The HDPE pipe specialist Policonductos SA de CV, based in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, is now starting to produce large-diameter pipes with diameters up to 1,600 mm. For this purpose, the plastics processor purchased a complete line from battenfeld-cincinnati Germany GmbH, Bad Oeynhausen, which was recently installed and successfully commissioned. The special feature of this large-diameter pipe extrusion line is its pipe die, which comes with the largest melt gap ever produced, and thus enables the production of pipes in a wide range of different diameters without conversion.
At the world premiere of this largest adjustable melt gap for large-diameter pipe dies, at the K 2019, it was already clear that this die would subsequently be shipped to the new customer Policonductos. battenfeld-cincinnati had impressed this pipe manufacturer with its overall line concept and the high dimensional flexibility provided by the adjustable melt gap. “We are absolutely enthusiastic about the range of options offered by this new line. So we have not only been able to expand our product range to include large-diameter pipes, but we can now also produce pipe dimensions to individual customers’ specifications without any problems”, is how Homero Garza, General Manager at Policonductos, praises the machine manufacturer after the first weeks of production with the new line.
With this large-diameter pipe extrusion line, which in addition to the new pipe die is equipped with an extruder of the latest generation, a solEX 120 NG, as well as all upstream and downstream components, such as gravimetric metering, EAC internal pipe cooling, vacuum tanks, spray cooling baths, haul-off and cutting saw, Policonductos reaches an output of up to 2 t/h. It makes HDPE pipes with a color stripe for fresh water supply, sewage disposal and mining applications with dimensions ranging from 406 x 12.5 mm to 1.651 x 97.1 mm.
The recently delivered line belongs to the series of fast dimension change (FDC) systems, which battenfeld-cincinnati has been marketing successfully for a number of years. Up to now, FDC lines were available for pipes with diameters ranging from 160 to 250 mm, 200 to 355 mm and 400 to 630 mm. With the new pipe die, the first step has now been taken towards a completely new dimension for pipes up to 1,600 mm in diameter. There are no comparable systems on the market. An adjustable melt gap makes particularly good sense wherever the pipe manufacturer desires to produce varying pipe dimensions on its line and to respond fast and flexibly to market trends. More or less at the push of a button the pipe die switches over to a new pipe dimension. A major advantage here is safe handling. Especially for large pipes like those produced by Policonductos, a die change would be necessary on a conventional line, which would not only cost an enormous amount of time, but would also be a safety hazard due to the large size. Both these drawbacks are now completely eliminated.