Entek introducing compounding extruder for lean manufacturing

LEBANON, ORE. - Commonly compounding extruders happen to be about volume level - pumping out thousands of pounds of material.

But a centerpiece of Entek Manufacturing Inc.¡¯s exhibit at NPE 2015 isn¡¯t about big throughput. It¡¯s about lean making.

Entek (Booth W6486) is introducing a co-rotating, twin-screw extruder in NPE dubbed the QC3 (QC-cubed). The Lebanon-based company caused its compounding consumers to optimize the brand new machine for swift screw changes and quickly barrel cleaning.

In a way, plastics processors drove the development of the brand new machine. North America processors want fewer inventory, hence they¡¯re buying smaller lots of raw material. Relating to Entek, color compounders happen to be adopting those lean ideas, too.

So some compounders are finding themselves needing to change colors and products frequently, to create smaller lots for processors. The top features of the QC3 mean it does not have to take a seat idle for extended between changeovers.

During a news conference in Lebanon to present the device, Entek officials defined the features while an engineer demonstrated the quick-change capabilities - while getting timed with a stopwatch.

Some of the features include:

? Screw self-alignment design that allows screws to get mounted into couplings only one way.

? All the tools necessary for changeover and repair are installed on the extruder, at their point of use.

? The extruder frame style deflects dust, and Entek offers an optional device for fast, easy barrel cleaning.

¡°All of these benefits were things our customers communicated to us that they wanted,¡± said John Effmann, Entek¡¯s director of sales & marketing. ¡°Their challenge to us was to create and build a twin-screw extruder that solved these nagging complications, manufactured their lives increased and less complicated their productivity.¡±

The QC3 at NPE shall return to Oregon following the show, to the company¡¯s lab. But Effmann explained Entek got orders for the device already, and that the look adjustments on the QC3 will get phased directly into Entek¡¯s other machines.

Entek got into the extruder business to support its extensive extrusion operations, making microporous plastic sheet used as separators for lead-acid and lithium batteries. The business extrudes ultrahigh molecular excess fat polyethylene in a highly specialized ¡°wet¡± process, dissolving the resin in oil and adding silica. Entek worldwide has 450 employees.

Entek produces 325 million square meters of lead-acid electric battery film per year.

¡°We¡¯re a worldwide technology company, and it is a good high-tech product,¡± stated Kirk Hanawalt, Entek¡¯s president and one of the company¡¯s owners. ¡°For an extrusion procedure, it is about as innovative as it can be.¡±

Entek believes its knowledge as a great extruder is an double screw extruder advantage for customers of its extrusion machinery, because its staff can help troubleshoot their problems.

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