Anybody who owns more than one extruder will tell you they have one extruder machine that vibrates more than the other. Why is this? And what can you do about it?
First of all, you need to think about where the vibration comes from. Here’s a list of the main causes of vibration and what to do to prevent it:
Issue: The extruder base is mounted in a place where the floor is not level.
Solution: Try to position the extruder in a level spot on the floor.
Issue: No isolation pads used.
Solution: Isolation pads are simply rubber pads that are positioned between the floor and the feet or base of the machine. Therefore, use isolation pads.
Issue: No floor anchors were used during installation.
Solution: Concrete anchors (lead or chemical) should be used. The head of the anchors should extend from the floor through the isolation pads and through the holes in the feet or base of the extruder. Then a nut goes on the anchor bolt securing everything to the floor.
Issue: Auxiliary equipment or framing is attached to the extruder, such as conveyors, that can transfer vibration.
Solution: Try to avoid building onto the extruder, or using it as part of the framework for other equipment.
Issue: Broken or loose front plate bolts. The front plate attaches to the bearing housing, and the shaft and bearing housing assembly are in turn mounted in the extruder frame. Stress to the front plate bolts comes from torque on the main shaft, such as over-tight drive belts, extrusion of starchy products, and last but not least, running foreign material, such as rocks or metal through the extruder.
Solution: Avoid foreign material by using clean ingredients and installing magnets in equipment that feeds the extruder. Check the front plate bolts as part of maintenance, every 600 hours. Use a torque wrench set at 95 ft. lbs. Replace broken bolts, using locktight thread adhesive (red, high temp).
Issue: Excessively worn out parts. As the internal parts wear past what is considered their normal service life, they can get out of balance. Out of balance parts can cause oscillation that transfers into vibration.
Solution: Rotate and replace worn parts as needed.
Issue: Dirt build-up on the drive and driver sheaves, or main motor fan blades, can cause vibration.
Solution: Keep everything clean. This will also increase the service life of all of the oil and grease seals.