Coperion supplies twin screw extruder to Zurich University R&D dept

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Departement Life Sciences und Facility Management, Wädenswil/Switzerland.
Image: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Departement Life Sciences und Facility Management, Wädenswil/Switzerland.
Coperion has supplied a laboratory twin screw extruder to the Institute for Food and Beverage Innovation at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) as part of its R&D work.

The ZSK 27 Mv PLUS twin screw extruder has to be versatile to perform a variety of applications so Coperion designed it with quick-change features and a flexible processing set-up. 

Cereals & snacks

For example, the solid feeder can be mounted to two different barrels of the process section. This allows processes to be extended or shortened and customized to the requirements of each individual product. 

For example, cereals and snacks are extruded with short process lengths, while pulping by-products of the beverage industry such as grape pulp needs a longer residence time and longer process section. 

Process borings also make it possible to add liquids and measure the temperature in different barrels. A peristaltic pump with various hoses and nozzles enables liquids of different viscosities to be added. 

Ansgar Schlüter from the Institute for Food and Beverage Innovation at ZHAW, said Coperion pre-assembled the extruder so it could be quickly commissioned on site. The start-up of the extruder took less than one day. 

For a fast, remote service, it also integrated the Coperion ServiceBox into the system. 

The extruder’s flexibility and the ease with which it can be adjusted to the process at hand allows us to explore various issues in the food and beverage market​,” said Schlüter.

According to Coperion, based in Stuttgart, the Coperion ZSK 27 Mv PLUS extruder has a compact size and a diameter of 27mm, ideal for small batch production. 

It has a torque of 10.6 Nm /cm3 ​and a maximum screw speed of 1,800 rpm, and can achieve product throughput rates of 10 to 100 kg/h depending on the product. 

It is easy to scale the extruder up to other sizes. 

Liquid feeders

The food extruder supplied comes with a number of options for flexible use such as a KT 20 gravimetric twin screw feeder from Coperion K-Tron, for accurately feeding free flowing to flooding powders and flakes as well as other difficult, poor flowing bulk materials. 

To test different processes and product developments, Coperion delivered additional screw elements with the extruder.   

Everything from research and development work on simple processes such as direct expanded cereals to complex processes such as the extraction of moist pressing residue or mixing it into a starch or protein matrix can be done using the same extruder. 

A further benefit of the extruder is the machine and all units such as the vacuum pump, feeder frame and water tempering unit are movable. The extruder is not permanently wired. 

Instead, both the extruder and the units are supplied with connectors that allow ZHAW to use it in any room, adjusting it to fit the relevant space requirement. 

For future research purposes, Coperion added extra devices to the ZSK 27 Mv PLUS twin screw extruder so the system can be expanded. For example, to retrofit a centric pelletizer or add liquid and solid feeders.  

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