Connect with us

Mechanical Processes

SABIC partners with Elkamet



Mechanical Processes, News, Processing Technologies

Sittard, The Netherlands, September 15, 2020 – SABIC, today announced its partnership with Elkamet Kunststofftechnik GmbH, an industry leader in the plastics processing industry. Elkamet will be using SABIC’s LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) resin based on certified renewable feedstock in several end applications for the lighting industry.

In October 2019, SABIC launched its polycarbonate based on certified renewable feedstock – an engineering thermoplastic resin that is part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE solutions for certified renewable products. The polycarbonate provides SABIC and its direct and ultimate customers with more sustainable solutions and associated benefits. Based on our cradle-to-gate peer-reviewed LCA study, use of SABIC’s LEXAN polycarbonate resin can potentially result in reductions in carbon footprint of up to 61% and fossil depletion reduction of up to 35%.

“Our polycarbonate (PC) based on certified renewable feedstock solution supports the pursuit of a more circular economy, one that prioritizes resource conservation and environmental sustainability, recycling and recovery technologies, allowing us to capture the greatest value from materials that have traditionally been discarded”, said Mark Vester, Circular Economy Leader at SABIC. “We are delighted to be partnering with Elkamet, part of our ongoing commitment to our customers who are increasingly looking for more sustainable solutions in response to consumer requirements,” Vester continued.

“Elkamet is the first in the lighting industry to offer an alternative for our customers in order to keep up with the trend towards more sustainability in the development of plastic components,” said Lukas Platt, Sales, at Elkamet. “Diffusors/covers are one of the biggest parts of a luminaire that are made of plastic. By producing them using renewable resources, lighting manufacturers can make a huge sustainability impact. We are very happy to partner with SABIC, whose polycarbonate based on certified renewable feedstock ensures that the customer does not have to make a compromise between sustainability and material properties. In addition, a huge benefit of this solution is that design and application requirements for Elkamet profiles made of SABIC’s material remain the same,” concluded Platt. 

Elkamet has also been ISCC certified, in order to give SABIC and Elkamet’s common customers a consistent proof of a sustainable supply chain.

“Since the launch of our renewable PC at K2019 trade show in Dusseldorf last year we have had a lot of interest shown in the solution from a broad range of industries. We are delighted to have Elkamet onboard. A further step towards transforming the value chain together – to realize a more responsible value chain, creating positive impact on environmental challenges,” said Lennard Markestein, Director Engineering Thermoplastics at SABIC.

SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services for circular solutions span; design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of used plastics and certified renewables products from bio-based feedstock.

Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Mechanical Processes Operation & Maintenance Safety & Security

Perfect Clamping for Lighting Technology




As a system supplier for the lighting and household appliance industries based in Germany, BJB operates globally in the markets for light fixture manufacturing, household appliance lighting and automation. Its subsidiary BJB Procesa in Lliçà de Vall, Spain, is responsible for manufacturing smaller molds and tools, among other things. Here, near Barcelona, they’ve been working with REGO-FIX powRgrip toolholders for years.

It all began in Arnsberg, Germany, where the BJB headquarters are located. BJB has been manufacturing lighting technology since 1867. The Arnsberg company initially manufactured entire petroleum lamps, before focusing on accessory parts. As electricity became more and more widespread, BJB gradually developed electric “Bridges to Light”: initially light bulb bases and then – as a result of standardization – the corresponding lamp sockets. First it was incandescent lamps and then later fluorescent, halogen and a variety of discharge lamps. LED lights represented another technical revolution at the turn of the century, their forms and low heat dissipation enabling all-new concepts and designs in general lighting. Once again, the markets – and with them BJB – were forced to rethink their strategies, ultimately developing technical solutions for connecting and securing circuit boards and COB modules. BJB’s LED modules and accessory kits now enable a variety of OEMs to manufacture individual solutions using electrical, mechanical, and optical components. 500 million technical products for light and lighting are thus produced in a large vertical range of manufacture every year: from the initial idea to the finished product, the company covers the entire value chain. As the primary process, production encompasses plastic injection molding including tool manufacturing, metal working, and assembly through to circuit board production with automatic feed, screen printer, reflow oven, and inspection technology.

Based in Lliçà de Vall, BJB Procesa was initially founded as a dedicated service location in 1977, but quickly developed into the production site for tools and molds. Procesa then went on to operate exclusively as a supplier for the German parent company for 20 years. For some time now, the 25 employees have also been accepting orders from third parties and, in addition to producing tools and molds, also manufacture devices and carry out repairs. The subsidiary’s primary markets are now Spain, Portugal, and North Africa.

