LICO technology is based on the separate feeding of each component. The material output is regulated through a system which continuously controls the weight decrease in the hopper. The speed of the conveyance device is regulated so as to get a constant product flow in terms of weight - ignoring possible variations of bulk density or particle size.
The control system guarantees a high metering precision in a short time.

Advantages of the process:
  • optimal monitoring of quality,
  • no need for pre-mixing operations,
  • in-line feeding of products with different particle sizes (production scraps, selvage, etc.)

In-line mixing

As a consequence to the random fall into the extruder's hopper the dosed components are mixed in-line and are immediately processed without accumulating within the hopper.

In this way any intermediate piling up of material that may cause possible separations of the mixed products is avoided, meaning there are no variations in the composition of the end product.

Advantages of the process:
  • optimal process control (absolute certainty of the recipe composition),
  • lowest pollution and easy production change,
  • simplification of the raw products displacement upstream,
  • maximum flexibility of the product set up that can be varied in line.
Feeding the extruder hopper at empty hopper

Monoscrew extruders are traditionally fed at full hopper. The hourly output depends exclusively on the rotation speed of its screw.
This method has two main drawbacks:
  • the hourly throughput is constantly related to the rotation speed of the screw,
  • another control system is needed to keep a constant pressure in the extruder head.
Though still mainly unknown, the feeding technology at empty hopper offers remarkable advantages, including:
  • no piling up of material, with subsequent separation of the ingredients, a condition that would make the in-line feeding of differently sized scraps problematic (in-line recovery of selvage),
  • a more flexible relation between turns of screw and hourly output, thus making it easier to set the optimal working conditions of the line for different products,
  • a perfectly constant feeding of the extruder without inner pulsations, keeping constant pressure within the head and turning this way the extruder into a pump carrying out the material received,
  • working constantly at maximum rpm increases the capacity of the line. It will not be necessary to keep security margins to carry out the typical screw rotation regulation; on the contrary, it will be possible to work constantly at maximum potential,
  • the stable conditions of the line guarantee the steadiness of all working parameters (temperature and compression).

Example of application: in-line coloring

Continuous turbo mixer

The continuous turbo mixer represents the natural development of LICO engineering, whose goals:
  • better process control (quality, waste reduction, greater exploitation of plants)
  • lower power consumption (economy)
  • plant simplification (maintainance free, flexible setting, smaller room requirements)
Compared to other discontinuous mixers available on the market, it disperses even the minimal percentage of the ingredients - either liquids or solids - being processed, assuring the most homogeneous mix with minimal energy consumption. Along with the high-tech LICO feeders systems TM turbo mixer represents the most efficient way to prepare blends of powders and/or liquids.
LICO technology finds its application to ready-mixed products or blends that have to undergo further process stages (extrusion, reaction, fusion).

Main technical specifications

Shaft's revolution ratio adjustable from 1 to 20. Variable configuration rotary shaft according to process needs, equipped with mixing and conveyance pegs, mixing, back mixing zones. The body can be easily taken apart for cleaning and inspection. A.C. motor driven by inverter. All metal parts in contact with material are in stainless steel AISI 304 (AISI 316 upon request). Possible thermoregulation of the process area.