A Rubber Mixing Room in any tire and modern rubber goods manufacturing unit is incomplete without a Batch Off Cooling Line. This is true especially if you use an internal mixer for your masters, final and remix production.
If you ask a rubber compounding expert, he will summarize for you the functionality of a great batch off in just six words – Dip, Cool, Dry, Stack and Cut.
Perplexed? Read on.
A Batch Off Cooling Line is a robust and powerful rubber machinery that accepts sheets or strips fed into it from a Two-Roll Mill or Twin Screw Sheeter (TSS), placed underneath a internal mixer. These sheets or strips of your rubber mix compound could have temperatures up to 160°C.
At such high temperatures, it is difficult and risky to allow your operators to handle them manually. I say this specifically, because rubber product manufacturers in developing countries who use rubber dispersion kneaders and does not achieve such high temperatures do not adopt a batch off. Instead they prefer to dip the strips into a cooling tank and deploy labour to do the stacking.
Your batch off cooling line does the job of cooling these compounds to ambient + 5°C and stacks it up neatly in the most effective way with short cycle times.
Thus, you increase your productivity and efficiency.
Typically two types of Batch Off Machines are offered by prominent manufacturers. The most popular one is the Tunnel Batch Off where the rubber sheets or strips hanging from cylindrical bars moves through a “tunnel”. You also find Cantilever Batch Off with its bars attached to one side only (cantilevered) and electrical cooling racks equipped with number of cooling fans.
Prodicon has two short informative animations on their website to help you understand the difference between the two types of batch off machinery.
The anatomy of a great (Tunnel) Batch Off Cooling Line is as below
Your rubber sheet or strip is passed through dip tank filled with water/antitack solution and then fed into the cooling racks (or festooners). There are cooling fans mounted on the sides (and on top) blowing air into the hanging rubber sheets passing through the tunnel. This gradually cools down the moving sheets or strips.
An auto-gripper assembly grips and lifts the cooled sheet, and feeds into a booking conveyor. This gripping accessory is even more useful, when you have a transport conveyor to take the master batch compound sheets on to the first floor. These sheets would later be fed again into the mixer as part of your two stage mixing for finals.
At one of the booking conveyor, an auto sampling unit helps you to collect a sample of the batch using a punch. These samples (mostly round in shape) is what you send to your R&D for testing and records.
The sheets from final booking conveyor passes through a wig-wag system, that aids in stacking your rubber sheets and strips. Once the required weight of a stack is achieved on the pallet, you cut the sheet (or strips) and replace the filled pallet with an empty pallet to continue.
Optional accessories like Auto Sampling, Auto Gripper, Auto Cutting, Auto Palleter and Auto Stacker further automate your batch off cooling line and reduces labor requirement.
Here is a short video, you may want to watch. When you focus on details starting from 3:21 min of this video, you could comprehend effortlessly the above description in action. More importantly, you could visualize how to benefit from the various accessories of a batch off cooling line.
You get both new and used batch-off cooling lines in the market.
Your choice of a Batch Off Cooling Line (and its features) to Dip, Cool, Dry, Stack and Cut your rubber sheets or strips is best configured in consultation with your selected manufacturer or rubber machinery supplier and customized to your requirements.
Let me know if you found this post informative.
Or contact me if you seek more details on this machinery selection and their manufacturers.
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May 27, 2015 at 9:56 AM
Thoughts from Dan McAuley through LinkedIn Post below
“First, your animation is really quite impressive.
I would like to add that the festoon design or bar batchoff type is an option for strip or slab cooling but there other alternatives. Cooling conveyors with high velocity ambient air cooling followed by a similar chilled air section with a dry talc application have a place in low viscosity and scortch sensitive compound production.
Festoon type machines using fans and ambient air cooling can be further enhanced by adding in a chilled section near the takeoff end of the device to deal with seasonal differences in the plant ambient temperature. Strip thickness and scortch safety will impact the allowable pack temperature & line rate.”
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