Smart manufacturing

VMI sells the first two machine combinations of Combex Gearpump Extruder and Cantilever Cooler

It is a relatively new phenomenon for VMI that some customers are buying a Combex Gearpump Extruder and a Cantilever Cooler with MHD 500 stacker in a complete line. Both machines are usually sold separately.

The first combined VMI production line has been sold to a new customer in Russia. The production line includes a recently developed Gearpump, designed by the R&D teams of VMI in Epe (Netherlands) and Runding (Germany). The benefit of this is that the extruder and the Gearpump can be cleaned faster and easier.

The process

The customer feeds hot or cold rubber into a so-called Strainer. A VMI Strainer always comprises a combination of an extruder augur and a Gearpump. First the rubber is heated and/or plasticized by the extruder augur. The pump builds up pressure to press the rubber through a fine-meshed filter, which functions as a sieve. This process cleans the rubber before it is transferred to the Cantilever Cooler.

In the Cooler, the rubber strips are then dipped in an anti-adhesive solution and hung in loops on the cooler rods for air cooling. The extrusion temperature is a crucial element in this process. If the rubber strips are not hot enough, the liquid doesn’t evaporate and the strips don’t dry out properly. If the temperature during straining is too high, the quality of the rubber deteriorates. At the end of the process, the rubber strips are automatically neatly stacked in a box so they can be easily retrieved later for rubber processing applications. Supplying the combined production lines to the technical rubber sector opens up a new range of opportunities for VMI.