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When a new extruder is installed, or a new screw mounted in an existing machine, do you know what the expected throughput rate is going to be? You should. If you don’t baseline your extruder, then how are you going to set realistic expectations for its performance? If extrusion screws are designed properly, they typically will be able to withstand the maximum torque available from the extruder and the resin being processed. The extruder should operate at approximately 90% of its full available torque, based on 100% pellet feedstock, which typically will be the worst-case scenario. By using today’s barrier screw technology, higher throughput rates, lower melt temperatures, and better power efficiencies can be obtained. This article will provide some basic insight to help processors to determine if they are obtaining the maximum production rates from their extruders, providing that they have adequate downstream cooling and handling equipment in the extrusion system.