Bubble cage integrates AI, control system

Dec. 15, 2022
Pearl and Addex collaborated on the system, which monitors cooling and stabilization, allowing it to handle problems once addressed by human operators.

Cooling & Stabilization System (CSS) This blown-film system combines Addex’s cooling systems and controls with a mechanical bubble cage from Pearl Technologies Inc., Savannah, N.Y. The Addex systems can include some of the following: Addex’s Short Stack; the Intensive Cooling Air Ring Technology, Down-on-the-Die Intensive Cooling air ring or External Gauge Control; a standard air ring; and Digital Internal Bubble Cooling (DIBC) controls, all mounted as a complete package on a digital control version of the Pearl bubble cage. Pearl’s contribution to the system — the bubble cage — comprises extruded aluminum arms featuring smooth active surfaces that always face the film bubble. 

What’s new? The integration of the digital portion of the cage and the coordination of control among the various cooling-related digital control systems. This integration is available as a retrofit. 

Benefits Cost-effective access to artificial intelligence technologies and full digital control over all aspects of the cooling and stabilization portion of the blown film process, allowing the system to handle problems once addressed by human operators. The integration of the various systems makes possible automatic process adjustments, especially during critical tasks such as startups and changeovers. Setups are saved in the system, and once selected, DIBC sensors are linked with the digital cage positioning. For example, if the DIBC detects instability, the cage automatically reacts to stay clear of the bubble so that it does not catch and rip off. Automatic adjustments by the systems can help processors improve film quality, and reduce scrap and downtime, especially as companies struggle to land experienced operators who could be expected to make such adjustments on their own.  

Addex Inc., Newark, N.Y., 315-331-7700, www.addexinc.com 

About the Author

Karen Hanna | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Karen Hanna covers injection molding, molds and tooling, processors, workforce and other topics, and writes features including In Other Words and Problem Solved for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. She has more than 15 years of experience in daily and magazine journalism.