When developing or upgrading their blending equipment, companies can implement new technology in a variety of ways. Some focus on enabling machines to communicate with each other on the road to a Smart Factory, while others work to improve processing speed and dosing accuracy. Still others emphasize the human element, striving to find ways that make their equipment easier to use and maintain. All of those improvements and more have been implemented within the last year by some of the industry’s top blending equipment manufacturers.
First shown at the K show, the latest gravimetric batch blender and dosing system from Piovan SpA recently became available worldwide. The Quantum E blender, which was developed by the Santa Maria di Sala, Italy-based company and is distributed in the U.S. by Universal Dynamics, was designed for monoextrusion and coextrusion of film and provides gravimetric blending of up to eight ingredients. It features double load cells for maximum dosing accuracy, has a modular design that allows dosing stations to be added or replaced easily, and conveys resin without mechanical stress or the risk of crushing the pellets. The blender also provides the benefits of both gravimetric and loss-in-weight systems.
“Typically, blenders are either gravimetric batch or loss-in-weight,” said Giorgio Santella, VP of North American sales and service. “Quantum E combines those two technologies, offering both the gravimetric batch blender’s simplicity of design and the process control of a loss-in-weight continuous blender.” The blender also can track each ingredient and precisely determine the amount of material used in each lot. The Quantum E’s controller allows the user to monitor the materials by batch as well, guaranteeing the materials’ traceability. Piovan’s engineers spent considerable time and effort on the design of the new stainless-steel, hemispherical mixer unit, which is now being offered on all Piovan gravimetric blenders. “A very important element of value when evaluating the design of a blender mixer is the capability of homogenization of the blend,” Santella said. “The accuracy of ingredient proportions can be totally compromised if the mixer cannot adequately [combine] those ingredients into a homogeneous blend.”
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