As the title of the song “Big in Japan”, we usually use this expression to indicate someone who has success far-away, but not in his own country.

However, this is not the case for Tecnomatic, which, after 45 years of experience and successes, like the latest two and three layers project for the European market with maximum pipe diameter of 1,200 mm, has also conquered the East Market with a new project for a large multinational Japanese company.

The scope of supply is a monolayer HDPE extrusion line up to 1,200 mm, tailor made according to the specifications of the customer, becoming the biggest extrusion line ever sold to the Japanese market.

To this end, the line is equipped with the most modern technology available for pipe extrusion, starting with a feeding and a gravimetric dosing system, fully integrated in the line control, with one component for virgin and regrinded PE material.

A 90 mm single-screw extruder from the 37D VEGA series in Z shape is capable of plasticizing up to 1,100 kg of resin per hour with optimal melt homogeneity. The proven Vega machine comes with anti-wear coated screw and barrel and a salt and pepper mixer. Equipped with synchronous SIEMENS AC motors, while solid gearboxes characterised by a cast iron single-piece frame, independent oil cooling unit and high-performance bearing group (up to 500 bar) assures the maximum realibility in the power transmission.

The extruder and the line are controlled by the new EPC III (Extrusion Process Control), a new Multitouch Capacitive Panel PC Platform, with integrated Web Server and 4.0 connectivity, UL certified. The new 21.5-inch TFT LED display, with a wide viewing angle and Linux operating system combined with 64-bit RISC quad core – 1.6GHz processors, guarantees high performance of the integrated graphics libraries and allows to have numerous plug-ins and widgets available, such as HTML browsers, PDF and video viewers, as well as the ability to create and print reports. Developed on the specific needs of operators, it allows the integration and control of all components such as: gravimetric, co-extruders and corrugators, gear pumps, screen-changers, calibration tanks, haul-off and cutters. The integration and management can take place through the most common analogic communication protocols or the more modern OPC-UA, in accordance with EUROMAP 84.

The heart of the line is the Venus 1,200 die-head, which, in this version, was conceived totally chrome-plated and with a wax separator for the PAC system. Like the other Venus series, it is based on a spiral design to ensure the optimal melt flow for a wide range of thickness ratios and it is compact with a low pressure build-up and consequent energy savings. It covers the full size range from 250 to 1,200 mm, producing three diameters per die-set for sizes up to 800 mm, using the classic draw-down mode and, for larger sizes, the swelling mode for a better control of wall thickness distribution and pipe ovality, assuring production up to SDR 17 (70 mm) in size 1,200 mm. The die-sets comprise of two parts with a small end ring to define the gap of the die, permitting a rapid size change and adjustment. A Pipe Air Cooling (PAC) system provides intensive cooling of the inner pipe surface by sucking air in the opposite direction to extrusion. By forcing the air flow it ensures uniform cooling around the pipe and through the wall thickness, decreasing the differences in the pipe solidification rate and reducing the residual internal stresses.

The performance of such an extrusion line gains definite advantages from the suitable design and correct use of tanks, calibrators and down-stream machines as haul-off and cutter. In fact, the line is provided with two vacuum tanks 16 meters length and 3 cooling tanks 6 meters long, for a total of 32 meters. The haul-off, able to pull at outstanding Nm force, is equipped with independently driven caterpillars controlled by vector motors, long caterpillars to assure a good grip with bow profile. A planetary saw with circular blade assures a perfect pipe cut even with high wall-thickness without extraction of material. The cutter is provided of hydraulically driven cutting arm, a balanced cutting motor, universal clamps with rubber pads for efficient grip and of an OPC-UA synchronization for the adjustment of carriage speed as extrusion speed varies, to assure higher precision in cutting length.

In conclusion, the care for details of Tecnomatic company has perfectly married the precision which Japanese are usually searching for, leading to deliver a milestone project for plastic pipe production also in the Far-East market.