The latest upgrades to Conair TrueBlend™ gravimetric blenders introduce the next-generation SmartBlend™ SB-3 control and mechanical design changes that eliminate material losses, optimize critical blends and simplify clean-out and maintenance.
The SmartBlend SB-3 control from Conair sets a new standard for ease and precision in blender control for injection-molding and extrusion operations. Accessed through an enlarged and more vivid, 256-color, 7-inch touchscreen display, the SB-3 control simplifies blending control with friendlier, more intuitive graphics, easier programming and more comprehensive monitoring and control features. It also sustains a best-in-industry dosing accuracy of 0.025% for the total batch dispensed, thanks to Conair’s unique “feed forward” dosing algorithm.
Compared to earlier versions, the SB-3 control requires less navigation and fewer steps to create and store material blending recipes and its expanded memory can now store 3,000 recipes and 4,000 resin names. An improved home screen display provides realistic graphics, showing current material levels and target-vs-actual dosing for each attached TrueBlend feed hopper, plus information about mixing-chamber material level and blender blade rotation.
The SB-3 control also simplifies automatic data collection, enabling users to produce company-wide reports (inventory, jobs, recipes, and more) using Microsoft SQL Server over standard Ethernet networks. A virtual network client (VNC) offers user access to the control touchscreen from in-plant computers and Internet-connected devices computers or by Conair personnel for remote troubleshooting. Direct access for software upgrades or downloads of batch statistical data is provided through a passcode-protected USB data port.
The control display supports 16 languages, making it possible for users to select whichever language they prefer for programming, operation, data collection and reporting, or to see help information from the control. The language can be easily changed at any time, even from minute-to-minute as different employees interact with the system.
The control also includes a self-loading option. Users can mount vacuum receivers to the blender hoppers and plug them in. The touchscreen can be used to set parameters and control up 12 loaders and 1 pump for conveying to or from the blender. It includes important conveying features like priority loading and the commonality of blender and loading controls simplifies operator training.
PRECISE EXTRUSION CONTROL
TrueBlend blenders equipped with the Trublend EXT™ option combine gravimetric batch blending with extrusion yield control. Components are dispensed, weighed and mixed according to recipe percentages, dropped into the TrueWeigh™ hopper on demand and fed continuously to the extruder. The SB-3 control reads the rate of weight loss in the hopper to control extruder output to within 0.5%. With the addition of an optional line-speed encoder at the extruder haul-off, the blender control can precisely control extrusion weight per length, adjusting the extruder screw and haul-off speeds to optimize dimensional stability.
MECHANICAL DESIGN IMPROVEMENTS
The latest TrueBlend blenders also feature a series of mechanical improvements including redesigned standard mixing chambers with:
- Taller, steeper sides plus new, all-around chassis seals to eliminate pellet leakage: the cause of pellets lying under blenders.
- Improved mixing impellers with blades designed to ensure uniform mixing.
- Removable impeller assemblies for easy, fool-proof cleaning and preventive maintenance.
- Improved, bottom-mounted flow control valves in manual or automatic configurations.
Another new option, available on the larger TrueBlend TB-250 through TB-900 model blenders, is a tapered mixing chamber that is ideal for mixing and dispensing critical blends that include material percentages less than 1%. Tapered chambers include all the features of standard chambers – taller, steeper sides, improved impellers, and flow-control valves – but have both tapered sides and tapered ends. This shape eliminates any corners or dead spots, making it virtually impossible for any ingredients – even individual pellets or granules of small-dose colorants or additives – to get hung up and escape the mixing action inside the chamber. The result is more consistent product quality and reduced scrap and waste, even for difficult-to-control materials.
The Conair Group (www.conairgroup.com) is a leading global supplier of auxiliary equipment for plastics processors, including resin drying systems, blenders, feeders and material-conveying systems, temperature-control equipment and granulators. Extrusion solutions include line-control systems, film and sheet scrap-reclaim systems and downstream equipment for pipe and profile extrusion. Over 450 individual products solve problems, save energy, cut waste and are easy to use. Conair is also an international company, with long-standing operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The industry’s most complete product line, top-flight engineering and unbeatable service, all combine to give processors the confidence they need to succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace.