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Plastic extruders and laboratory lines

Plastic extruders and laboratory lines

The market for plastics and other extrudable materials always wants more new technologiesThe plastics market is now demanding more and more complex, faster, smarter and better quality solutions in extrusion plants of various materials. This involves optimizing extruders, materials, processes and extrusion technologies.

Innovation in the construction of extruders and their equipment is of key importance for plastic extrusion technology. The evolution of polymer materials and their composites is becoming the main challenge in the field of research on the plastic extrusion process. Less and less extrusion lines process primary materials; this is mainly due to high cost and environmental reasons.

Laboratory extruders for plastics.

Benchtop extruder and associated equipment manufacturers adapt to new and diverse polymer materialsCustomers seek ease of use and flexibility of lab extrudersGovernment safety and environmental regulations are a constant challengeCustomers seek lab extruders that can effectively and reliably simulate production equipmentLabs use extruders to develop new plastic blends or to quality assurance of our own extrusion systems.

Zamak Mercator is a manufacturer of laboratory extruders for plastics, single and twin screw with screw diameters of 2 x 12/2 x16/2 x 20/2 x 24 mm, co-rotating and counter-rotating with a range of L/D up to 48, with a modular and non-modular structure.
Our laboratory plastic extruders provide scientists with a high ability to reproduce and design industrial extrusion processes in the conditions of a research laboratory. Due to the high complexity of the extrusion process, a research extruder should have all the capabilities of industrial extruders and even surpass them repeatable and enable the processing of virtually all plastics and many other materialsExtruder preparation time for subsequent tests is shortIn the practice of a research laboratory, meeting this assumption means that in a short time the laboratory extruder must reach and stabilize the working parameters set by the scientistThis feature allows you to respect the scientist's timeChanges in the set parameters must be reliable, repeatable and fast All measurement data must be reliable.

You can achieve reliable scale-up, reduced research or time-to-market of your plastic productOur laboratory twin-screw extruders offer flexible equipment configurations from small batches to pilot scale or low-volume production and are ideal for research and development in the polymers, pharmaceutical, biology and nanotechnology Pharmaceutical manufacturers need precise and reliable laboratory twin-screw extruders that can be relied on to create new drug blends dispersed in a polymer matrix. Our extruders meet a wide range of process requirements, even for the most difficult formulations.

The challenge for a manufacturer of laboratory extruders remains to keep laboratory extruders simple and convenient. It can be said that if something is functional, easy to use and designed to be operated comfortably, the chance that people will use it increases significantly” Our extruders are designed with space saving in mind , money and time.To maximize productivity by allowing quick changes to test materials.

Laboratory rolling mills for processing polymer blends.

A characteristic feature of laboratory rolling mills for plastics, rubber and other materials should be a wide range of operating parameters, as in the case of laboratory extruders for plastics.
The most important feature of our laboratory rolling mills is the ability to simulate industrial rolling processes in laboratory conditions. Safety of rolling mill operation, ergonomics and short preparation time for the next test are equally important.

The operational parameters of the rolling mill determine the possibilities of conducting tests on plastics and rubber.
The two-roll rolling mill is equipped with doubling mechanisms for independent regulation of the rotational speed of each roll Roller drives should have high power independently for each roll of the rolling mill to enable the testing of a variety of plastics, rubber and other materials Independent roller drives enable full range of friction adjustment with high accuracy Unique electrical adjustment mechanism the gap between the rolls automatically controls the mutual parallelism of the rolling mill rolls during operation Possibility of quick setting of the gap between the rolls, its continuous control and the possibility of changing it during the rolling process determine the efficiency of the process and material savings Drive mechanisms and mechanisms regulating the distance between the rolls are adapted to transmit large torques and forces when rolling plastics or rubber The rolling mill can be equipped with automatic programmable liquid and granule dispensers All settings can be saved in memory devicesAll measured parameters can be saved on a memory device at any time intervals from 1 s The temperature of the rolling mill rolls is measured by 6 precise temperature transducers, arranged in such a way as to enable control along and around the circumference of the roll The rolling mill is a universal, precise, automated research tool It enables testing of rubber mixtures and polymers.

Precision of operation and measurement.

The rolling mill allows for precise, independent regulation of the speed of the rolls and the distance between the rolls [working gap] The distance between the rolls is compensated depending on the temperature of the rolls of the rolling mill This means that it does not change [decrease] as a result of increasing the diameter of the rolls with increasing temperature The digital controller of the rolling mill takes care of that the gap does not change regardless of the temperature of the rolled plastic or rubber The gap size compensation mechanism is of key importance when rolling thin foils with a thickness of less than 0.5 mm The rolling mill makes precise temperature measurements independently for three zones of each roller The forces acting between the rollers and the parameters are precisely measured each drive motor.

Station for the production of moldings by injection molding for testing the mechanical properties of thermoplastics.

Injection molding bench for testing the mechanical properties of thermoplastics optimizes the development process by allowing testing of the properties of samples from 5 ml to 20 ml.
Strict management of all parameters during sample creation enables optimal reproducibility and precision of research.The unintended potential influence of the user on the quality of the sample has been limited by the control and storage of all operating parameters of the devices.

The injection molding machine can be equipped with molds for paddles, bars, discs and other samples for testing plasticsPrepared molds meet current standards, and can also be adapted to specific customer needsReady samples can be used for strength tests of thermoplastics, Charpy impact tests, determination of Shore hardness, as well as for determining mechanical properties and modulus of elasticity, e.g. when stretching or bending. What's more, the obtained forms are perfect for research on thermal degradation of polymeric materials and for determining processing and secondary shrinkage of plastics.

Test specimens can be made from powders, granules, or by direct transfer from a conical or parallel twin-screw extruder. The geometry of the injected specimens is offered from fixed standards to custom molds that can be ordered individually.

The Zamak Mercator test system was designed based on RIM micro injection molding machines and the REM-2C Vertex II micro cone extruder as a piston injection system for test samples of the injection molding machine and the volume of the plasticizing system of the extruder.


Three basic devices for conducting research on the extrusion and properties of plastics have been briefly described above.

Our offer includes many models of single and twin screw extruders, rolling mills, micro injection molding machines, granulators and other equipment for research lines. The devices from our offer allow us to offer many even unusual and personalized stations and lines for research on new polymers, composites and other materials.

