Maastricht, Netherlands – Covestro Elastomers showed its new range of Baule alpha modular polyurethane casting equipment at UTECH Europe.
The machines have four significant developments over earlier models, said Thomas Braig, president Covestro Elastomers. A key development is their modular nature, he said. This enables customers to buy the size of machine they need now and to add components or features or change output in the future, Braig explained.
They feature automatic flow calibration, a new high-performance (HPO), low exposure oven (LEO) and enhanced operator-machine interfaces, he said.
LEO is aimed at markets that still use MbOCA. It is designed to make it impossible for operators to open the oven until the air inside the oven is evacuated. At a distance of 1m from the open door, the concentration of chemicals is 2% that of comparable ovens without air change, Braig said.
The new HPO ovens use hot air channelling. The amount of time for large volumes of material to be heated ‘can be less than 50% of conventional systems,’ Braig added. This translates into time and energy efficiency especially for larger parts, he added.
Baule said the alpha’s auto-calibration system works with machine software to deliver error-free, accurate calibration of reaction liquids without flowmeters.
In addition to improving formulation accuracy, the system also records calibration data for quality records.
Finally, the firm has a range of interfaces with the new modular alpha range. It calls these Baule Easy Services.
It is possible for replacement parts to be identified and ordered over the internet through the interface. The interface enables remote troubleshooting. The system can also collect machine data for real-time analysis.
The new alpha series machines are a modular, frameless construction. Parts are designed to be changed or added when needed, according to Abdel Arhzaf, head of strategic marketing at Covestro Elastomers.
Braig said: ‘Users can make a low investment at the beginning and can upgrade by buying individual units in the future.’
Baule-brand machines range in size up to ‘2000 kg/min, while in the alpha range, 30kg/min is the maximum output’, said Arhzaf. The minimum is around 10g/min. Braig added that this range ‘should cover 80% of the market’.
In addition to the new modular alpha range, Baule makes the omega range of machines for specific requirements.