Extrusion Control – Automated Solutions Answer Problems left by Numerous Discrete Controls

The control system is an integral part of the extrusion machinery and extrusion process. It has a very large impact on the productivity, quality, uniformity, and cost per production unit for the extruder and overall extrusion process. This post answers what benefits a computer has over operator/discrete controls.

Operator vs. Computer

Regardless of the technology that you use in your facility- you have a control system. If this is a man with 15 years of knowledge, or a kid with a clipboard and discrete controls, or an automated solution – you have a system.

The principal function of ANY control system involves the monitoring and control of a wide variety of process and product parameters.

  • Barrel Temperatures
  • Extruder Speeds
  • Melt Temperature
  • Melt and Screen pressures
  • Drive Load
  • Coordinated Feeders
  • Coordinated Down Stream Drives

A human operator using discrete controls can adjust all of these control points to workable settings, however the questions remain:Image

  • Are the settings optimal?
  • How does one setting affect another?
  • Are we sure they are set at the right points?
  • What if our operator leaves for a competitor?
  • Can we trust each shift of operators to operate the same way?
  • Are we sure that settings are adjusted between products appropriately?

All of these questions are answered- with great benefit, with an automated control system. A centralized operator interface allows the operator to MANAGE through a consolidated view of the process, and not just respond to it.

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