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Extruders for rubber or silicone and lines for rubber and silicone

Extruders for rubber or silicone and lines for rubber and silicone

Extruders and lines for rubber or silicone profiles are intended for the production of rubber and silicone profiles of any diameter and shape. process.


The product range includes a complete range of single-screw extruders for rubber and vulcanization systems based on modern and energy-saving technologies of hot air combined with IR (Infrared) radiation, which penetrates the material accelerating the vulcanization processVulcanization system consisting of a shock furnace and a segmental vulcanization furnace can be configured according to with the customer's expectations [length, width, speed, number and distribution of radiators] Our lines enable the production of rubber profiles for almost all industries, including, above all, for the automotive, household appliances, construction, transport and military sectors.

Innovative rubber vulcanization extrusion lines, which are the subject of the offer, enable the rubber vulcanization process to be carried out in the infrared radiation field. This ensures an effective process in terms of cross-linking time, product quality and process costs.

The rubber and silicone vulcanization line includes the following devices:

Zamak Mercator is a manufacturer of single-screw extruders for rubber and silicone with screw diameters from 32mm to 120mm in the L/D range of 8 to 22. The construction of the extruders is based on innovative design assumptions, modern components and is based on many years of experience gained in the rubber and silicone processing industry. durable, reliable and repeatableThe preparation time for subsequent tasks is short due to the refined design solutions and high thermal efficiency of the plasticizing system. Changes of the set parameters are reliable, repeatable and fast. All measurement data are reliable.

The first key factor determining the quality of production is the control and reliable measurement of temperature in each of the extruder zones. The extruder cylinder j must be designed in such a way that each zone has high energy efficiency. are arranged in such a way as to ensure reliable measurement and limit thermal interference.

The second important factor is the technical parameters of the rubber extruder and the possibility of adapting the device to work with various materials. High maximum torque, maximum revolutions, drive motor power and operating temperature range. of which the screw and cylinder are made will allow it.

In rubber extrusion, stabilization of the final shape always means heat vulcanization. Different methods can be used for this, depending on the product requirements and material properties.
IR (Infrared) shock ovens and IR tunnel ovens enable the vulcanization process to be carried out using heat supplied by infrared radiators Radiators emit infrared radiation, it is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with a wavelength longer than visible lightIR includes wavelengths from about 1 millimeter to about 700 nanometer Infrared radiation can be used as a source of energy for heating.One of the advantages of this energy is that the infrared energy directly heats the illuminated objects by penetrating their surface. Heating with infrared heaters is becoming more and more popular in industrial production processes. In these applications, infrared heaters replace convection ovens and can be effectively used to vulcanize profiles of very different shapes.
The distribution of infrared radiators in the furnace chamber is selected individually for the customer's application. Radiator power regulation is carried out independently for each zone, thanks to which it is possible to adjust the intensity of the thermal energy stream to the shape of the vulcanized profile.
Infrared radiation ensures high efficiency of heat transfer without the use of an intermediate medium (air or other gas) to the vulcanized material. This solution minimizes the heat loss needed to heat the media used in other vulcanization methods.

- Shock ovens for surface vulcanization.

The IR blast furnace by ZAMAK MERCATOR is equipped with high-power short-wave IR radiators. The furnace is designed to pre-fix the shape of the extruded profiles and create a skin. Therefore, it is a very effective process, especially in the pre-vulcanization process. The profile formed in the head is fed into the blast furnace chamber and, under the influence of infrared radiation, its surface is initially cross-linked. As a result, we obtain a thin, pre-vulcanized coating on the profile before it goes to the actual curing furnace. improves the quality of the product by giving the profile surface smoothness and a delicate gloss, and enables better control of the external dimensions of the profile.

- Tunnel vulcanizing ovens designed for continuous vulcanization.

IR tunnel ovens ensure short heating time and vulcanization throughout the entire volume of the extruded profile. The use of infrared heaters enables faster vulcanization and better temperature distribution throughout the section, thus ensuring high dimensional stability of the product and higher quality.
Thanks to the optimized design of the reflector, we can reduce energy consumption. The furnace has separate heating zones, enabling the selection of individual parameters of the vulcanization process, depending on the shape of the vulcanized profile and the extrusion speed.
The regulation of the vulcanization process is carried out by means of an advanced control system for the power of the radiators.
The divided structure of the furnace allows the opening of individual segments, enabling easy changeover of the conveyor belt in the tunnel chamber and control of the process during its operation.
The great advantage of infrared furnaces is the short time necessary to obtain full readiness for operation. This significantly reduces the energy losses needed to heat the chamber.

The devices described above are of key importance for the correct operation of the extrusion line and the vulcanization of rubber and silicone profiles. The line must also include devices such as straight extrusion heads, cross extrusion heads for coating or extrusion of two components, caterpillar exhausts, cooling tubs and receiving devices. All these devices are presented on our site.


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Lines for the production and testing of filament for 3D printers

Lines for the production and testing of filament for 3D printers

The production of filament for 3D printers is a highly valued technology. It has launched industrial innovations, ensuring the cost-effective production of a wide range of filaments necessary for 3D printers operating using FDM additive printing technology.

The production of fused filaments is one of the most widely used technologies that has found the maximum number of applications in all types of manufacturing sectors, including biomedical, aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, construction, electrical and electronic food and various others.

Filament production lines for 3D printers are characterized by high linear speeds of filament production, precision and dimensional accuracy of the filament, energy efficiency and intuitive operation while maintaining great controllability of the entire filament production process. them, form a continuous filament from the molten material, and then wind it onto the spool of the winder It may seem easy, but a good 3D printer filament that actually prints well must be completely uniform and homogeneous in terms of compositionKey parameters determining the quality of a 3D printer filament is its diameter and ovality. Changing the diameter or ovality of a filament by a few hundredths of a millimeter can result in poor 3D printing quality. Cheap 3D filament lines and extruders generally produce low-quality filaments because they are unable to maintain the quality that ka is essential for smooth printing The incredibly fast-growing 3D printing industry is challenging 3D printer filament production line manufacturers and plastics manufacturers 3D printing process introduces a new level of variability Today's 3D printing customers don't like to wait long for new 3D printer filaments and prefer fast delight in new ideas and inventions This is a problem for larger industrial manufacturers with their long product development cycles and inability to produce customized products.

Production of filament for 3D printers - requirements for filament production lines.

Since filaments for 3D printers working with the use of FDM technology are subject to very high requirements regarding uniformity, diameter and ovality, the lines used for their production must also meet high technical requirements.
Industrial lines for the production of filament for 3D printers must have a modular structure susceptible to modifications of devices and the manufacturing process. All devices used in the line must be easy to clean in order to change the filament produced.

Extruders for the production of filament for 3D printers.

The filament extruder used in the line must have a high capacity to extrude a homogeneous alloy with high homogeneity from the granulate Parameters such as screw rotational speed, feeding zone temperatures, temperatures of the plasticizing system zones should be very stable over long periods of time This requires the use of modern drives in extruders with high stability and allowing regulate the rotational speed of the extruder screw in a wide range The requirements for the heating and cooling systems of the extruder cylinder are also high The entire system should be well designed and good quality temperature controllers should be used, preferably in the form of an industrial PLC controller The control program should allow for adjusting the thermal profile of the extruder to the ongoing extrusion process of the filament for 3D printersExtruder the filament should be adapted for easy and quick replacement of the screw without the need to dismantle the line elements.
The line for extruding filament from granules should be equipped with a melt pump to reduce plastic pressure pulsation and ensure a stable outflow of material from the head to the filament. It should be possible to use the line without the use of a plastic pump.The plastic pump should be equipped with a precise and stable melt temperature control system and pressure transducers applied at the inlet and outlet of the pump.
The extruder head is the element of the filament production line which, depending on the forming tool, determines the final shape of the extruded filament for 3D printers. All parts in contact with the plastic are nitrided, which allows for high abrasion resistance. The head is heated with band heaters and is in sockets for connecting temperature sensors and a pressure sensor placed below. The filament extrusion head should allow for assembly to the plastic pump or directly to the extruder. The filament head should be attached with an easy-to-use wedge closure.
The filament forming head for 3D printers usually has two tools for producing a line with diameters of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm The filament head is electrically heated The accuracy of the diameter of the extruded filament should not be worse than ±0.05 [mm] Tool replacement should be easy and no special tools required All head elements in contact with plastic are nitrided to a hardness of 1000 o HV and to a depth of not less than 0.5 mm.

Filament cooling tubs.

The line should be equipped with two cooling tubs for extruded filament for 3D printers.
The first tub should ensure calibration of the extruded filament at the entrance to the water in order to improve the shape and maintain the required diameter. heat exchanger, the process water circuit should allow precise regulation of the flow.
The second tub in the line is designed to cool the filament and should be equipped with a filament drying system. The process and cooling water circuits should be separated by a heat exchanger, the process water circuit should allow precise flow regulation. The cooling water flow should not cause vibrations of the cooled 3D printer filament.

Caterpillar haul-off for filament.

The extruded filament is transported using the collecting ductThe caterpillar duct is a universal device, because it allows the transport of profiles with different cross-sections and not only the filament for 3D printers. The duct is a very important element of the line, because it is also responsible for the dimensional accuracy of the line or filament. adjustment of filament dimensionsCrawler exhaust works with a measuring device The results of the measurement of the diameter of the fishing line or filament are analyzed by the digital line control system. Thanks to this, the extraction speed can be adjusted in such a way as to ensure the dimensional stability of the extruded monofilament or filament. The extractor should have a pair of caterpillars with adjustable distance symmetrically to the filament. should be preciseMeasuring the distance between the tracks should also be preciseThe exhaust system should be equipped with two engines [each track driven by st independentlyAll extraction functions should be controlled from an independent touchscreen operator panel, as it is a very useful solution due to the considerable distance of the extraction from the extruder.


Measuring the diameter and ovality of the filament for 3D printers.

A laser gauge with an integrated measurement display is used to measure the diameter of the filament in two or three axes, for transparent and opaque filaments, a laser gauge with an integrated measurement display is used.
The vertical compensator is in fact an extruded filament magazine that receives and stores the extruded filament when replacing the spools on the twin-spindle winder.The compensator allows the operator to easily change the spool without interrupting the filament extrusion process.

Winding the filament on spools.

The filament winder enables winding in the technological line It should be equipped with an easy-to-use and reliable spool mounting mechanism It should be equipped with a filament winding length counter and a tension gauge that ensures constant and stable filament tension All winder functions should be controlled from an independent touchscreen operator panel equipped with a digital PLC controller The use of a touch screen facilitates operation, because the operator is not forced to approach the main operator panel usually placed next to the filament extruder.

Control of lines for the production of filament for 3D printers.

The technical and operational requirements for the line for the production of filament for 3D printers are not small, therefore the software that allows you to manage all devices working in the line should provide:

Continuous control and visualization of extrusion parameters such as: pressure, temperature, rotation, torque, energy consumption.

Filament for a 3D printer - basic types of plastics used:


PLA filament, ABS filament, PETG filament, TPU filament, ASA filament,

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3D printers - Heads for large format printers powered by pellets

3D printers - Heads for large format printers powered by pellets

When it comes to the benefits that large format 3D printing can bring to your business, several factors come into play. The key considerations include the ability to improve speed, cost and quality. , molds, patterns, furniture, boats and end parts, all of which are particularly well positioned for the growing use of large format 3D printing.

Prototyping was the first and remains the largest area of application for 3D printing In industries such as automotive, aerospace, boat building and anywhere where large thermofusible plastic parts are needed Being able to do it relatively quickly in-house speeds up the design process and time to market Ensuring proper fit and part functionality is a critical parameter in the design process Hands-on use of 1:1 scale prototypes allows teams to ensure all the real-world parameters required by the design In these applications, 3D printing is the obvious solution as it is faster and less expensive than standard alternatives The greatest advantage of industrial 3D printing is the freedom to design parts that it does not depend on any tool or form.

