"The ZE Basic compounding extruder is a compact and easy to operate machine offering a perfect cost/performance ratio", summarizes Dr. Jos Janssen of DSM Research after having put the machine to the acid test with his team in the laboratory in Geelen over eighteen months. More than four years ago, Hanover-based KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH launched the ZE Basic standard machine series on the market in addition to the customized twin-screw extruders designed for individual process tasks. Up to now, more than 60 extruders of this series have already been sold worldwide.
For a long time already, the DSM group and KraussMaffei Berstorff have maintained an intensive partnership that turned out to be extremely beneficial to both parties. Apart from the ZE 42 Basic, DSM operates a ZE 40 UTX of the high performance series in its laboratories. The processor could thus perform comparative tests to assess the standard extruder and its possible compounding applications. During these tests, DSM examined the performance of the ZE Basic in continuous operation over a period of 1000 hours at an output rate of 100 tonnes as well as with lower material quantities of several hundred kilograms. Mainly engineering plastics such as PA 6 and PA 46 were compounded with glass fibres, mineral fillers and other additives being incorporated. Both machines reached almost identical mechanical characteristics, specific energy input values and melt temperatures. Due to the slightly smaller screw diameter, only the output rate of the ZE 42 Basic was lower than the performance reached on the ZE 40 UTX. The result obtained by DSM was quite clear: both extruders are equally well suited for the process tasks examined in these tests. DSM was extremely satisfied with the easy handling of the ZE Basic, which is one of the decisive benefits provided by the logical structure of the BPC Advanced control system.
On the basis of the valuable feedback given by the processor, KraussMaffei Berstorff additionally optimised the series production of the ZE Basic processing section. The heating capacity in the melting zone was substantially improved by providing an increased number of heating cartridges. In addition, a modified feed zone was introduced to further enhance the flexibility of this machine. This newly developed feed zone can be combined with all elements of the modular system.
ZE Basic extruders are available in six sizes featuring screw diameters of 26, 34, 42, 52, 62 and 77, and thus cover a performance range of 25 kg/h to 3 t/h. These state-of-the-art machines with a ratio between internal and external screw diameter of 5 and a specific torque factor of 10.5 Nm/cm3 are perfectly suited for 80 % of all traditional compounding applications. The process-technical spectrum of this series includes simple alloying and blending as well as the production of filled or reinforced plastics and of masterbatch compounds. With this machine series that has successfully established itself in the market during the last four years, KraussMaffei Berstorff succeeded in further expanding its clientele and in opening up new market segments.