Kubota Brabender Technologie has been operating in China for almost 40 years and established Brabender Technology (Beijing), now known as Kubota Brabender Technology Beijing, in 2004. It was followed in subsequent years by service centers in Guangzhou and Shanghai. In Beijing a dedicated technical center is available to Chinese customers and it is very popular and used frequently. This is where the feasibility of feeding solutions is analyzed and their accuracy is assessed. Typical inquiries involve powders of a bridging or sticky nature that are therefore difficult to handle. Local engineers test these powders to identify the ideal screws, agitators and hopper geometries for the job.
Team Technical Center Beijing
Mu Dongyi is Technical Director of the Technical Center in Beijing. He coordinates these tests, which he conducts with the help of qualified service staff. One of them is permanently on site, while other specialists are drafted in as required. German colleagues also regularly visit China to give presentations on new feeders and to train staff.
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What do the Beijing Technical Center's basic facilities include and what can be provided at the request of customers?
The feeders from our standard range are generally available. We can also install options that enhance material feed rates, as well as test special designs of agitator or screw coatings.
Who generally makes use of the Technical Center?
All kinds of customers, ranging from local compounders to global players, are represented. We add to our expertise here, especially when new products like fibers or additives are involved.
What are the classic inquiries that you get?
We often get inquiries about general feeding feasibility. We are also frequently asked about achievable accuracy.
How long a lead time do you require prior to responding to an inquiry?
As a rule, we can comply with test requests at really short notice. What's important in this respect is that the customer provides us with sufficient materials. That is vital to enable us to model production reality as accurately as possible. The background to this is that the properties of some materials change once they have been fed.
How long do the tests generally take?
That depends on the customer's specific requirements. Simple feasibility can be determined in one day. As far as accuracy requirements are concerned, we sometimes need two to three days.
Is information about tests conducted in the other Technical Centers shared?
There is a shared data platform, on which the reports are archived. All test results are shared with colleagues in Germany and Canada. They run the same testing and analysis software, of course, factoring in the issue of data security.
Could you give us some examples of unusual inquiries that you have actioned?
One example is the preliminary tests conducted when our FiberXpert fiber feeder was being developed. A global customer of ours wanted a feeding system for carbon fibers (unevenly cut fibers with poor flow properties). Tests using short carbon fibers had already been conducted in Germany. In China we added further tests using another grade of fiber. The customer got a feeder that's able to feed both products with maximum flexibility.
What information do you require before a test?
We require information about what the customer wants to achieve (goal definition). A short description of the product is also useful. This enables us to pre-select feeders. Photos or videos of the material to be tested are also helpful.