Benefits of wheel-tool gap sensing in conform™ extrusion machinery

Kafeel Khawaja, Lakmal Seneviratne, Michael P. Clode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results from the successful production trials of a gap sensing system for Conform™ extrusion machinery and associated benefits. It is critical to maintain a precise pre-defined wheel-tool gap for the efficient running of the Conform extrusion process and to maintain product quality. A high-temperature capacitive gap sensing system is designed and implemented on a copper Conform extrusion machine in a production plant. First, it is shown that machine setup times prior to production can be reduced from 35 to 5 min with active gap sensing. The sensors can be used for on-line direct gap measurement and control, and, for the first time, provide a detailed view of extrusion zone gap behavior during a full production cycle. From the experimental results, three different stages of a Conform extrusion cycle, start, slugs feed, and steady-state extrusion, can be clearly identified. The gap sensor is used to evaluate the relationship between gap size, and waste levels. It is shown that there is a linear reduction of waste levels from 20% to 2%, when the gap size is reduced from 1 to 0.15 mm.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Conform™ extrusion
  • Control
  • High temperature gap measurement
  • Sensors
  • Waste control


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