With the ability to count and dispense standard and micro pellets one by one, the new TrueFeed™ Micro Feeder from Conair offers processors exceptional dosing precision for special production and batching needs. These may range from small injection molded parts to laboratory or filament extruders, to dosing and blending ultra-low doses of highly concentrated additives.
Designed for dispensing “ultra-low” doses – less than 5 pellets per second – the TrueFeed Micro Feeder is built around patented sensing and dosing technology. The user inputs the number of pellets per gram into the TrueFeed Micro controller, together with the required dosing (in grams), calculated production rate, and operating mode (injection molding, extrusion, or batch), and the Micro Feeder does the rest. Standard or micro pellets are captured on the feeder’s proprietary dosing wheel, where they are optically counted using a light signal and dispensed into hoppers, feed throats, or mixes, with accuracy to a single pellet.
TrueFeed Micro Feeders are equipped with 8-inch multi-function touchscreen HMI controls with graphical interfaces that make dosing, as well as storage of multiple material feeding recipes, simple. Just one control can operate one or two feeders to meet a variety of needs. Two Micro Feeders can work together, or one Micro Feeder can be paired with a larger, standard TrueFeed feeder.
According to Alan Landers, Conair’s Product Manager, Blending and Upstream Products, the TrueFeed Micro Feeder offers a range of solutions: “Processors can use it to feed molding applications with very small shot sizes. They can feed small-scale extruders used in laboratories, or in 3-D filament or pharmaceutical production. The Micro Feeder also fits batching applications where pellet dosage rates are lower than those that can be accurately weighed and dispensed by existing TrueFeed products. For example, processors can use it to blend highly concentrated additives into their own material blends instead of purchasing custom compounded materials.” He adds that the dispensing technology in the Micro Feeder can dispense both standard and micro pellets, while the weighing cylinder used in larger TrueFeed feeders is limited to handling standard pellets or granulated/powdered materials.
TrueFeed Micro Feeders feature 3D-printed metal-powder construction and an extremely compact design – less than 8 in (200 mm) in length. Standard models are equipped with a clear, top-mounted material hopper, suited for hand feeding, but may be optionally equipped with a mini loader that fits atop the hopper and connects to an air supply. Micro Feeders may also be configured and ordered with customized, 3D-printed base dimensions to fit with other production equipment.