3D printers - the realities of printing large parts on an industrial scale by extrusion from pellets

Building larger parts means pushing the boundaries of extruded plastic 3D printing technology Means replacing 3D printer filament with plastic pellets that will directly feed the 3D printer head As part sizes increase, so do the challenges that must be overcome to achieve good results using printing technology FDM FDM technology is the process of creating physical objects by building successive layers of molten plastic Thermoplastic fiber obtained directly from pellets is placed by the 3D printer head where it is needed in each layer to complete the desired object Underlying is the method or process of Additive Manufacturing (AM) opposite for traditional manufacturing, which is based on subtractive technology 3D printing in FDM technology from plastic granules is clean, easy to use and user-friendly Thanks to industrial-grade materials that are mechanically stable and ecological [PLA pellets] amazing results can be achievedThey include many of the same tried and tested thermoplastics used in traditional manufacturing processes such as industrial extrusion or injection molding.

FDM [Fused Deposition Modeling] printing technology using fiber-powered 3D printers has limited 3D printing performance. Also, the price of the 3D printing filament itself is high compared to the price of plastics supplied in the form of pellets. An additional factor to be considered is the need for multiple processing [melting ] of plastics to produce [extrude] a filament for a 3D printer. Multiple melting of plastics deteriorates their physical and chemical properties. Therefore, the use of 3D printer heads that extrude plastic directly from granulate is technically and economically justified.

3D printers - using the advantages of 3D printing with heads directly from granules.

3D printing with lightweight pellet-powered extruders provides a number of benefits Allows you to achieve very high productivity from 1kg/h to 120 kg/h depending on the 3D printing head used Reduces material costs and offers access to new types of polymers that are not available in the filament format 3D printer head built on the basis of a professional extruder, it can be equipped with replaceable screws adapted to the extrusion of various types of plastics.The use of dedicated screws allows printing with many materials available in the form of granules such as PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG, ASA, HIPS and others.
Benefits offered by the new heads for 3D printers.

These benefits are offered by a new range of 3D printer heads designed for use in robotic 3D printersThanks to our technical solutions, customers achieve higher printing speeds and larger sizes of 3D printsDue to the professional construction of our 3D printing heads, they provide excellent polymer plasticization, transport and construction pressure and very good distributing mixing and homogenization of the extruded alloy. These are the key factors that have a decisive impact on the quality and mechanical properties of the printed prototype using the FDM [Fused Deposition Modeling] technology.
The combination of pellet-powered 3D printing heads in combination with multi-axis industrial robots from companies such as ABB, Kuka, Fanuc is usually used for large-scale printing, e.g. furniture, boats, and makes the production of these objects more economical due to lower material costs and faster 3D printing times.

In addition, customers can create their own custom composites and material blends by combining different granules By easily adding various dyes, additives and reinforcing fibers to the mix, customers can create custom composite plastics Professionally creating your own blends and composites requires a professional granulation line equipped with a twin screw extruder along with the appropriate equipment necessary to run the process, Zamak Mercator offers professional lines for creating plastic composites. Therefore, printing with granulate-powered 3D printer heads not only ensures efficiency and financial benefits, but this technology also provides environmental benefits.

The flexibility and versatility of industrial robots makes them a good component for implementing automated additive manufacturing methods due to their repeatability and accuracy By combining automation tools, extruders and application-specific software, the needs of industrial additive manufacturing can increasingly be met. hoc and a faster, stronger and cheaper approach to manufacturing continues.

This is an exciting time for modern 3D printing manufacturing, as very small or very large components and parts can be produced in line with the on-demand economy, with benefits such as reduced cost of prototyping. with traditional subtractive methods Product integrity, consolidation of larger assemblies and multiple material combinations can be achieved, expanding the range of production possibilities.

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Food extruders

Food extruders

High-protein extruded food productsExtrusion technology for textured meat analogues Consumer demand for higher-quality food products with excellent texture and high nutritional value is growingExtrusion processing has proven to be a very practical and economical food processing tool It is used to produce a variety of food products that are enjoyed by consumers.

With its ease and flexibility, extrusion creates many opportunities, it will continue to be a valuable processing technology for the food industry As extrusion research continues, more and more methods to use it effectively and further change will continue to drive the technology and expand the number of possible products that can be produced with extrusion technology food.

Types of food extruders.

The most common types of extruders used in food processing are single screw extruders and twin screw extruders.

A single screw extruder consists of only one screw housed in a barrel, which is often of a fluted or grooved design. Additionally, the screw in a single screw extruder is usually designed with a decreasing pitch to create compression. The amount of decreasing pitch is referred to as the compression ratio. non-intertwining The assembly in a twin screw extruder can be co-rotating or counter-rotating Co-rotating is more commonly used because it can transfer more mechanical energy to the material than counter-rotating screws Twin-screw extruders are more commonly used in the food industry due to their wide range of operating conditions and ability to produce food products.

Twin screw extruders are characterized by high flexibility in handling various ingredients and higher production rates than single screw extruders Twin screw extruders can operate with a greater range of moisture content, which is the limitation of the single screw extruder Preconditioning systems can be used to extend the capabilities of the extruders which can prevent residue build-up, and relatively faster and more uniform heat transfer from the cylinder walls to the extruded food ingredients.

Food extruders - conducting food extrusion research.

Food extruders intended for research on food extrusion should provide scientists with a high ability to reproduce and design industrial processes in the conditions of a research laboratory. Due to the high complexity of the food extrusion process, a laboratory extruder should have all the capabilities of industrial extruders and even exceed them. that in a short time the laboratory extruder for food must reach and stabilize the process parameters set by the scientist. Changes in the set parameters must be reliable, repeatable and fast. All measurement data must be reliable.

Our food twin screw extruders offer flexible configurations from small batches to pilot scale or low volume production, and are ideal for research and development in the food, pharmaceutical, biology and nanotechnology sectors. Manufacturers need reliable and accurate laboratory twin screw extruders for research and development to create new blends of extruded ingredients. Our instruments meet a wide range of process requirements, even for the most difficult preparations. The best tool for researching food extrusion processes are laboratory extruders that can work as co-rotating and counter-rotating.These extruders are equipped with a Vertex II automatic reversing screw.

A laboratory extruder designed for food extrusion provides full control over the entire process. Thanks to accurate measurements, structural changes in the product can be recorded in real time and correlated with the obtained product properties.

Advantages of food extruders.

