December 12, 2022

Holiday break: Master the smooth restart of your machine with a proper shutdown

Howell, MI, 12th December 2022 – Plastic processing companies often shut down their plants completely over the holiday break, especially in view of high energy costs. As Chem-Trend explains, the process of restarting machines presents challenges for thermoplastic processors. The problems can be solved with the use of advanced purging compounds such as Ultra Purge™ 3615.

Over the holiday period, many companies in the plastics processing industry stop operating their plants for several days. This is also sensible in view of the increased energy costs. However, stopping and restarting machines involves risks: The main problem here is contamination in the extruder due to oxidation and thermal degradation of the polymer left inside the cylinder. The better the injection molding machine or extruder screw, cylinder, nozzle and die are cleaned, the easier it is to start production after the shutdown period.

“Stopping machines at the beginning of the holidays with the correct procedure is extremely important. If the correct procedures and the use of a specifically designed purging compound are not followed, discoloration and black spots may form resulting in long start-ups and the creation of excessive and avoidable scrap,” says Graziano Pestarino, business development director, Chem-Trend.

Even several hours after production is resumed, it is possible that carbonized deposits will be released and contaminate the final product. In this case, for quality assurance reasons, the entire batch produced up to that point would have to be discarded. Thorough cleaning of the injection molding machine and extruder during shutdown can avoid such a scenario. In complex applications, it is often the case that the screw must be pulled completely out of the machine to perform manual cleaning. This does not only affect a planned shutdown: Rather, many thermoplastic processors face this challenge with every change of material or color.

Fast, residue-free cleaning with Ultra Purge™ 3615

Manufacturers looking for the most efficient start-up process can now consider the use of a purging solution that allows for easy, fast and residue-free cleaning.

“A particularly suitable product for machine shutdown is a new Chem-Trend formulation, Ultra Purge™ 3615 – a ready-to-use purging compound made of high-quality thermoplastic polymers and highly efficient additives,” says Pestarino.

The product can also be used to clean the screw, cylinder, and head of blow molding equipment without an accumulator during color changes. With the unique properties of this product, the simple rotation of the screw effectively causes the system to “empty” itself of the Ultra Purge™ 3615 purging compound leaving the cylinder residue free, which eliminates the possibility of polymer oxidation or degradation. Since the purging compound does not stick to metal, pulling the screw is also considerably easier if this operation proves necessary. When used as a routine maintenance product, the new solution can even completely prevent the formation of contamination. Ultra Purge™ 3615 can be used beyond the shutdown scenario and support rapid material and color changes.

In addition to machine shutdown and the purging of extrusion blow molding and blown film extruders during color changes, the product is also used successfully in compounding, as there are often precise process specifications that require regular screw pulling. The possible range of application covers processing temperatures of up to 300° Celsius / 572° Fahrenheit. Furthermore, the purging compound can be used without concern in the food sector, as it is approved for indirect contact with food in the EU and the USA.

Ultra Purge™ 3615 features at a glance:

  • Fast cleaning effect and high effectiveness
  • Easy to use
  • Odorless
  • Compliant with US regulations for food contact materials (21 CFR) as well as EU Regulation No 10/2011

Please also watch our brand new video: Ultra Purge™ 3615

A brand of Freudenberg.
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