ENTEK Extruders Awarded U.S. Patent for Self-Aligning Coupling Concept

ENTEK Awarded U.S. Patent for Self-Aligning Coupling ConceptConcept is Used in ENTEK QC3TM Twin-Screw Extruder Screw Shafts and Couplings to Ensure Easy, Correct Alignment

Lebanon, OR – May 23, 2017 – ENTEK, a leading producer of twin-screw co-rotating extruders and microporous separators for lead-acid and lithium batteries, has been awarded a U.S. Patent for its Self-Aligning Shafts & Couplings.  United States Patent 9,573,313 B2 was awarded to ENTEK on February 21, 2017 for its ‘Extruder Screw Shaft Alignment Apparatus and Method’.

ENTEK employees Craig Benjamin and Melissa Jensen-Morgan, along with Dean Elliott, a former ENTEK employee now with Interfacial Consultants LLC, are credited as the inventors of the concept.

Originally introduced by ENTEK for use on its QC3TM twin-screw extruders in 2015, the self-aligning concept was designed to ensure that the installation of the screw shafts into the couplings was done easily and correctly.  Correct alignment is essential to maintaining the correct orientation of the parts in the twin-screw extruder for optimal performance.  Prior to this invention, the task was time-consuming and prone to error.

“The traditional method of installing extruder shafts is tedious, often resulting in lots of repeated trial and error attempts before shafts and couplings are aligned properly,” said Craig Benjamin. “This invention forces mating shafts and couplings to align automatically as they are installed into the machine.   When the shafts are installed there is no question about alignment, as there is only one way for the shafts and couplings to go together.”

“ENTEK’s QC3TM concept was designed to make life easier for the customer, and our research showed that this was one of the key issues that needed improvement,” said Melissa Jensen-Morgan.  “We set out to design a new and better way to ensure the shafts and couplings were aligned.  Being awarded a U.S. Patent for this design is exciting for us and the company.”

The self-aligning coupling concept is available on all screw shafts and couplings produced by ENTEK for its 27mm, 33mm, 43mm and 53mm QC3TM twin-screw extruders.

QC3TM stands for Quick-Change, Quick-Clean, and Quality Control.  ENTEK originally introduced its QC3TM concept on the ENTEK QC3-43MM co-rotating twin-screw extruder that the company launched at NPE 2015 in Orlando, FL.  Since then it has expanded the QC3TM product line to include the QC3-27mm, QC3-33mm, and QC3-53mm twin-screw extruders, as well as auxiliary equipment including the QC3TM strand die, the QC3TM combination vacuum stuffer/side feeder unit, and others.

ENTEK also manufactures 73MM, 103MM, and 133MM models of co-rotating twin-screw extruders.

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