In addition to changing the texture and restructuring of plant food proteins, the food extrusion system performs several other important functions: denatures proteins Proteins are effectively denatured during the moist, thermal extrusion process Protein denaturation lowers solubility, destroys biological activity of enzymes and toxic proteins Deactivates residual growth inhibitors native to many plant proteins raw or partially processed Growth inhibitors have a physiologically harmful effect on humans or animals, as shown by growth or metabolism studies Controls raw or bitter flavors commonly associated with many plant-based sources of dietary protein Many of these undesirable flavors are volatile and are eliminated by protein extrusion and decompression extruder head.

Food extruders - basic equipment:

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Extruders and devices for pharmacy

Extruders and devices for pharmacy

HME pharmaceutical extrusion has become a novel processing technology in the development of molecular dispersions of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) pharmaceutical ingredients into various polymer or lipid matrices. This technique enables time-controlled, modified and targeted drug delivery. active substances.

HME has received significant attention from both the pharmaceutical industry and academia for applications for pharmaceutical dosage forms such as tablets, capsules, films and implants for oral, transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery. These pharmaceutical extrusion capabilities make HME an excellent alternative to other available techniques In addition to being a proven manufacturing process, HME satisfies the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Process Analytical Technology (PAT) scheme to design, analyze and control the manufacturing process through quality control measurements during the active extrusion process Hot extrusion technique creates the prospect of developing various components, technologies for processing once materials and innovative formula design and development in its various applications in drug delivery systems.
In recent years, extrusion technology has shifted the focus of pharmaceutical research due to the versatile applications of technology. In the meantime, great effort has been devoted to the miniaturization of pharmaceutical extrusion equipment, especially with regard to the development requirements of new chemical entities and formulations. This has led to a reliable small-scale extrusion process.

Hot extrusion process technology (HME).

Hot extrusion (HME) technology has proven to be a robust manufacturing method for many drug delivery systems and has therefore proven useful in the pharmaceutical industry as well. transforming powder or granular mixtures into a uniformly shaped product During this process, polymers are melted and molded into products of various shapes and sizes.

Possibilities of pharmaceutical hot extrusion (HME) technology.

Extrusion is a technique with great potential for use in organic synthesisExtrusion provides a way to achieve mixing of reagents, it also allows fine tuning of the mixing range by modifying the configuration of the pharmaceutical extruder. The extruder itself can provide heating up to several hundred degrees and small amounts of solvent can be added to speeding up the reaction Extruders can be equipped with efficient cooling systemsTherefore, it can be said that the extruder provides most, if not all, of the parameters that conventional solvent-based synthesis can provideIn fact, with regard to the current move towards a more sustainable environment, the extruder is advantageous because the amount of solvent required is reduced or eliminated Moreover, usually reaction times are significantly shortenedHME provides medical product developers, creating soluble dosage forms and drug release devices with a processing option that maximizes the blending of API with polymer while minimizing API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) degradation, and even opens the door to products that cannot be prepared by other means.

Pharmaceutical extruders.

The modular configuration of twin-screw extruders makes it possible to combine several unit operations in one machine.Feeding, mixing, extrusion and molding are performed simultaneously in the twin screw extruder due to the continuous process.
In recent years, twin screw extruders have been successfully applied to pharmaceutical applications through reduced size machines. The key factor is the size and in particular the volume of the plasticizing system of the pharmaceutical extruder.

Twin-screw extrusion has become an efficient and flexible technique due to advantages such as cost reduction, process efficiency improvement, and research and production capability flexibility also use in the development of new solid dosage forms for personalized medicine.
The high material throughput required by the continuous extrusion process is an advantage in production, but is a limitation in developing new formulations Especially in the early development period, new chemical units are not available or are too expensive in large volumes Therefore, there is a need for low throughput extruders for the development of pharmaceutical products obtained by pharmaceutical extrusion (HME).

In pharmaceutical production, small extruders are useful because they are more reliable when using small amounts of active ingredients. Small batches can be easily accessed and easily adjusted by a quick process changeover.

Technological and material limitations in constructing pharmaceutical extruders.

One of the dominant obstacles in the development of miniaturized extruders is the optimization of key parts of the equipment when downsizing The limitations are the available materials, specifically the availability of structural acid-resistant steels with the desired strength properties and approved for contact with pharmaceutical products Another limitation is the ability to design and build miniature extruders with high performance and technical parameters .

Along with the reduction of the dimensions of the pharmaceutical extruder, there are objective physical and technical factors leading to a reduction in the possibility of supplying mechanical energy to the plasticizing system. the capacity of the extruder to transport such materials is compromised The throughput of the extruder must be reduced to a lower value, which is often a challenge in terms of feed uniformity Cohesive powder materials place high mechanical stress on the extruder, generating a high need for mechanical power This affects the residence time of the material in the extruder and sometimes the properties The iconic issue is the ability to scale down equipment in such a way that it is efficient to general due to varying process conditions for the products under testFactors affecting upscaling or downscaling include volume, heat transfer, and mass transfer spreading and homogenizing mixingThese factors affect both the delivery equipment and the design of the plasticizing system of the pharmaceutical extruder, which is responsible for the course and quality of the extrusion process.

Downscaling the process, along with reducing the geometries of the barrel and screws of a pharmaceutical extruder, is a key factor as general scaling concepts used in large extruders fail. For example, the concept of geometric similarity has a range that becomes invalid when using small extruders.One of the main problems is the surface area to volume ratio of the components that affect friction and heat transfer Another problem when scale-down is that the properties of the substance, such as particle size and viscosity, remain constant while the machine gets smaller This can also affect for the pharmaceutical extrusion process.


Our company has put a lot of effort into the process of miniaturization of components in the pharmaceutical extrusion technology. We offer various types of miniaturized extruders that differ in diameter and length of the plasticizing system, but also in design.

Small-scale extruders can be divided into two groups:


All our extruders intended for pharmaceutical extrusion are connected by high functionality, high technical parameters and, which is a unique possibility of operation as co-rotating and counter-rotating extruders. The process of changing the direction of rotation of the extruder screws is automated thanks to the developed Vertex II technology.

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Processing of plastics by extrusion

Processing of plastics by extrusion

Extrusion using extruders is a method of processing polymeric materials that is of great economic importance, as more than 50% of plastic materials produced are processed through this process. Extrusion (extrusion) is not a simple process to be carried out in practice.