BJB Procesa carries out its machining with three five-axis milling machines. When it comes to this and other technologies such as eroding, the tool manufacturer usually invests in German or Swiss products, just recently acquiring an eroding machine by Agie Charmilles. With these preferences, they work with Ingersoll for wire eroding and with JUNG and HAUSER for flat and jig grinding. The workpiece materials primarily used on these machines are hardened and unhardened 1.2379 for most applications and unhardened 1.2842 cold-work tool steel for reduced requirements, complemented by 1.2312 for larger molds and 1.1730 for plates. Components such as die plates and rods are frequently made from carbide, with weights up to 1,000 kg. Everything with machining tolerances of up to ten micrometers is no problem for BJB Procesa. But because not all competitors can boast the same, separating the wheat from the chaff, there’s a market for new applications for the tool and mold manufacturer. The fact that they can distinguish themselves from the competition when it comes to stringent tolerance ranges and tap into the market is due in large part to their use of REGO-FIX powRgrip toolholders.

BJB Procesa’s contact for REGO-FIX products is the GerSwiss company, which is a dealer of tools and tool/workpiece clamping technology and represents exclusively German and Swiss manufacturers in Spain. “Our strategy is to minimize the number of our suppliers,” says Enric Jorda, BJB Head of Production, describing one of the conditions of collaboration. “For us it all comes down to trust. At the same time, we expect the solution to be productive, which we consistently compare with the costs.” The reason for that, he explains, is the fact that BJB doesn’t manufacture any series and doesn’t test every workpiece or tool. “We monitor the general costs and want to manufacture the best we can under the most economical conditions,” says Jorda. In this constellation, it’s crucial for him that the partners speak directly to his machine operators and optimize applications with them. “GerSwiss is a prime example of what we expect of our partners: ongoing improvement of the knowledge of our machine operators and continuous provision of solutions.” This approach now oversees the entire tool launch between the machine operators and GerSwiss. “Together we then try to maintain peak performance with all of the tools and holders,” says Oscar Velilla, CEO of GerSwiss. “At the same time, we monitor tool use via a tool management system and ensure optimal planning at all times.” GerSwiss supplies tools and clamping technology for the entire material and technology industry – for milling, drilling, and turning as well as for tapping and grinding.

The use of REGO-FIX powRgrip toolholders also stems from this approach. “Originally, we only worked with colletholders and Weldon chucks,” says Jorda. “We were never impressed with the shrinking because the wear worsens gradually and uncontrollably and because employees are exposed to the risk of burning when using them. We were much more impressed with the mechanical powRgrip system from the very beginning.” The system was introduced at the same time as the collet and Weldon holders nine years ago. “At that time, we had to mill hardened parts with small tool diameters more frequently,” says the Head of Production. “The wear on colletholders is, of course, very high here. And precision and concentricity are especially important when it comes to small tool diameters. So, we had to invest.” According to Jorda, there’s another reason why they used powRgrip rather than shrinking: “The system is very simple to use.” This is all the more important for BJB Procesa because all of the employees prepare their tools themselves.

Today, nine years later, one thing is clear: powRgrip was the right choice, reliably covering the tool manufacturer’s range of parts. Procesa now uses REGO-FIX holders for 70 percent of its applications. All tools with a standardized shank are clamped with powRgrip. Tools are only clamped differently if, for example, intermediate sizes are required for core drilling or tapping or if carbide drills with reinforced shank are used.

The spectrum of applications for collets currently ranges from PG 10 and PG 15 to PG 25. When it comes to solid carbide, cutters with diameters between 0.2 and 25.4 mm can thus be accommodated, as can insert tools with diameters up to 40 mm. The usual spectrum in drilling ranges from 1.5 to 25 mm, while threads are produced with tools featuring a shank diameter of up to 16 mm, whether it’s in HSS or – if the workpiece material is hardened – in solid carbide. Of course, the shortest toolholders possible are used. But due to BJB Procesa’s range of parts, PG S models with an especially short shank are currently in less demand, as are PG L collets with a long shank and the secuRgrip locking solution for especially high extraction security. BJB Procesa uses an automatic PGU 9500 clamping unit, which fixes collets with 90 kN in the holder. The tool shank is securely centered over the slotted collet, thus guaranteeing concentricity accuracy of 0.003 mm.

There’s not a doubt in Jorda’s mind: “Investing in a long-lasting product was absolutely the right decision. We’ve been using powRgrip for nine years now and haven’t had a single problem in all that time. The system is fast and easy to use and requires virtually no replacement investment. The only additional costs come from expanding the powRgrip application.” The system costs are thus more than appropriate. In fact, the Head of Production would even go so far as to say that the value for money is the only right option for achieving his goals: precision and quality. “We’ve never had to make a part over again because a tool had somehow behaved critically in the holders.”

Continue Reading

Mechanical Processes Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Optimized impeller design
Next Generation of Mechanical Vapor Recompression



The new TLT-Turbo fan for Mechanical Vapor Recompression. (Picture: TLT-Turbo)
The new TLT-Turbo fan for Mechanical Vapor Recompression. (Picture: TLT-Turbo)

TLT-Turbo , a ventilation fans and systems manufacturer, has launched a new range of mechanical vapor recompression fans, with ceramic hybrid bearings that provide an exceptionally long operational lifespan. Integrating the latest ventilation technologies, this fan offers numerous advantages regarding performance efficiency, minimal maintenance and high reliability.

