By Brad Dawson
Rubber & Plastics News Staff
Size-reduction machinery manufacturer Franklin Miller Inc. has filled a necessary niche with its equipment designed for the rubber industry, most notably the VULCANATOR® brand granulator, which can reduce rubber without typical heat build up.
“The machine employs a unique low friction, low-heat-rise design, eliminating the need of many granulators for expensive auxiliary cooling systems,” said Franklin Miller President William Galanty. “The VULCANATOR also significantly reduces subsequent processing time, dissolving processes and manufacturing costs by reducing the rubber to the desired size,” he said.
“The units can be built in stainless or carbon steel, for wet or dry processing,” he said. The equipment also may include a pneumatic discharge system and cyclone separator.
“Depending on the model, the VULCANATOR can reduce 75-pound to 90-pound bales of rubber at varying rates of speed,” Galanty said. The four model sizes range from the 40-horsepower KMIO up to the 250-hp KM50, with the KMIO handling somewhat smaller sheets, slabs, chunks and rejects.
“During the reduction process, material is fed into the unit by conveyor or by hand, and rugged rotary knives pull it into the cutting area and disintegrate the slabs to a size fine enough to pass through a special sizing screen. The machine controls the output by the screen size, which acts like a classifier and recirculates the particles until they reach the desired size,” Galanty said.
“Franklin Miller was founded in 1918 in East Orange, N.J. as a producer of ice crushers and ice cream freezers. It services a variety of customers, including rubber manufacturers and companies that make products from natural and synthetic rubber, tire recyclers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, adhesives producers, plastics makers, waste processors and more,” Galanty said.
“The VULCANATOR’s applications include integration into a conveying or dissolving system for rubber manufacturing, as well as a primary or secondary granulator for materials other than rubber,” Galanty said.
It’s also been used as a secondary sizer installed below the company’s TASKMASTER® brand twin-shaft shredders and for recycling purposes.
“The VULCANATOR has a unique market,” the Franklin Miller executive said. ”The domestic rubber industry has been slow. However, for manufacturers looking for the savings gained from improving efficiency, this unit can pay for itself in short order.”
The firm has tested a wide variety of natural and synthetic rubber materials and the unit has “handled them all beautifully,” Galanty said. “The main material issue is that the rubber not be too sticky before reduction,” he said.
“The VULCANATOR is a niche product,” he said, “but it serves an important service to the rubber industry.”
“Franklin Miller’s other rubber industry machinery includes the TASKMASTER and the DELUMPER®, which is used for breaking up crumb rubber and rubber agglomerates,” he said.
“The company, now on its third generation of family ownership and employing up to 50, also houses a VULCANATOR and other equipment at its in-house testing facility for trials on customer materials,” Galanty said.
In addition to standard equipment, Franklin Miller can supply custom designs or complete turn-key systems, with the objective of increasing processing speed and reducing waste and costs. Besides rubber, the firm’s broad line of equipment is used in applications such as plastics, chemicals, waste handling and wastewater treatment.