It is impossible to build a good extruder without in-depth knowledge of the phenomena occurring in the plasticizing system of the extruder. Knowledge in the field of material science and technology in the field of plastics processing is necessary. The extrusion device is a difficult object to control. Problems may appear in the plasticizing system of the extruder or in the process of forming a polymer material. in the extruder, such as high temperature, high pressure, significant shear stresses and the presence of various fillers, can cause accelerated wear of components of plastics processing machines. The extruder is built of three basic systems: drive, control and plasticizing, as well as auxiliary components.

In the extrusion process, a very important role is played by the plasticizing system of the extruder, built of a cylinder and a screw [screws], which is a key component of each extruder The specific type of the plasticizing system of the extruder is selected adequately to the specificity of the processed material The screw of the extruder is responsible for the quality and consistency of the extruded material There are many possible configurations of screws used in extruders The key parameters of the extruder are the quality of the plasticization of the material and its homogenization, i.e. thorough mixing of the ingredients In the cylinder, as a result of the rotation of the screw [screws, the material is transported towards the head The material moving in the extruder cylinder enters the heated zone, where it is melted and then homogenized material and thermal The plasticized and mixed melt is fed with the appropriate efficiency and pressure to the extruder head, where the material is formed y taking the shape of the mouthpiece.

The complexity of plastics extrusion issues is evidenced by a large number of design solutions used in the design and manufacture of extruders.

In the extrusion technology, plasticization is of decisive importance, i.e. the appropriate transition of the input material as a result of heating, compression, movement and forces from a generally solid state to a plastic state. This process is the most important factor determining the extrusion efficiency and the quality of the obtained extrudate. specific parameters, i.e. temperature, pressure, degree of homogenization, speed of movement and flow rate. There are larger or smaller fluctuations of these values, characterized by a specific period and a given amplitude.

The plasticizing system of the extruder performs four basic functions:

Sometimes the plasticizing system is designed to also perform auxiliary functions, which can be, for example, degassing or foaming. Most often used in single-screw extruders is the classic three-zone screw

Three-zone screw of a single-screw extruder.

The processing zones of the extruder screw are defined by the changing height of the screw channel:

Geometrical dimensions that characterize the extruder screw:


Figure 1 geometrical dimensions of the extruder screw

Extruder screw pitch angle [helix angle] and volumetric efficiency

In extrusion, the angle of the helix is the angle between the helix and a plane transverse to the axis of the extruder screw. For most applications, the pitch of the extruder screw is equal to its diameter. Volumetric capacity depends on the angle of the helix. ), then the volumetric efficiency is 45.4%.

The energy used to rotate and pump the plastic forward of the extruder's plasticizing system is converted to heat Since the material is also sheared, the heat generated is known as shear heat Shear heat is not evenly distributed throughout the material, but is greatest where the shear rate is highest The amount of heat released can be high enough to cause localized overheating and decomposition of the material or its degradation For a given material, the amount of shear heat generated depends on the speed and diameter of the screw If possible, the size of the extruder should be matched to the expected capacity It is possible to achieve the required capacity with a small diameter of the extruder screw operating at high speed or with a larger diameter machine running slower It is generally stated that a larger machine will melt at a much lower temperature and achieve higher resultsFor this reason extruders running at high RPM should be equipped with efficient cylinder zone cooling systems.

Screw pitch of a plastic extruder.

The pitch of the extruder screw is defined as the distance between two consecutive turnsThe pitch of the screw is directly related to the angle of the screw helix, which is the angle between the pitch of the screw and the plane perpendicular to the axis of the screw If the pitch is to be equal to the diameter of the screw, it is called square pitchNote that square pitch is not always the optimal pitch for the screw design.In fact, the optimum pitch or alternatively the optimum helix angle can be calculated based on the rheology of the extruded materials.

Compression ratio of the plastic extruder screw.

The compression ratio is an important parameter to evaluate when designing extruder screws. It can be determined by the ratio of the channel depth (or alternatively channel volume) in the feed section to the depth in the dispense section. The former is known as the depth compression ratio and the latter is the volumetric compression ratio. For special screws such as like barrier bolts, the inclusion of the volumetric compression ratio (VCR) is a more reliable design parameter than the depth compression ratio (CR) because the pitch of the driver also changes from the feeding section to the transition and gauge sections in their screw design It is worth mentioning that the CR value can also be a confusing parameter in screw designFor example, if the channel depth changes from 16mm in the feed section to 4mm in the dispense section, the CR is 4:1 However, the same compression ratio will be achieved if the channel depth changes from 12mm in the delivery section up to 3 mm in the dosing sectionThese two screws behave completely differently despite the fact that they have the same compression ratioAn important parameter in the design of extruder screws, closely related to the compression ratio, is the inclination of the transition section.
In order to obtain efficient melting, the compression ratio and the inclination of the transition section should be carefully matched to the melting rate of the polymer being processed. The compression ratio of the screw also depends on the compressibility of the materials being processed. for the extrusion of highly compressible materials, it is generally recommended to use a high compression screw.

Length to diameter ratio (L/D) of extruder screws.

Another key parameter in screw design is the length to diameter (L/D) ratio. It is defined as the ratio of the length of the screw to its diameter. Typical screw L/D ratios range from 20:1 to 36:1 and even up to 52:1. lengths considered in screw design, which in turn depends on the application and the materials being processed. For conventional screws with three functional zones (i.e. feeding, compression and dispensing zones), the typical L/D ratio is 24:1 to 32:1. However, for processes where where a highly homogeneous and gel-free melt and melting at constant temperature and pressure are required, the need for additional sections is unavoidable. For example, one or more additional mixing elements are often added to the design of these screws to ensure uniform delivery of the melt to the die. Therefore, in these applications, the screw should be longer to accommodate added sections then typical L/D ratio for auger that used in extrusion processes is 32:1. In processes where outgassing is required (so-called two-stage screw), screws with an L/D ratio greater than 32:1 are usually recommended.

Clearance between the screw and the extruder barrel.

