At the upcoming 2018 National Plastics Exposition, Plastrac, the Edgemont, PA-based manufacturer of easy-to-use blending systems, will be exhibiting its high efficiency cart-based systems, which are designed to be shared between multiple stand-alone processing machines. This new line of space-and-time-saving carts makes additive and other changes simple, fast, and effortless. They offer extreme efficiency to custom molders on short runs. The carts can be rolled out and set up quickly. Several of the new models will be on display at Plastrac’s booth (W129) on Level 2 of the West Hall.
“Just In Time manufacturing has put a lot of pressure on plastics processors to find ways to simplify set-ups and changeovers, especially on short runs,” states Eric Bullivant, Vice-President of Plastrac. “That led us to develop cart-based blending systems that could be easily moved, accessed, operated trouble-free, and shared between machines. They outperform single blend cart-based weigh batch systems in many ways, notably reducing scrap as high as 30% down to near zero.”
While Plastrac has supplied custom single cart systems for several years, the company only recently standardized them. The new cart systems are duplex and fully independent dual models. “We based the duplex dual on the value proposition of a single virgin feeder and two different color feeders with shared controller and blower system, typically operating independently with either manual color filling or an automated color loader,” notes Bullivant.
Uniquely, the fully independent dual system allows two different resins for double-shot machines (for applications like toothbrushes that integrate a hard plastic with a soft LSR grip). Separate hoppers facilitate easy color changes. A full dual will accommodate two natural resins, up to two additives, with a shared blower system, and a control box that can manage up to six disc feeders. Operators will be able to switch colors electronically.
The new mobile systems can be configured many different ways. Plastrac will tailor a cart to shared needs between process machines, physical specifications of the shop floor, and changeover flexibility. That includes a version of the core components of a single cart system removed from its wheels for easy fixed overhead mounting for offline blending into a drum or gaylord.
Standard features on every Plastrac cart system include: a unique blend funnel that optimizes blending even with extremely small percentage additives; every feed hopper above the cart has an ultrasonic non-contact wireless level sensor with auto shutoff to ensure resin and additive supplies are easy to keep filled; all parts of the system are easy to connect and disconnect for fast changeovers and setups; and finally, Plastrac’s new touchscreen controller, which is making its debut at NPE.