By Brad Dawson, Rubber & Plastics News Staff
Stow, Ohio-Rubber machinery companies Kneader Machinery USA Ltd. and Rutil SRL are marrying two of their products to allow potential customers to see how they work together in a test setting.
Rutil will add an elastomer gear pump to the array of mixers and preformers at Kneader's Stow, Ohio, test facility by this summer, said Jim Chiofolo, sales manager for Rubber Molding Technology Inc., Italy-based Rutil's US subsidiary.
The gear pump will be used in conjunction with Kneader's 50-liter MXI Intermesh mixer and TSP-110 sheet preformer at the facility.
Rutil's dump extruder-fed gear pump can be used in screening/straining or metering applications, Chiofolo said. It can be utilised to filter compounds before moulding or extrusion operations or in preforming or cutting the material before processing.
The machine ensures constant speed and pressure, thus improving product quality and reducing material waste, he said.
Jacques Mortimer, vice president of manufacturing and sales engineering for Kneader Machinery USA, the US arm of Taiwan-based Kneader Machinery Co. Ltd., said he's been trying for five years to partner with other â€œgear pumpâ€ companies to show the advantages of the gear pump and dump extruder combination and expand the Stow operation's capabilities.
Pairing the Rutil gear pump used with Kneader's 2TE dump extruder in a production scale test environment is a scenario both companies can benefit from, Mortimer said. â€œWe can show the customer what both companies bring to the table,â€ he said.
Chiofolo agreed, adding that the two companies and the equipment are not bound to each other and there is no exclusivity when it comes to purchases. â€œWe're showcasing our individual technologies,â€ he said.
Rutil could have demonstrated its gear pump technology at its RMT site in Cleveland, but at the Kneader facility, the customer will have an opportunity to see and do more along the mixing line on a production scale, Chiofolo said. â€œWith the floor space available and the size of the mixer, it makes more sense to come here.â€
The equipment at the 5,000-sq.-ft. Stow site-after the gear pump is added-will be able to process material at a throughput rate of about 1,500 pounds per hour, Mortimer said.
Both men said the mixer/dump extruder/gear pump combination exemplifies the continuous, controlled environment many compounders and processors are seeking. â€œIt's one-stop, all-in-one-place, and takes out a lot of wasted energy,â€ Chiofolo said.
Also, with high-volume, low-cost rubber production in many markets going abroad, many of the compounds being processed in North America are more highly engineered and expensive, Mortimer said. Some parts makers are looking to make a bigger investment, bring mixing in-house and have control over all their processes, Chiofolo said.
Neither company, however, is trying to get into an area in which it doesn't specialize. Rutil's strength is in presses and extruders, and the company added its gear pump technology a few years back, Chiofolo said. It plans on sticking with its current strategies, he said.
Mortimer said he's strictly selling mixing line equipment, adding that Kneader got out of the press business several years ago. The Stow facility used to include injection and vacuum presses as part of its demonstration offerings.
Over the past year, Kneader has invested $1.5 million in new machinery for the test facility, which now includes the Intermesh rotor mixer, the preformer and 35L, 55L and 75L dispersion mixers, Mortimer said. The company holds about an 80-percent market share in dispersion mixers in North America, he said.
In addition to the demonstration and testing services, the U.S. subsidiary of Kneader handles all sales, startups, maintenance and spare parts for North American customers, and also facilitates sales, service and shipping for U.S. customers opening up plants in Asia, Mortimer said.
From Rubber & Plastics News (A Crain publication)