The energy-saving solution for extrusion

The Extrusion Template and the temperature control algorithm

Gefran application templates

Gefran’s synergy and partnership with its customers lets it offer them advanced and custom solutions and allows it to increase its knowledge and know-how of the process.

Application templates, softwares that Gefran has created specifically for extrusion, injection, blowing, and special functions (such as Parison control), are just one result of this alliance. Gefran application templates include process control and HMI, and are completely configurable to every application.

The energy-saving solution for extrusion

The Extrusion Template provides scalable control of from a single extruder up to an entire line. In addition to specific extrusion functions and a series of typical machine automation functions (user management, recipes, alarms, etc.), the tool offers some advanced solutions for efficient power control.
Advanced optimization controls have been developed for two process stages: heating (with an Energy Saving function) and production (with a Smart Power Manager function).
Extrusion consumes a great deal of energy and, after a careful analysis, we concluded that temperature control had the widest margins of improvement in order to save energy and cut costs.

Energy saving of up to 50%

The first stage analyzed was start-up (heating), for which Thermo Energy Saving was implemented.
Different heating masses require different times to reach working temperature. With the Thermo Energy Saving function, you can start zones that have a long reaction time first and ones with a short reaction time later.

The control uses timers that measure the time each zone takes to reach a temperature referred to a band around the control setpoint.
This method can save up to 50% of kWh consumed (figure deriving from a measurement made on a system installed at Elastomeri Franceschetti). With machines that are fired every day, or on production lines with many machines fired simultaneously, this saving becomes significant.

Extrusion Template: Intelligent power management

The Burst Firing algorithm was used to control temperature at full power. This algorithm provides a PID controller implementation period that is variable and has higher resolution, thereby achieving optimal power delivery. This method offers mechanisms that optimize power distribution over the period in order to prevent peaks.
Under current law, eliminating power peaks helps keep the system within the power level stipulated in the energy contract and, consequently, prevents a compulsory increase and higher energy costs.

These algorithms provide other significant advantages:

  • precise temperature control
  • quick reaction and granularity of temperature control, which are very useful in processes with very fast actuators and machine cycles
  • ability to plan production with on/off clock