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Extruder Automation Comes of Age: A Review and Outlook of Automation

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Extruder Automation Comes of Age: A Review and Outlook of
Automation for Aluminum Extruders

Madhukar Pandit, University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany,
Christian Schwarz, HMT Höfer Metalltechnik, Hettstedt, Germany

Track: EXTRUSION EQUIPMENT - Safety and Automation

ABSTRACT—Automation systems have entered the territory of extrusion in which
measurement and control of the temperature of the extruded profile at the die exit are crucial
tasks. Non-contact temperature measurement pyrometers provide the means for the control via
the inputs billet temperature and/or the ram speed. Automation for an aluminum extrusion
system based on iterative learning control (ILC) as presented in ET 1996, and also other
commercially available automation systems, have been installed and are in use in a number of
aluminum extrusion plants. Automation offers production gains and increased product quality, yet
its proliferation has been slow. Reasons vary from inadequate furnace control to disinterested
crew, albeit some installed systems continue to yield spectacular gains. Factors governing these
phenomena are dealt with in the paper, and issues concerning the deployment and the exploiting
of the potential of automation systems are analyzed; basis is information and experience obtained
from installed and operating systems. Finally, a method for estimating the optimal initial settings
of an extruder equipped with ILC for a new profile is given. The estimates can be used for
production cost estimating and planning.

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.