The TLT-Turbo fan for mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) has been in development since 2012 since the first case studies were carried out. Following intensive discussions with clients, TLT-Turbo established that a need existed for low maintenance MVR fans. This was followed by four years of intensive research, product testing and consultations with clients. The first MVR fans were rolled out in 2016 while continual product improvement has remained a focus area for TLT-Turbo.

“MVR fans have been available on the market for some time but instead of just following the trend, TLT-Turbo took time to ensure that we came to the market with a completely new, state of the art MVR solution,” says Mario Schmidt, Head of TLT-Turbo’s Vapor Fans business segment. “And we continue to have on-going discussions and feedback exchanges with our clients worldwide in order to continuously adapt and improve our MVR offering to their requirements.”

According to Schmidt, the features of TLT-Turbo’s MVR fan, such as the lower maintenance requirements and the introduction of hybrid ceramic bearings, underscores their commitment to developing products in close alignment to their clients and their needs, and also speaks to TLT-Turbo’s key objective for continual innovation.

The implementation of hybrid ceramic bearings is a key differentiator of the TLT-Turbo MVR fan. “Our clients are amazed by the possibility of a hybrid bearing operating at high speed without circulating oil. Conventional roller bearings do not provide the required support for operating the fan in a broad operational speed range without running into harmful resonance frequencies (under critical operation). Thanks to continuous enhancement in recent years, especially through the use of ceramic materials, more effective roller bearings are available today. The use of hybrid bearings with steel rings combined with ceramic rollers has been established in many industrial applications and in the case of the TLT-Turbo MVR fan, hybrid ceramic bearings mean significantly lower maintenance requirements and better operational performance,” Schmidt explains.

The hybrid ceramic bearings used in TLT-Turbo MVR fans are life time greased and can be operated for up to 10 years without requiring maintenance. To enhance this benefit for clients, TLT-Turbo introduced an additional device to the fan’s design that allows for the bearing to be re-greased from the outside in order to further simplify maintenance and to increase the fans’ service life.

High motor speeds, a wide range of optimized impellers and the allowance for high temperature and pressure increases complement the lifetime greased hybrid ceramic bearings to ensure that clients benefit from the enhanced performance and efficiency that they have come to expect from TLT-Turbo products. These factors allow for operation of the fan below critical speed which ensures both reliability and safe operation.

“Reliability and safety are key concerns for our clients and TLT-Turbo has addressed this in the MVR fan by using high quality components. Thanks to the use of the hybrid bearings, no oil supply or oil pump is necessary which means that no oil can contaminate the product. In addition to this, the fan also features temperature and vibration monitoring and remote monitoring of the bearing is possible as well. Our entire manufacturing process is carried out according to all major quality standards, including DIN ISO 9001,” says Schmidt.

The TLT-Turbo MVR fan is suited to numerous applications in the chemical, pharmaceutical, waste water treatment, and the organic natural product production industries as well as in the food and beverage process and manufacturing sectors. “Since 2018, we have received 35 orders for MVR fans across the globe with one installation completed. Thus far, the feedback from clients has been very positive. We have received reports that the bearing temperature is considerable lower than that of other comparable MVR fans and that our fan runs with less vibration than other MVR fans,” Schmidt affirms.

“Overall, TLT-Turbo’s objective was to offer our clients a mechanical vapor recompression solution that would outperform what was currently available on the market. We have delivered a fan that requires less maintenance while providing high efficiency and reliability. This is exactly what clients would expect from TLT-Turbo as a world class fan manufacturer and global service organization.”

Continue Reading

Food & Beverage Mechanical Processes

Advanced design
Modern dairy processing plant



Advanced design from GEA for Saudi Arabia’s most modern dairy processing plant
Picture: Gea

Gea has worked with Almarai Company in Saudi Arabia to build the nation’s largest and most modern dairy processing facility. The new plant at Al Kharj includes multiple production lines for a wide range of milk and yoghurt products. It has the capacity to process two million liters of milk a day.  The project has already been successfully completed and the plant is in operation.

Key features of the plant at Al Kharj include separators with integrated direct drive that have fewer moving parts and so reduce friction losses. They also use asynchronous motors that are extremely robust for maximum machine availability. To reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption, the plant is equipped with the firm’s latest energy recovery technology.

Furthermore, the company has built in the latest control systems and operating protocols in line with Industry 4.0.  These include the interoperability of the equipment, the transparency of information, autonomous decision making where possible and the highest level of technical assistance. Gea’s Management Execution System captures data such as KPIs and utilization levels to allow comprehensive monitoring of the entire plant operations and energy usage. The plant also features end-to-end track and trace for ultimate quality control and a plant-wide uninterruptable power supply.

Continue Reading