2. Scrap reduction
The Optalex is an active control system - It will
compensate for incorrect billet temperatures and give accurate and correct temperatures at
the press exit. In the normal case, the log furnace is a
relatively inaccurate device and will easily have a
+/-25 Degree variation in output. The Optalex system
will compensate for this and hold the extrusion exit
temperature to +/-3 Degrees. In addition, should there
be a delay in the production cycle, then the billet at
the loading stage will be cooling - when the delay is
cleared then the cold billet is loaded. The Optalex will
cause the press to push harder and hence hold the output
temperature at the correct level. The next billet could
well have been overheated so the Optalex will cause the
press to slow and avoid the possibility of scrap or
3. Quality improvements
Because the Optalex extrudes at a constant temperature
from the start of the push through to the very end, the
metallurgical properties are kept constant throughout.
This gives both a consistent surface finish and the
dimensional stability that is so important for many
customers. If, for instance, the extrusion is to be
anodized then a variation in output temperature during
the push results in variation in finished color - more
scrap and customer dissatisfaction.
One of the big problems facing every extruder is that
different shifts and different operators achieve
slightly different results from the same die. These
differences may be dimensional / surface quality /
metallurgical properties and are caused by the differing
parameter settings chosen by each operator. Optalex
offers the extruder a full control system based on
operator logging and setting permissions such that a
combination of existing control practices and agreed new
control parameters allows each die to be run within
extremely close limits each time it is used.
5. Quality control.
From the minute the Optalex is installed, it records all
available parameters against every billet ever extruded.
The data is stored in an open format SQL database which
is accessible to anyone on the network with the correct
permissions. A standard report generator is available
with the system and reports are easily modifiable to
suit individual requirements. Also, because the system
is ‘open architecture’ the user can utilize any
‘third-party’ report generator like Crystal Reports. The
result, better management and control of the overall
extrusion and production process, enabling the user to
produce the required quality certificates and adhere to
the principals & practices of common quality control
systems such as ISO 9000.
Based on a conservative 10% gain in metal from the press
and a 2% decrease in scrap, the Optalex system will give
a ROI of around 3 months. Payback based on cost
reduction when not running at full capacity is typically
less than 6 months. It is clear that the savings will
surpass purchase costs - even with a 1 year lease.
7. Additional features & benefits
Automatic Die Optimization - now available with Optalex.
When a new die is introduced the system automatically
discovers the optimum conditions and parameters.
Provided the operator is satisfied with these conditions
he or she presses the ‘save’ button and any future use
of that die will cause the same parameters to be used
After a Die change it is normal for a
user to run a good number of billets to stabilize the
temperatures throughout the press. With Optalex, the
control of temperature is so accurate, that it is
possible to produce good metal on the 1st full billet. A user will typically decide on billet
length based on the maximum extrusion temperature. Thus
he will start the push at the minimum extrusion
temperature and reach the maximum
temperature at the end of the push. That final temperature typically dictates
the billet length. With Optalex, the billet can be made
longer because Optalex makes sure that the profile is
not too hot at the end of the push.
8. Remote operation, management reports &
Optalex is a network based system. It is
only a matter of the permission settings that can
constrain any user on the network from gaining access to
he system. Of course, the opposite is also true, in that
the Optalex can send messages to anyone on the network.
Every operation that can be performed using the Main Work Station beside the press can also be
performed at any remote point on the network. The
following are some instances of where the above features
are practically applied:
- Extrusion manager can get a customizable real-time
graphical display of press operation and performance on
- Extrusion manager can do the same from his
home (via modem, DSL etc) when called with a problem.
- Plant manager can have a concise display (small window)
showing current ‘pounds per hour’ and shift average
‘pounds per hour’.
- Alarm message can be sent to Extrusion Managers PC when
press ‘dead cycle’ is greater than 5 minutes.
- Predefined and customizable
reports can be sent to the email addresses of various staff
at varying times of the day.
- Optalex service staff can
gain access upon request to review performance and
analyze potential fault conditions.
9. More than 100 systems already sold
Optalex has sold and installed more than 100 systems of
its unique ’Total Control System. The record so far is
that all those who bought one system and had other
suitable presses, also bought further systems.
Customer Reference List