Sustainability and digitization are two key trends in masterbatch production that are driving significant change in the way these materials are made and used. Sustainability has become a priority for the industry, as it seeks to reduce environmental impact and improve energy efficiency.
Digitization, for its part, is transforming masterbatch production through data analysis and traceability, which in turn enables greater efficiency and better quality in the final product.
Within this reality, at Delta Tecnic we have implemented a rigorous quality control system to guarantee optimum results from our masterbatch.The entire production process is subject to analysis throughout the entire chain, going through different blocking and restarting states that guarantee that the masterbatch specifications are as indicated throughout the process.
In this way, we only need to adjust about 2% of the manufactures, which shows the high quality level of the products we manufacture. In other words, the FTQ is very good, minimizing the need for additional adjustments during masterbatch manufacturing. This not only has positive implications for efficiency, but also in terms of sustainability in that it minimizes shrinkage.
Guaranteeing sustainability and excellence in production
It all starts with the validation of the raw material upon receipt. In this first phase we have implemented a labeling system with quality control indicators. In this sense, the system is intelligent enough to prevent operators from using this raw material until the control validates the batch status. From there, the formula components are weighed and verified to combine the formula in the mixing vessel.
After all the components are properly mixed, the production then proceeds to extrusion, where the pigment dispersion process begins. At this stage, new quality controls and specifications are carried out, analyzing different parameters such as colour, the appearance of the granules and their uniformity, the colour uniformity, density and homogeneity of the product. The extrusion process is continuous and various quality controls are carried out over time, adjusting the extrusion conditions if necessary.
At the end of the extrusion, the product is cut and dried, and later goes through a filter to guarantee the regularity of the granules. At this point we also carry out additional visual controls to detect any defects, and both the production lines and the laboratory check their appearance. The laboratory performs a final quality control of all product specifications.
Consistency is a Delta Tecnic strong point, and if a colour defect is detected, it is corrected by adjusting the colour formulation and the mixing and extrusion process.
During quality control, we also pay close attention to the thermal stability of PVC, which is achieved by adding stabilizers to the mixture. Delta Tecnic carries out a thermal stability control on all batches manufactured with this additional requirement. Stabilizers are chemical compounds that help prevent thermal degradation of PVC when exposed to high temperatures during the extrusion or moulding process and also once it is in the final product.
On the other hand, in the case of masterbatch for crosslinkable PE, a control of the crosslinking of the material is carried out.
Data analysis, traceability and preventive control
Production and quality control is digitized, with direct communication to the extruders in order to analyze the product in real time. We keep a record of the analyses carried out by technicians and their results, as well as a traceability history of the product batches. Data logging allows for verifying the weights and batches used by the factory operators, and to detect possible errors.
Likewise, we record incidents and analyze production with the aim of minimizing the margin of error as much as possible. Therefore, the digitization of quality control empowers us to anticipate and make strategic decisions that multiply the efficiency of our production line.