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Blow molding machine makers strive for quality, speed

Graham will have six processing systems on display, including its Mini Hercules accumulator head blow molder

Graham will have six processing systems on display, including its Mini Hercules accumulator head blow molder

The quest to produce quality bottles with greater precision and speed is being met with investment and innovation by blow molding machine manufacturers.

New products and next-generation models on exhibit at NPE2018 will show advances in repeatability and flexibility for primary equipment buyers in the automotive, beverage, cosmetic, health care and other markets.

For custom blow molders, W. Amsler Equipment Inc. has amped up the second version of its four-cavity stretch blow molding machine and will display it at Booth S21067. The L42X has gone from 3 to 12 Bosch-Rexroth servo motors and now has four parallel heating ovens — one for each cavity — to allow for more precise adjustments compared to a single continuous oven.

“We’ve been talking about this machine for a couple years. Nothing else like this is manufactured in North America,” Amsler Sales and Marketing Manager Heidi Amsler said in a phone interview.

She pointed to the new oven system, saying, “There’s a lot more control over the process. When you’re running four bottles, you don’t want a variance from the first cavity to the second or last.”

The extra servos improve repeatability and reduce energy use yet have fewer cables, according to the company. But Amsler expects another feature to impress businesses that run smaller loads with fast changeovers, maybe making trigger spray bottles one day and bear-shaped honey bottles the next. She said the L42X shines in operations that run a wide variety of containers.

“The range of bottles that can be made sets us apart,” Amsler said. “We can run bottles from 50 milliliters up to 5 liters with neck sizes from 18 mm to 70 mm.”

In addition, the machine is equipped with a larger touchscreen control for the operator and a Windows-based human machine interface with access to assembly drawings, bills of materials, set-up guides, trouble-shooting tips and training videos.

Founded in 1994, Amsler, a privately held Richmond Hill, Ontario-based company, is the only North American manufacturer of all-electric linear PET stretch blow molders. General Manager Bruce Coxhead will give a presentation on linear blow molding of non-conventional barrier containers at 10:45 a.m. May 9 at NPE’s Bottle Zone.

Bekum America Corp. (Booth W2127) says it will introduce the U.S.-made 407DL machine in response to the growing need for a high-speed bottle maker. The machine offers the benefits of a double-shuttle long stroke machine platen as well as cost-efficient production of smaller bottles, especially for personal care products, according to the company.

Molds can be changed in 15 minutes without the use of tools, Bekum says, and the machine provides “a very attractive” cost-output ratio. Bekum will demonstrate features of the electric version by producing 1-liter round, 3-layer personal care bottles made from HDPE.

The 407DL machines also come in hydraulic and hybrid versions and include Bekum’s patented C-Frame clamp design.

 

W. Amsler Equipment Inc. will display its four-cavity stretch blow molding machine with a larger touch screen control.

W. Amsler Equipment Inc. will display its four-cavity stretch blow molding machine with a larger touch screen control.

Kautex Machines Inc. (Booth W1543) will show how it expanded the range of its small-size KBB all-electric machines. The company added capacity for the machine line as well as its KSB suction blow molding machines to meet growing demand.

In December, Kautex opened a new assembly hall at its manufacturing facility in Bonn, Germany, where it increased capacity for more than 60 machines a year.

Kautex also will demonstrate a virtual training machine for its KCC range of hydraulically driven machines at NPE.

Pet All Manufacturing Inc. (Booth W6545) will put three new all-electric technologies on display. The Markham, Ontario-based company will exhibit a blow molding machine (IBM 300/700) suited for clean rooms, an injection stretch blow molding machine (ISBM-180E), and a PET stretch blow molding machine (CPSB-1000 LLE) for 15 liter containers.

Show manager Zoe Webster says the machines provide energy savings and have faster cycle times than their hydraulic counterparts.

Barcelona, Spain-based Side SA (Booth S16084), which manufactures PET blow molding machines, will focus on an engineering solution for containers that need a handle molded from a preform.

“The T-handle system is the simplest system that can be found for producing containers with handles,” Side Sales Director Josep Jimenez said.

Graham Engineering Corp. (Booth 2743), which is based in York, Pa., has expanded its proprietary control system called Navigator to all company’s brands, which includes Welex and American Kuhne from earlier acquisitions.

The control technology uses an industrial PC with a Windows platform to improve extrusion process control. Navigator’s hardware is designed to withstand environments considered harsh because of vibrations, temperature and humidity.

“The ease and ability to integrate is boundless,” Justin Kilgore, Graham’s vice president of engineering, said in a news release, noting synchronized supervisory control of a line is possible as well connectivity for data collection systems and remote support and trouble-shooting.

“Navigator offers integration without limits,” Kilgore added.

Graham also will have six processing systems on display, including its Mini Hercules accumulator head blow molder, a modular clamp station for its Revolution MVP rotary wheel blow molder; the Welex Evolution sheet extrusion system; American Kuhne’s Ultra extruders with expanded features; American Kuhne’s tri-layer medical tubing line; and American Kuhne’s AKcent co-extruder.

original article – http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20180410/NEWS/180419988/blow-molding-machine-makers-strive-for-quality-speed

Heidi Amsler

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