The clearance between the screw and the extruder barrel is a measure of the space between the outer diameter of the screw and the cylinder wall of the plasticizing system Incorrect clearance will adversely affect the performance of the plasticizing system A small clearance can cause excessive wear on the screw, while a large clearance can reduce the melting efficiency of the screw to the accumulation of a thick molten layer on the surface of the cylinder, which reduces the thermal conductivity through the cylinder.A large clearance between the screw and the extruder barrel can also reduce the pumping capacity of the screw due to excessive material backflow.

Mixing of plastic in a screw extruder.

The extruder screw does not always ensure very good mixing of the extruded plastic This is due to the way the plastic flows or is transported along the plasticizing system The plastic transported in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the extruder screw may not be properly mixed For this reason, the material coming out of the machine will not be of uniform quality It will be heterogeneous because it has a non-uniform shear history Therefore, it is important that the plasticizing system breaks up agglomerates, ensuring good dispersion mixing. The second important action of the plasticizing system is to create a random spatial distribution of the processed material, ensuring distributional mixing.

To ensure high quality extruded material, there is a trend to use longer extrusion systems with a length to diameter ratio [L/D ratio] in excess of 25/1 Long plasticizer systems are used where high flow rates and excellent melt uniformity are required They will produce the same throughput as shorter layouts, but at lower extruder screw speeds This is especially important when a lot of heat is generated that needs to be removed from the system The use of a longer plasticizer gives greater flexibility in operation as there are more options for using shear and mixing elements Some extruders are 32 D to 52 D length.

Elements of intensive shearing and mixing of material used in screws of boring machines.

Obtaining a product of the required quality with high efficiency is possible thanks to extruder screws equipped with appropriate material homogenizing elements, i.e. shearing and mixing, which are usually placed in the end part of the extruder screw. The purpose of the spreading elements is to homogenize the plasticized material leaving the shearing element. Homogenization is achieved thanks to the use of a mixing system located in the relaxation zone, i.e. the zone with increased channel height. configurations, which results in intensive mixing of the plasticized material. It should be noted that the use of these elements increases the power consumed by the drive e This element acts as a choke, reducing the extrusion efficiency, but allows the process to be carried out at higher rotational speeds of the screw and ensures obtaining a properly homogenized material and optimal product quality.

Currently, many screws used in extrusion processes have a mixing element. dispersion mixing and distributive mixing In extrusion processes, dispersion mixers are mainly used to remove gels in the melt Distribution mixers are used to homogenize the melt, in particular to obtain a thermally homogenized melt This is an important problem in extrusion processes because poor homogenization has a detrimental effect on the final product quality, especially its homogeneity.

Many types of mixing elements have already been developed for both dispersion and distribution mixing, which are used in the construction of extruder screws.Generally, high shear mixing elements are mainly used for dispersion mixing It should be noted that the high shear rate and consequently the high shear stress applied to the polymer melt as it travels through the small gap of the barrier run can raise the temperature of the polymer melt Twisted Maddock mixer, also called spiral shear mixer, properly optimized can reduce the effect of shear on melt temperature rise Pineapple mixer, typically used as a distribution mixer, continuously separates and combines different melt streams to produce a homogeneous polymer melt Known as a low shear mixing elementFor extrusion processes where the molten plastic is homogenized thermally, this mixer can be of great help.

Mixing elements used in extruder screws.

The geometry of the mixing and shearing elements of the extruder screw should be appropriately selected to the properties of the processed material. It should be taken into account when selecting the properties of the extruder's plasticizing system, including the head shaping the extruded profile. The length of the extruder's screw shearing and mixing elements is usually 2-3 DE. at a distance of 5-7 D from its end.

Mixing elements are used as below:

The plasticizing system of the extruder should first provide dispersion mixing, and then produce distribution mixing. These two mixing processes can be repeated more than once.
Dispersion mixing sections.


A large number of dispersion mixing sections are available. They can be divided into three main groups:

Distribution mixing sections.

There are many distribution mixing sections available, which can be divided into four main groups:

Barrier extruder screw

The barrier screw of the extruder is considered a state of the art design which includes a separate melt channel to ensure full plasticization before the dispensing section. a melt zone in the primary channel that slows down the efficient melting of the raw material. This screw also uses a full circumferential barrier at the end of the transition section to ensure plasticization of the fully molten material prior to final mixing and pumping.

In the case of a barrier-free extruder screw, some of the bed of plastic pellets will disintegrate and be melted first The remaining unmelted pellets can only be melted by heat convection from the surrounding melt Heat convection melting is not an efficient melting mechanism for polymeric materials due to their limited thermal conductivity Therefore, unmelted polymer may still flow through the discharge end of the extruder, resulting in unwanted product.Barrier augers can solve this problem by separating the molten and solid channels by using a secondary scraper called a barrier scraper. The barrier section where the main part of melting takes place is placed between the feeding and dispensing sections. The barrier section usually replaces the transition section; however, there are auger designs with separate transition and barrier sections.

There are two main designs for barrier augers; constant depth and constant width As the name suggests, the channel depth for unmelted polymer pellets and molten polymer pellets remains the same in a constant depth design Channel width for unmelted pellets becomes narrower along the length of the screw, while the melt channel becomes wider In contrast, constant depth barrier screws widths have channel width for molten and unmelted polymer unchanged throughout the barrier section, while their depths are different; the depth of the solid material channel decreases and the depth of the melt channel increases.

Principles of selection of screws for the extrusion process.

The length of the extruder screw feeding zone should be the longer, the higher the softening temperature of the material, and sometimes its length is reduced at the expense of preheating the material. The length of the compression zone should be the greater, the higher the softening temperature and its range. softeningCrystalline plastics, melt in a small range of temperatures It may be only a few degrees, therefore, screws with a short (1-2D) compression zone are used for their extrusion. The situation is slightly different in the case of easily deformable plastics, such as LDPE, where even two-zone screws with a long compression zone can be used compression zone, in which the plastic granules, which have not yet been melted, are slowly compressed from the beginning.

The optimum compression ratio of the screw (the ratio of the height of the screw channel in the feed zone to its height in the dosing zone) should be greater than the ratio of the density of the solid material to its bulk density. it also depends on the viscosity of the material in the extrusion conditions, and so for amorphous materials with high melt viscosity, low compression ratio screws are recommended to avoid overheating of the intensively sheared material and excessive load on the screw drive system.

