New extruder simplifies industrial processes

Nicola Brittain

A new extruder promises to optimise the output of continuous products.

Lab extruders are a mainstay of many pharmaceutical and industrial plants and Coperion, a company well known in the field, recently launched its new ZSK Megalab extruder equipped with functions that provide greater flexibility and safety in laboratory handling, according to the company.

The product has a screw diameter of 18 mm, a specific torque of 11.3 Nm/cm2 and achieves a maximum rotation speed of 1,200 min-1. It is particularly suited for use in research and development projects as well as for production of minimum quantities.

Optimised feeding platform

The Megalab’s new, patent-pending feeding platform makes adding ingredients to the extruder considerably easier, according to the company. The platform is firmly attached to the product, allowing for flexible positioning of up to four feeders on all barrels of the process section as well as on the ZS-B side feeders.

Moreover, the new feeding platform, which can be moved laterally along the machine, allows the feeders to be rotated and raised or lowered as needed. According to the company, this creates advantages particularly in the areas of research or recipe development, since feeding can be located flexibly at various points, in accordance with the process requirements. Moreover, feeders for this laboratory machine can now be placed on a newly developed patent-pending feeding platform allowing for up to four feeders to be arranged with maximum flexibility for adding ingredients in myriad ways.

Functions for safe handling

Along with optimizing feeder positioning, Coperion has also incorporated proven functions from the ZSK series into the new extruder. Among these, for example, are pluggable cartridge heaters. They are individually connected using IP67 plugs and can easily be removed for maintenance and barrel reconfiguration. Another improvement involves the gearbox lantern with easy access that can be equipped with an electronically secured maintenance opening.

The control cabinet is available in various designs including standard, stainless steel, or as a junction box if, for example, an external control cabinet is needed owing to ATEX requirements. Coperion engineers have also the design of the base frame itself. Along with height-adjustable leveling feet, the cable routing has also been optimised to keep the floor around the extruder free of clutter and easier to clean.

Johannes Heyn, development engineer with Coperion Research & Development says: “The ZSK 18 Megalab extruder combines proven ZSK series functions and new developments specifically for laboratory operation that make its handling especially flexible and intuitive”.


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