"Can you feed this?"
Brabender Technologie has a dedicated technical center available for the Chinese market to help local customers find their ideal feeding solutions.
Brabender Technologie has been operating in China for almost 40 years and established Brabender Technology (Beijing) in 2005, followed by service centers in Guangzhou and Shanghai. In Beijing, a dedicated technical center is available to Chinese customers and it is very popular. This is where feeding solutions are analyzed, and their accuracy is assessed. Typical inquiries involve powders of a bridging or sticky nature that are therefore difficult to handle. Local engineers test these powders to identify the ideal screws, agitators and hopper geometries for the job.
Technical Director Mu Dongyi coordinates these tests, which he conducts with the help of qualified service staff. One of them is permanently on site, while others are drafted in as required. German colleagues, like Head of Asia-Pacific Sales Dominik Becker, regularly visit China to give presentations on new devices and to train staff. FLUX spoke with him about the Technical Center in Beijing.
What basic facilities does the Technical Center include and what can be provided at the customer's request?
The devices from our standard range are available. We can also install options that enhance material feed rates as well as test special designs of agitator or screw coatings.
Who generally makes use of the Technical Center?
All kinds of customers, ranging from local compounders to global players make use of our Technical Center. This is where initial experience is gained, especially when new products like fibers or additives are involved.
What are your most common inquiries?
We often hear a basic "Can you feed that?". We are also often asked about achievable accuracy.
How lead time do you require prior to an inquiry?
As a rule, we can comply with test requests on really short notice. What's important in this respect is that the customer provides us with sufficient materials to enable us to model production reality as accurately as possible. The properties of some materials change once they have been fed.
How long do the tests generally take?
It depends on the customer's specific requirements. Simple feasibility can be determined in one day. As far as accuracy requirements are concerned, we sometimes need two to three days.
Is information about tests conducted in Duisburg, China and Canada shared?
There is a common platform called "Feeder Control", on which the reports are archived.
Could you give us some examples of unusual inquiries that you have completed?
A global customer of ours wanted to feed carbon fibers, using well coated fibers chopped into really short pieces as well as almost rectangularly chopped ones. We had already conducted a test using the short carbon fibers in Germany. In China, we added an additional test using the other grade of fiber and we were therefore able to offer the customer a device that's able to feed both products with maximum flexibility.
What information do you require before a test and who is the contact?
We need information about what the customer wants to achieve as well as a short description of the product, in order to pre-select devices. Photos or videos of the material to be tested also help.
Are there plans to expand the Technical Center or launch new services?
We always strive to improve our service delivery to customers and we learn from our tests. We are happy to share this experience with our customers.
(published in FLUX 1/2019)