Automatic Air Ring – TDK-500
U.S. Patent 11,618,200 Canada Patent 3,077,704 & other patents pending
The TDK-500 Insta Gauge Automatic Air Ring provides a reliable and effective solution for controlling transverse direction film thickness, which ensures a uniform film gauge on blown film extrusion lines. The TDK-500 quickly puts production on gauge, on time, by using a re-envisioned approach to air modulated gauge control.
Breaking the rules a bit further, the TDK-500 has a tool-less access method for cleaning the narrow primary lip exit after process residues build up. This helps to avoid partial air flow blockage. In addition, the entire lip set can be removed and replaced in a matter of minutes while the air ring remains installed on the extrusion die. Meticulous design efforts have led to a unique modular design giving users the industry’s best flexibility in production versatility.
As always with D.R. Joseph interfaces, every detail has been carefully thought out to provide an intuitive user interface and a control design that is reliable, easy to understand and troubleshoot. The TDK-500 control system can also be seamlessly integrated with the DRJ 3G IBC Control System for a single point of control for all bubble cooling!
See below how the TDK-500 Insta Gauge exceeds expectations in auto gauge air ring design and performance!
The TDK-500 improves on the implementation of airflow modulation for gauge control by using secondary lip air modulation where the velocity changes are more effective. Firstly, this leads to a quicker reaction time and higher control resolution than primary lip air modulation. Secondly this also fully permits the primary lip to achieve its job of holding a stable bubble by isolating the primary lip cooling from the gauge control air adjustments.
Drawing from 30+ years of experience & data collection in airflow analysis, the internal flow channels and gates are designed to minimize pressure drop and avoid turbulent airflow to efficiently make control changes without disturbing bubble stability.
The unit was designed for easy component swap-out, to expand the range of products that can be ran on a single air ring.
An example of this advanced design is the facility of a toolless lip set swap. The lip set can be instantly swapped without tools, and without elevating the air ring off of the die; a time and cost saving measure which expands the versatility of the air ring. Optional weight reduction is available for easier lifting from a 3D printed polycarbonate cooling collar.
This level of modularity also drastically reduces the required effort to clean the die.
The primary lip adjustment has been redesigned to facilitate set-up and reduce the intimidation factor of adjusting an air ring. The TDK-500 features a single adjustment point with a reference lever to adjust the primary lip, as shown to the right.
The benefit with the easy adjust lever is that there is now a reference point for the primary lip setting. This facilitates start-up by providing a setting that can be recorded and repeated for various jobs and SOP. There is no guess work involving the current set point for the primary lip with a visual reference marker.
Adjusting an air ring just got easier.
The K-500 Rotomat KT is a new, completely redesigned thickness gauge for blown film lines.
Rapid and accurate measurement of film thickness allows the film production process to be tightly controlled. As a result, film quality is enhanced and maintained during the entire production process.
Profile control with the TDK Auto Gauge Air Ring contributes to material savings. In addition, material waste during product changes is reduced.
The capacitive thickness sensor of the K-500 is protected by a cover made from sintered ceramic with a very smooth surface. That allows an extremely low wear measurement of film thickness, even though the K-500 is constantly in contact with the film.
The Rotomat KT in the third generation comes standard with a virtual data processor. The VDP Process runs in the background of a Windows PC, similar to a driver of a printer. This Win32 application forms the interface between the control system of the line and the thickness gauge.
Non contact thickness gauges are also available for sticky or touch sensitive films. Additionally, Kündig offers the K-XRAY measurement head using electrically generated X-ray to measure gauge for barrier films.
Learn More about Kündig thickness gauges!
The TDK-500 leverages the expertise of three specialized companies; Techflow Design & Manufacturing, D.R. Joseph, Inc. and Kündig Control Systems. This unique collaboration has brought together industry leading tech to produce one of the most refined air ring solutions on the market. A seamless integration of Kündig gauge measurement, Techflow air ring design, and D.R. Joseph air flow control means that users get total control of bubble cooling – both Internal Bubble Cooling, and Air Ring Control, all in one spot.