained and central vacuum conveying systems, integrated control solutions and systems engineering services.

Resin Manufacturing

Coperion K-Tron feeders control the flow of the granular base polymer and a filler, carbon black, slip agent and other additives to a pelletizer. Two grades of the resin are fed by Coperion K-Tron Smart Flow Meters with rotary valves. The filler is proportioned by a high-rate K2 Modular single screw loss-in-weight feeder, while the difficult to handle carbon black requires twin screw feeding. Slip agent and other additives use lower capacity K2 feeders. Coperion K-Tron's controller handles up to 15 feeders. Coperion K-Tron feeders help make a wide range of additives used in plastics, too. Coperion K-Tron's twin screw loss-in-weight feeder doses ingredients to a classifier to produce various grades of the pigment.

Compounding and Extrusion

High Speed Compounding: With the higher throughput rates made possible with today's high-speed extruders, Coperion K-Tron's K4G-L Continuous Gravimetric Blender System allows four to six ingredient stations with Premier Pneumatics conveying receivers easily grouped around the extruder inlet. Ingredients are continuously feed in sychronized, weighed proportion, whether pellet, granule or powder. Resin and other high rate components such as filler merge with other ingredients at the throat, eliminating the need for mixing. Coperion K-Tron liquid loss-in-weight feeders can introduce liquid additives downstream.

End product extrusion: In critical end product applications like wire and cable coating, quality hinges on reliably consistent blend accuracy. By combining all-digital weighing technology, microprocessor control, and the broadest range of material handing capability, Coperion K-Tron's K4G-L feeding system continuously proportions pellets, powders and granules at the extruder, eliminating the need for mixing and assuring the highest possible end product consistency.

Fiber and Filaments: Coperion K-Tron feeders are the key to color. In carpet filament manufacture, even the subtlest variation is unacceptable. With Coperion K-Tron's feeding system, processors can handle nearly any ingredient online, without risk of material segregation - a major cause of transient color shift. The stability of Coperion K-Tron's all digital system, from weight measurement to feeder control, assures blend consistency not only from moment to moment, but from day to day, week to week, month to month.

Other plastics processing systems expertise include:

  • Scaling System for Polystyrene Processes
  • In-plant Pressure and Vacuum Transfer Systems for Plastics Processing
  • Rail Unload Systems 
  • Vacuum Sequencing Systems

Brief Product Overview:

Positive Displacement Feeding: The Bulk Solids Pump™

The new Coperion K-Tron Bulk Solids Pump (BSP) feeders have been specifically designed and engineered to provide gentle, precise feeding of free-flowing pellets, granules, flakes, powders and friable products.

The BSP feeders do not use the usual screws/augers, belts or vibratory trays to convey the material. They utilize positive displacement action to feed free flowing materials with astounding accuracy, offering uniform discharge, consistent volume and gentle handling.

The BSP feeders have vertical rotating discs that create a product lock-up zone, conveying the material smoothly from storage hopper to discharge outlet, achieving true linear mass flow.

Click here to see BSP video demonstration

Screw-less, low rate additive feeding

The Coperion K-Tron Micro-Cone Feeder features a highly innovative screw-less feeding mechanism to accurately dose free flowing color, masterbatch or additives into a blending system or directly into the process screw of an extruder.

Utilizing a simple induced flow rotating cone, the Micro Feeder is designed to dose down to a few granules at a time and up to 2 dm3/hr (122 in3/hr or .07 ft3/hr) of normal masterbatch. With use of an extension tip, the feeder can feed as low as 0.1 dm³.  The minimum dispersive rate is > 2 pellets per second.

With no pockets or screws, the design is simple, providing ease of use and almost zero maintenance. The feeder housing swings open for fast material change. There are practically no areas for the product to trap so cleaning is very easy.  Learn more, download spec sheet.

KT35/S60 Quick Change Feeder: Single / Twin Screw

Available in both Loss-in-Weight and Volumetric configurations, the Quick Change feeder is specifically designed for applications requiring the maximum possible material handling and quick changeover flexibility  along with the convenience of fast cleaning capability.

Quick Change Feeder Applications:

  • Where frequent and easy cleaning is required
  • Where product contamination is not allowed
  • Where only one feeder must handle a large variety of products
  • Where ingredients must be changed quickly and cleanly

Single Screw feeding elements handle free flowing powders, granules, pellets, and other non-flooding materials, while Twin Screw elements handle floodable powders and more difficult sticky or hard-to-flow materials. Feeder is available in economical volumetric or high-performance loss-in-weight configurations.

 


Quick Change Feeder
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K4G Continuous Gravimetric Blender System

Designed with the specific requirements of the plastics processing industry in mind. The compact design and low space requirements of the K4G integrated system allow four or six feeders with Premier Pneumatics vacuum receivers to be easily grouped around an extruder inlet. Single stations are also available.

A wide variety of standard feeders can be integrated into the K4G single-point weighing system, depending on the feeding requirements. K4G single screw feeders, Bulk Solids Pump feeders and Premier Pneumatics filter-less receivers are designed for handling free flowing bulk materials. Twin-screw feeders and Premier Pneumatics filtered receivers can handle powders and non-free-flowing materials.

Materials Fed: Free flowing pellets or powders, depending on the system.

Download PDF: K4G-L Group - Continuous Gravimetric Blender

Systems Engineering: Moving Material To Your Process

For more than 40 years, Coperion K-Tron has been providing smart solutions to the problems of material handling and process control. As the world’s leading feeder company, Coperion K-Tron is able to focus on what many engineers call the hardest part of the process—the art and science of getting material into the process. When you require quality, consistency and control in your process – look to Coperion K-Tron for single source systems engineering.

When it comes to designing, replacing, or retrofitting the material handling system for your process line, there are no easy decisions. That is where Coperion K-Tron and Premier Pneumatics can help.



Systems Engineering
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Can a More Accurate Feeder Save Money on Material Costs? Absolutely!

See how with Coperion K-Tron's new FeedSmart™ Recipe Optimizer

With Coperion K-Tron's FeedSmart you can quickly compute the lowest possible recipe cost for every blend, formulation or compound you process, and calculate additional savings with improved feeder accuracy. View a short presentation about FeedSmart.

Download Coperion K-Tron's FeedSmart Recipe Optimizer.