Enhancing the Production Efficiency of the Extruders

Together with Macchi, Gefran set up a valuable collaboration in the blown film extrusion sector. In its package of solutions, the pressure sensors with IO-Link digital output stand out and made the difference even in the Industry 4.0 perspective

The starting point for the collaboration between Gefran and Macchi is a consolidated know-how, developed from more than 50 years of activity in the plastics sector, serving an international manufacturer of blown film production plants. An Italian company doing business since 1961, Macchi is evolving from the first two-layer co-extrusion die patent to the most recent developments in multi-layer lines. The company relies on Gefran as its trusted partner thanks to a complete package of solutions aimed at enhancing the production efficiency of the extruders.

Pressure transmitters with IO-Link digital output

In this context, Gefran’s Melt pressure transmitters with IO-Link digital output have made the difference in optimising the entire extrusion process, including from an Industry 4.0 perspective. The precise detection of fluid pressure even at high temperatures is essential in maintaining the quality of the finished product. In addition, the IO-Link interface permits a series of substantive data for predictive maintenance to be acquired. Information such as the values of the maximum pressure and temperature peaks recorded, the total hours the sensor has operated under pressure and the calibration deviation thresholds, allow the development of algorithms capable of ensuring better productivity, while guaranteeing a longer life cycle of the extruder.

Towards the digital transformation

Macchi was one of the first companies on the market to opt for greener solutions, replacing mercury filling technology probes with ones having zero-impact from an environmental point of view. The choice fell on the ILI series using innovative Impact technology without filling fluid, and ILK, with mixed sodium and potassium filling. A complete range of sensors, PLd and SIL2 certified, capable of operating in critical processes with temperatures even higher than 500°C. The digital transformation of the sensors installed in the Macchi plants is completed with the Gefran WPL series position transducers. Equipped with Hyperwave magnetostrictive technology and IO-Link digital output, these sensors can record a large number of parameters following Industry 4.0 protocols, while simultaneously ensuring absolute linear precision even in the presence of shocks, vibrations and electromagnetic disturbances.

The importance of consultation

Finally, Gefran Solutions guarantees integration of all the systems that make up the extruder, completing the supply of components with a high added value consultancy service for the design, development and construction of electrical panels. On top of this, constant support is provided to Macchi’s R&D division in the creation of ad hoc, multi-platform software for line management in a constant evolutionary process of management logic and process automation. Recotrim stands out among the lines involved in this synergy: a pelletizing system designed to allow in-line recycling of the side trims produced during film extrusion.