Small screw compression ratios, of the order of 2, are recommended for the processing of thermally unstable plastics. Such materials include PVC, for which too high a compression ratio could cause material degradation. For thermally stable semi-crystalline plastics, such as PE or PP, high compression ratios of the order of 4 and more can be used. to the need to have a large number of screws to obtain optimal extrusion conditions with each change of raw material.

In practical applications, this is a costly solution. In certain conditions, it is possible to adjust the screws to other materials by changing the adjustable operating parameters of the extruder, such as the rotational speed of the screw or the temperature of the heating zones. The screw for LDPE can be used for extruding PP at slightly higher speeds. The screw for PS can also be used for processing of PC after increasing the temperatures of the heating zonesThe screw of a general purpose extruder is designed to suit the widest possible range of plasticsThe screw used in an extruder is not the ideal answer to the processing of any particular material.

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We offer drilling of deep holes from fi10mm to fi150mm, maximum length: 4000 mm. A deep hole is classified on the basis of a depth to diameter ratio of at least 10:1 (at min fi 10mm). Deep hole drilling is used in many industrial applications, but its origin is derived from the need to drill very accurate and straight barrels, where the ratio of depth to diameter can exceed 20:1 and reach 100:1 (with max fi 150mm and length up to 4000mm ).

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Types of filaments produced and used for 3D printing.

The filament is a thermoplastic material that is most often used in the 3D printing process using the FDM melt deposition method. In this printing method, the applied material, which is a thermoplastic plastic, is extruded through a special nozzle of the 3D printer head. The head is heated to a temperature that allows the filament to melt. The printer head regulates the flow of a given thermoplastic and is moved in two axes according to the instructions of the CAM program. Movement in the third axis is provided by the printer bed, which is heated. The model is produced layer by layer until the end of 3D printing. 3D FDM printers mainly use plastics such as: PLA, ABS, PET-G, PVA, nylon, composite of plastic and wood, composite of plastic and gypsum, composite of plastic and metal powders and other materials. Industrial printers and less typical models can use other materials, e.g. resins, rubber.

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Food processing by extrusion.

Health and nutrition is the most demanding field in this era and will be in the future as well. Extrusion cooking has advantages over other food processing techniques due to its continuous process and high yield. The food extrusion process ensures the retention of nutrients due to the high temperature and short required residence time of the food in the extruder. The influence of the extrusion process on various food ingredients and the links between them are of constant interest to researchers. The use of extrusion to develop nutritionally balanced or fortified foods makes it necessary to study the nutritional value of extruded products.

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Zamak Mercator 2022 calendar

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Extruders for rubber and silicone: Extruder for rubber and silicone

Rubber extrusion allows for a high level of customization and results in products with excellent uniformity and strength.

This is the preferred method of processing rubber by most manufacturers. Extruded rubber profiles are appreciated by manufacturers and customers from many industries, including: electronics, automotive, aviation, household appliances, military, sports, marine and flooring. In these industries, extruded rubber parts are used e.g. for moisture control, air conditioning, insulation, joining parts, protecting floors and waterproofing, and work as parts of many machines.

Rubber extruders produce a wide variety of shapes and products that are invaluable in everyday life, such as rubber trims, rubber gaskets, extruded rubber gaskets, rubber floor mats, rubber grommets, connectors, bumpers and much more. In general, rubber extrusions are valued as sealants and gaskets because they offer such excellent flexibility, impermeability and resilience. In industry, rubber moldings are used in cars, machines, bicycles, space shuttles and submarines. In warehouses and production plants, rubber rolls, sheets and rods absorb noise and vibrations caused by moving machinery. The scope of application of extruded rubber products seems to be unlimited.

Our goal is to exceed our customers' expectations by providing good customer service with high-quality extruders and rubber extrusion and vulcanization lines.

Filament lines for 3D printers: Filament production line with extruder fi 32mm

Filament for 3D printers is produced by free extrusion. This is one of the most difficult processing techniques by extrusion, due to the particularly large impact of process parameters on the dimensions of the product. Due to the high quality requirements for the product, which is the filament for 3D printers, when introducing a new material into production, the selection of processing parameters is made using the experimental method. The introduction of any changes to the material recipe and processing conditions (process and ambient temperatures, raw material drying efficiency, line configuration) will affect the quality of the extruded filament.

Lines for the production of fibers (filaments) with a fi 32 mm extruder, which are intended for use in 3D printers, are characterized by high linear speeds, precision and dimensional accuracy, energy efficiency and intuitive operation while maintaining large control possibilities of the entire process. In order to produce a filament, you need to use a plastic in the form of granules, melt and plasticize it, form a continuous filament from the melted plastic, and then on a spool. It may seem easy, but a good filament that actually prints well must be completely uniform and homogeneous in terms of composition. The key parameters determining the quality of the filament for 3D printers are its diameter and ovality. Changing the diameter or ovality by a few hundredths of a millimeter can result in poor print quality. The extremely fast-growing 3D printing industry challenges manufacturers of filament production lines and plastics producers. The 3D printing process introduces a new level of variability. Modern customers using 3D printing technology do not like to wait long for new filaments and prefer to quickly admire new ideas and inventions. This is a problem for larger industrial manufacturers with their long product development cycles and inability to produce customized products.

For the above reasons, the filament production line must be built with devices with high technical parameters. It is important to be able to precisely and at the same time repeatably set [adjust] all device parameters; such as temperatures [extruder, water in tubs, pressure, extruder speed, material pump, extraction].

Our line produces high precision filament. The repeatability of the filament diameter dimension, while maintaining proper ovality in the xy axes, cannot be worse than +/- 0.05 mm. Filament recipients often expect higher precision of +/- 0.02-0.03 mm, our line allows to obtain such parameters. The line can also produce other filaments, filaments, tubes and plastic welding wires. The plasticizing system can be adapted to process the required polymeric materials. We offer screws with optimal configuration for various polymers. The line is adapted to the production of filaments with diameters of 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm, 3.00 mm. It is possible to produce other diameters of lines.

The line is built of many devices, all devices form a whole and are digitally controlled via a communication bus connecting them. The operator communicates with the line through three touch screens, including one with a large diagonal, which allows you to control the entire line. In addition, the control and data recording systems can be adapted to customer requirements.


Manufacturer of machines and lines for extrusion of plastics and rubber.

 
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