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Extrusion 5-2017

21.07.2017

Extrusion 5-2017

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How the extrusion yield control by Maguire increases the output

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Use of LineMaster™ extrusion yield control on a single three-layer blown film line has enabled IG Industries PLC, a custom manufacturer of polyethylene films in the United Kingdom, to obtain an increase in saleable output whose average annual value is calculated at nearly USD $ 100,000.

The amount is equivalent to well over half of the total investment cost for the three Maguire® blenders, three loss-in-weight (LIW) hoppers, and LineMaster software employed in the yield control system. According to Sean Conlin, IG Industries production manager, this increase in saleable output as compared with other coextrusion lines at the company is the result of the simplicity and user-friendliness of the LineMaster system. He also noted that the new yield control costs less than conventional ones.

After installing the system on a shrink film production line at its plant in Elsham Wold, North Lincolnshire, IG Industries reduced the amount of cleanout and set-up time for a typical job changeover by 10 minutes, Conlin said, and this in turn meant less scrap per startup. The company operates the line on a 24-hour basis for 356 days a year and typically makes between one and five job changes on it in a 24-hour period. The estimate of nearly $ 100,000 in added annual output of saleable film is based on an average of three job changes every 24 hours over the course of a year. The figure is the amount left over after subtracting the resale value of the scrap film that would otherwise have been produced (see table).

LineMaster™ Costs Less than Standard Yield Control and Increases Productivity

Maguire blenders are gain-in-weight (GIW) systems that prepare raw material batches by sequentially dosing each ingredient into a weigh chamber.

While LineMaster employs LIW hoppers because of their split-second feedback of data on material consumption by the processing machines, it is Maguire GIW blenders that actually prepare the raw material batches to be fed to these hoppers. "Yield control systems based on LIW blenders are more costly and cumbersome than LineMaster," said Steve Trainor, sales engineer for Summit Systems, the UK representative for Maguire which worked with IG Industries on the installation. "The LineMaster system costs at least 50% less than these other systems."

The simplicity and user friendliness of the LineMaster system has resulted in more production uptime, less maintenance, and less workplace mess, according to IG Industries' Sean Conlin. Changing jobs with an LIW blending system can involve changing screws and dosing barrels, hopper cleanouts that can lead to spillage, reloading blenders and charging screws, and filling the hoppers on each extrusion line. "All this causes downtime and generates scrap every time you end a job and set up the line for a new one," Conlin said.

IG Industries operates six coextrusion and five monolayer blown film lines with a typical total output of 45,000,000 lb. (20,000 metric tons) per year. Besides manufacturing standard types of shrink film, the company regularly develops films for special requirements, Conlin noted. "We have a strong technical team constantly developing new products," he said. "We keep close working relationships with our polymer suppliers and customers, which enable us to identify promising new raw materials and engineer them into films that benefit our customers."

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