How to Troubleshoot an Extruder

By Angie Oney, eHow Contributor
supdated: February 5, 2011

Efficiently moving raw material through an extruder and forming it into the final product is a vital process in many production operations. Many reason for an extruder failure exist; drive train failure, barrel or screw wear, lack of material, or leaking product at the die are some areas of failure. The extruder screw not turning is another common failure. Troubleshooting extruder operation quickly and efficiently is a key skill to reduce downtime.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

1) Check the power to the motor. Ensure power is turned either by switching on the extruder motor or checking to ensure the electrical power source is turned on.

2) Ensure the barrel temperature is correct. If the barrel was not cleaned or cleaned improperly residue from the previous production run may be preventing the barrel from running. Allow the barrel to come up to the proper temperature to allow the material to melt.

3) Check the gearbox for oil. The oil pump may be turned off or the gear box may have overheated and went in to automatic shutdown.

4) Check the water feed to the gearbox. If the water is not turned on the gearbox oil can over heat shutting down the gearbox. If this is the case turn on the water and allow the gear box to cool until it will operate.

5) Tear the extruder down and ensure there is no object interfering with the rotation of the extruder screw. Metal or other objects lodged in the extruder barrel may stop the extruder from turning

6) Check the torque converter. If maximum torque was reached, a safety feature will shut the extruder down. Reset the torque converter and restart the Read original article