Düsseldorf, Germany — The Graham Group, which includes the Graham Engineering, American Kuhne and Welex brands, introduced a new version of the Navigator control system at K 2019 in Düsseldorf.
Originally developed for the Graham Engineering’s extrusion blow molding systems and later adapted for Welex sheet extrusion lines, Navigator is now available for American Kuhne machines producing medical tubing, profiles, wire and cable.
Based on an industrial PC using the Windows OS, real-time graphic displays are the key feature of the Navigator control system, according to Justin Kilgore, vice president of engineering.
“High visual correlation between the touchscreen and machine function ensures an intuitive user experience that provides ease of use and a rapid learning curve for both new and experienced operators,” Kilgore said.
Gina Haines, vice president and chief marketing officer, explained more: “There are three levels of functionality. XC100 is for stand-alone extruders, XC200 is for one or more extruders in simultaneous operation, while XC300 is for integrated product line with an extruder and other components, such as a puller, water bath or winder.”
Haines continued by saying that the system enables operators to monitor and control functionality. This includes — but is not limited to — closed-loop barrel PID heat/cool control, clamp and die zone control, heater burnout detection/alarm, high temperature alarm and melt pressure monitor with dual alarms.
Beyond process control, the system further adds a security access manager and recipe manager. Further, process parameters are monitored and controlled via real-time I/O diagnostics with remote functionality — using the TeamViewer phone application — essentially driving IoT/Industry 4.0 capabilities.
Kilgore noted: “Navigator control is delivered via hardware designed to withstand harsh industrial conditions such as vibration, electrical interference, high temperature and humidity. From synchronized supervisory control of a line, to its open architecture that supports connectivity for data collection systems, to internet for remote support and troubleshooting, Navigator offers integration without limits.”
Haines added that each manufacturing function — medical tubing, etc. — is controlled by separate operational setups within the Navigator system, itself designed to be a robust addition to the specified machinery.
With a view to reducing cost, the Navigator system has an extruder screw speed control, which includes start/stop, operating speed and amp displays. This can adjust screw speed based on material type and melt, helping to reduce energy usage by operating at an optimized speed.
To highlight functionality of the new Navigator, the company based in York, Pa., showed an American Kuhne medical extrusion system with the XC300 Navigator control. This is integrated into a triple-layer tubing line consisting of three compact modular extruders.
In addition to the Navigator launch for American Kuhne, Graham also featured the Revolution MVP rotary wheel blow molder and Welex Evolution sheet extrusion system.
The MVP rotary molder is suitable for high-output molding operations. It can be used to produce a range of packaging sizes while also supporting fast mold changeover times.
Key to rapid mold changeover is the individual operation of each clamp station, with all clamps generating force as required. While modularity allows users to have between 12-24 clamps on the same platform, individual clamps can be removed and replaced for offline maintenance, reducing machine downtime.
The Welex Evolution system is a complete production line for use in the sheeting, winding and in-line thermoforming applications. The system is equipped with an XSL Navigator control system.
On the stand, the display featured equipment for thin-gauge polypropylene, but the Evolution system can be customized for widths from 90-230 centimeters, gauges from 0.2-3.2 millimeters and throughputs of up to 4,535 kilograms per hour. Additional features on the line include a proprietary roll-skewing mechanism for thin-gauge applications.
“Each solution is engineered to meet the specific needs and applications of the customer,” Haines said. “We’re looking forward to sharing our new developments with global customers and prospects. The K show is an efficient way to meet with senior executives from our global customers as well as new prospects.”
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Post time: Dec-25-2019