Co-extrusion system enhancements improve control and performance
- Product Development
We have installed two state-of-the-art three-axis machining centres at our facility in Peterborough, UK. These machine tools, supplied by US market leader Haas, take our manufacturing capability to new levels of quality and productivity.
For example, production of extruder barrel parts, such as liners and circulation blocks, previously involved multiple operations on several machines: they can now be completed much more rapidly on a single machining centre.
The key feature of the new machines is automatic tool changing from a high capacity tool magazine that enables multiple operations to be carried out on the same work piece with no breaks or additional set-up time. Another advanced features is synthetic operation – a dry run to validate programmes before cutting metal.
Later this year we will add a new agitator cell to our facilities to make extruder agitator elements. The new cell will be highly automated and manufacture even the most complex agitator element from raw material to finished component in a single, seamless operation. Production capacity will be increased while lead times will come down – an improvement in performance that will enable us to increase sales of these high value parts.
The elements are used in both food and industrial extruder applications. Demand for new and upgraded industrial extruders has increased considerably following the introduction of the new MAX³ infeed system that brings significant increases in output for our powder coating extruders.
We are also anticipating an increase in food extruder sales following the development of new capabilities in ingredients, TVP and biodegradable packaging to add to our existng portfolio of cereals and snacks.
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