Production Line Turnkey System Helps to Produce Polyamide Compounds Efficiently

From Ahlam Rais

Coperion has designed a compounding line as a complete turnkey solution for Lanxess. The line has helped the company to produce high-performance polyamide compounds at throughputs never achieved before. Built around the ZSK 92 Mc18 twin screw extruder and equipped with special features such as the ASC strand conveying system, the turnkey system ensured a high degree of automation which helped to deliver high output and maintain good product quality.

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On its Coperion compounding system, Lanxess produces highly reinforced polyamide compounds at very high throughput rates.
On its Coperion compounding system, Lanxess produces highly reinforced polyamide compounds at very high throughput rates.
(Source: Lanxess)

Lanxess is now operating another Coperion line to produce Polyamide 6, Polyamide 66 and Polybutylenterephthalate (PBT) at its Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany location, making significant steps toward a new throughput range. With this technology, constructed around the high-performance ZSK 92 Mc18 twin screw extruder, the company is producing demanding compounds at throughputs never achieved before, states the firm. To reach such high output and maintain very good product quality, the firm equipped the entire system with special features that ensure a high degree of automation, a crucial requirement for this developer and provider of high-performance compounds, adds the company.

Among these features is the ASC strand conveying system from Coperion Pelletizing Technology which automatically conveys polymer strands from the twin screw extruder discharge to the pelletizer. The entire system, built around the ZSK 92 Mc18, is one of several lines that Lanxess operates at Krefeld-Uerdingen.

Coperion has designed this compounding line as a complete turnkey solution for Lanxess — from engineering to commissioning. From state-of-the-art raw material feeding, to conveying, compounding, pelletizing and classifying technology, the company seamlessly synchronized every one of the system’s process steps with each other and logistically integrated them into one steel construction, forming the basis for the compounding system's fully automated operation. Following a short startup process, its high-performance capacity can be fully exploited. Moreover, the firm designed this compounding line to make optimal use of available space and to assure good accessibility to individual components, as well as short walking distances for operating personnel, mentions the firm.

Every key component of this complete solution comes from the company’s own development and manufacturing, including the ZSK 92 Mc18 high performance extruder with its very high 18 Nm/cm3 torque, which aims for high throughput rates for reinforced polyamides. The ZSK twin screw extruder is equipped with a twin screw ZS-B side feeder and a ZS-EG side devolatilization unit. The firm further developed the SK92 die head specifically for polyamide compound manufacturing. With its intelligent heating/cooling concept, a very homogeneous temperature distribution is achieved so that strands discharge completely uniformly across the entire width of the die head, even at high throughput rates. Optimized flow geometry allows for very gentle handling of the polyamide melt, achieving high compound quality, opines the company.

In the new SK92 design, the die plate can be changed very easily and quickly with just a few simple maneuvers. The fully automatic strand conveying system is one of the most important contribution to the entire system’s operation. It automatically guides the extruded strands over a cooling water chute and a downstream conveyor belt to the SP 700 HD strand pelletizer’s intake section. Startup is fully automatic just as the conveying and rethreading of the broken strands is. There is no product loss and running production is not interrupted, concludes the firm.