Fastest color changeover times increase production efficiency and protect the environment International extrusion experts have spent decades working on enhancing production efficiency by reducing the relatively long color or material changeover times at the extrusion heads of blow molding machines.
Faster changeovers not only increase your production efficiency by maximizing production times, but also cut your operating costs. What’s more, there is a significant saving in resources as the consumption of materials and energy is reduced in the time saved.
The benefits for you
Lower operating costs
More efficient production thanks to shorter changeover times
Up to 75% quicker color changeover for mono-layer applications with uncoated heads
More sustainable production
Saving of resources by up to 75%
RapidXchange - 100% color changeover saving up to 75% in time and materials
The key to making fast color changeovers lies in the design of the flow channels. Deposits build up here in “dead water areas” during the extrusion process and take a long time to purge out. Dead water areas are sections in the flow channels where flow speeds are low during purging. A popular but expensive method of reducing the adhesion of these deposits is by applying a surface coating to the flow channels.
Comparison of 3 mono applications
With the patented RapidXchange technology, we have developed a way to reduce the purging process by up to 75% without any additional surface coatings. The groundbreaking results were achieved in comparison with uncoated heads in mono-layer applications.
100% color changeover with 60mm die tooling after only 20 minutes
Time requirement and material consumption in two examples
Depending on the diameter of the parison, color changeovers with RapidXchange technology can be achieved in just 10 minutes.
The information listed below refers to the color changeover of a mono-layer or the outer layer of a ReCo application.
60mm die size
Material consumption = 15 kg per cavity
100% color changeover after approx. 20 minutes
35mm die size
Material consumption = 6 kg per cavity
100% color changeover after approx. 10 minutes
Expensive surface coatings have risks and drawbacks, if they are only used to reduce color changeover times
There are various reasons for surface coating the components in extrusion heads. For example, they are absolutely essential for fiberglass applications. Surface coatings are also used to reduce color changeover times by reducing the surface adhesion.
Coating the heads may well reduce the color changeover time, but it also increases investment costs by up to 25%! If this coating is damaged, for example by abrasive cleaning processes, there is a risk that particles of the coating will end up in the finished product, leading to poor-quality products or even loss of production.
100% cleaning is the aim. The last 2% in particular is the most time-consuming.
In traditional melt distribution systems, color and material residues accumulate in areas where the flow speed is too slow to purge them out quickly and efficiently. This is often referred to as the crucial 2%, which causes long changeover times.
The RapidXchange technology developed by Kautex Maschinenbau significantly improves the flow properties of the flow channels to such an extent that the last 2 % of the deposits is purged out of the system in next to no time.
Our RapidXchange technology is available on our WT extrusion head series
The extrusion heads have been designed for consumer packaging applications and have been put through its paces to ensure highly efficient production. Investment costs are also lower thanks to their compatibility with common head tools made by other manufacturers.
The heads of the WT series are designed for both two-layer DeCo and three-layer ReCo applications and are available with up to 12 cavities. The extrusion diameters range from 25 to 120 mm. Kautex’s own electrical wall thickness control system (EWDS) ensures that service support can be provided as quickly as possible, and that spare parts are available at very short notice.
Enhanced production quality and flexibility
Using spiral mandrel distributors not only reduces the time needed for color changes, it also ensures particularly uniform all-round distribution, guaranteeing even better production quality. So that we can react as flexibly as possible to the needs of our customers, we offer the option of implementing both mandrel and die movement with the same extrusion tools with minimal cost.