Customized rubber compounding is a nuanced, complex process.
Manufacturers rely heavily on properties of various rubber compounds to solve unique industry challenges. As a result, it’s often the recipe of a custom compound that’s one of the most important pieces of the production puzzle.
Complementing the importance of compound recipes, the mixing process is just as crucial to custom rubber compounding success.
That’s why AirBoss of America Corp. formed our Process Group to develop mixing programs for each of our unique rubber compounds. This group of experts specifically creates and optimizes mixing programs that complement our various rubber compound recipes.
The professionals at AirBoss continue to optimize our process control to provide world-class rubber compounds. From ingredients like polymers and fillers to mixing elements like time and temperature, our Process Group ensures that every step of compound creation is streamlined for optimum results.
Experience Clients Trust, Results Clients Rely On
At AirBoss, our expertise in custom rubber compounding is unmatched. Our process optimization team brings to the table the combined rubber compounding experience of more than 50 years.
While both new and existing clients trust our experience and expertise, it’s our dedication to an exact science that our partners rely on.
Every new formula we create and mix for customers requires a unique mixing program to provide optimal compound performance. Our technicians utilize big data to set mixing control parameters and optimize our mixing equipment capabilities.
Materials that benefit from an optimized mixing cycle include:
- Filler materials
- Curing agents
- And more
These materials are all incorporated in different ways at different stages in the mixing process, and it’s our Process Group that continually refines these specifications.
Factors that influence the compounding process include:
- Mixer rotor speed
- Energy input
- And more
The material recipes are important for compound creation, but additional factors like mixing temperature and duration also contribute directly to compound integrity and accuracy.
New Technology Improves the Rubber Compounding Process
Time has a way of making traditional techniques seem archaic. That’s the case with advanced rubber compounding in a modern age.
Thanks to improved technology capabilities and real-time data collection, AirBoss has not only improved the way we think about the process but also how we bring new compounds to the manufacturing floor.
Spot Changes for Compound Control
Using handheld computer tablets and real-time data, our compound technicians monitor and adjust mixing on the spot without having to halt the process or begin a re-trial. This saves time and valuable resources.
We also use statistical analyses to correlate quality failures with over/under ingredient weights. We’re able to keep the time factor of the ingredient injection in check by weighing critical system ingredients like carbon black, white fillers, and oils as they enter the compounding process.
Batch Size Control for Increased Production Capabilities
A major initiative at AirBoss is working to increase the throughput with batch size increases. We utilize historical data to identify major compounds for which the overall batch size can be increased without adversely affecting mixing and quality.
This, in addition to revisiting mixing procedures for some traditional compounds and implementing changes to reduce cycle times, has helped us improve overall production quantities and qualities. We’ve eliminated steps that were once considered important and increased mixing RPMs while keeping other parameters under control.
Process Control has been instrumental in the implementation of new systems and advanced compounding techniques. Over the last few years, AirBoss has utilized our Process Group initiatives to implement new mixer commissioning, which further advances our compounding capabilities.
Nuanced Process Control Provides Increased Functionality
Traditionally, rubber compounding was a one-and-done process. You mix a batch, and if it’s wrong, you start over. Today, with help from advanced technology and a dedicated process control optimization team, AirBoss is able to make adjustments and refine our compounds throughout the mixing process.
Increased scrutiny and data-driven compounding adjustment capabilities mean our technicians are more inclined to adjust mixing parameters to compensate for any shortcomings or fluctuations in work-in-progress or raw material quality.
What does this mean for our customers? It means better, more nuanced rubber compound creation from experts who are already leading the industry.