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W. Amsler to Launch Next-Generation Four-Cavity Stretch Blow Machine at NPE2018

Heidi Amsler

Stretch Blow Machine

Preferential Heating, Neck Orientation, and Hot-Fill Capability
are Latest Features for New L42X All-Electric Reheat Machine

RICHMOND HILL, Ontario, March xx, 2018 – W. Amsler Equipment Inc., a leading supplier of all-electric linear PET stretch blow molders, will introduce its next-generation four-cavity all-electric reheat stretch blow molder at the upcoming NPE2018 May 7-11 at the Orlando County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. (Booth #S21067). The company will also exhibit its newly-enhanced leak tester that inspects bottles from 10ml to 23 liters and its standalone spin trimmer for both stretch- and extrusion-blown containers.

W. Amsler also announced that General Manager Bruce Coxhead will give a presentation entitled “Linear Blow Molding of Nonconventional Barrier Containers ” at NPE’s Bottle Zone Technical Forum on Wednesday, May 9, at 10:45 a.m.

The L42X all-electric reheat machine offers several new features including preferential heating, neck orientation, and hot-fill capabilities. “For custom blow molders, the next-generation four-cavity machine provides versatility to enable PET bottle production in a range of configurations and sizes,” said Heidi Amsler, sales and marketing manager for W. Amsler.

The new machine makes up to 2-liter containers at a rate of 6500/hour in four cavities. It can also be used to run two-cavity molds for production of larger containers up to 5 liters. Neck finishes range from 18mm to 70mm.

The L42X reheat machine has four parallel heating ovens, one for each cavity. It comes equipped with 12 Bosch-Rexroth servo motors, compared to three servos for the previous model. The extra servos provide more repeatability, lower energy consumption, and require less wiring, resulting in easier troubleshooting, according to W. Amsler. The machine also has a 40-ton servo-driven mold clamping system. Servo systems are used to control preform loading, preform transportation through the machine, rotation through the ovens, stretch rod actuation, motion towards the molding station and clamp opening, closing and bottle unloading.

Other key features include agitated preform infeed to prevent bridging, preform temperature sensing prior to blow, pre-blow flow control for reach cavity, water-cooled neck shields and a large touch-screen operator interface. Servo-driven stretch rods are 14mm with 10mm and 12mm options.

The L42X comes equipped with a large touchscreen operator panel from Wonderware. It has a Windows-based human machine interface (HMI) with full access to assembly drawings, BOMs (bills of materials), set-up guides, troubleshooting, and training videos.

The four-cavity system is commercial and W. Amsler has already sold a machine to a custom blow molder.

About W. Amsler Equipment Inc.

W. Amsler Equipment Inc. is the only North American manufacturer of all-electric linear PET stretch blow molders, 100% designed, built and serviced in North America. W. Amsler is a privately-held Canadian company founded in 1994 by Werner Amsler. In addition to PET stretch blow molding machines, Amsler supplies equipment for complete blow molding plants and filling lines. These products include bottle inspection units, blow-dome spin-off trimmers, air compressors, vacuum conveyors, blow molds, gaylord dumpers, mold temperature control units, and process chillers. For more information, visit www.amslerequipment.net.

Press Contact:
Joseph Grande
J. Grande communications Inc.
413.684.2463
joe@jgrandecommunications.com

Driven To Succeed – October 2017, Canadian Packaging

Heidi Amsler

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New-generation electric drives allow stretch blowmolding equipment manufacturer to reduce machine design complexity and improve its motion control capabilities

Caption: (From left) W. Amsler Equipment sales and marketing manager Heidi Amsler, company founder Werner Amsler, director of operations Jason Amsler, and Bosch Rexroth Canada’s technical consultant Paul Thiele pose for a team photo in the reception area of the company’s Richmond Hill, Ont. plant, which manufactures high-quality stretch blowmolding machines for customers across North America.

Building heavy-duty machines to produce mass quantities of everyday packaging necessities like plastic bottles around the clock is a job best-suited for a rather elite group of companies in the global packaging machinery business. And it’s a group where Canadian technical and engineering skills are widely renowned and celebrated far more than the average Canadians know—thanks to W. Amsler Equipment Inc. of Richmond Hill, Ont.

Founded in 1994 by Werner Amsler, the family-owned company has consistently displayed a remarkable knack for making high-quality stretch blowmolding equipment over the years, which has earned it a very special place and plenty of respect in the market traditionally dominated by large overseas manufacturers of far greater size.

To compete in this highly competitive marketplace, Amsler’s Richmond Hill operation boasts a wealth of technological prowess and expertise driving the daily design and manufacturing excellence packed into every high-speed blowmolder and other related machines assembled there.

“We take pride in our unique status of being the only North American manufacturer of all-electric linear PET (polyethylene terephthalate) stretch blowmolding equipment,” sales and marketing manager Heidi Amsler told Canadian Packaging on a recent visit to the company’s lively 20,000-square-foot facility just north of Toronto.

In addition to blowmolders, the Richmond Hill plant also manufactures empty bottle leak testers, spin trimmers and various downstream filling equipment for leading custom bottle blowmolders like Berry PlasticsAmcor and other key suppliers of PET plastic containers to the global beverage, cooking oils, agrochemical, health-and-hygiene, and other industries always in need of a steady supply of strong, well-made plastic containers to ship and market their products.

“The machines are designed and built right here in Canada with the primary idea of providing our customers as much machine uptime, and requiring as little maintenance, as possible,” Amsler explains.

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VALID POINT

“The whole point is to enable our customers to run as many bottles as they can to increase their revenue and improve their bottom line,” she says, “rather than spending their time on maintenance and changeovers.”

As Amsler explains, the company manufactures three types of PET stretch blowmolders to accommodate the production of almost all the popular types of plastic bottle shapes and sizes, including:

  • Small-neck bottles with 20-mm to 63-mm neck finishes, used for miniature single-shot liquor bottles to peanut jars, in volume capacities ranging from 20-ml up to five liters;
  • Wide-mouth jars, with neck finishes from 70- mm to 120-mm, to produce two- to five-liter PET bottles;
  • Bulk jars ranging from five liter water jugs up to 22-liter containers used as beer kegs and bulk food containers widely used in the foodservice and hospitality industries, as well as for packaging all sorts of household care and industrial cleaning products.

“Depending on the model, our machines can achieve output rates ranging from 1,500 to 1,800 bottles per hour per cavity,” Amsler states, noting the company offers its machine in one-, two, three- and, more recently, four-cavity versions to suit the end-users’ varying production needs.

“Many bottle manufacturing sites run our machines flat-out run on 24/7 schedule.”

“Customers are always looking for maximum reliability and output: in other words machines that will deliver the most uptime and reliable, highly repeatable production,” says Amsler, “which is why we are using a lot of Rexroth servomotors and servo drives in our machine design to optimize the stretch blowmolding process.”

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Amsler machinery uses the so-called two-step stretch blowmolding process, whereby its machines are fed pre-made, test-tube-shape PET preforms that are transferred inside the machines’ ovens—heated via high-intensity infrared lamps—and placed into molds.

A metal stretch rod then pushes the plastic, forcing it to stretch to the length of the mold cavity, which then balloons out by compressed air and internal pressure, stretched in hoop and axial directions, and adheres with the shape of the mold walls.

After it cures and cools down, the newly-formed bottle is ejected from the mold, with the whole process taking mere seconds to finish.

The stretch blowmolding process allows for the use of many complex designs to produce a broad variety of attractive, fully-recyclable cylindrical, rectangular or oval PET containers, with the round two-liter beverage bottles being one of the most commonplace end products made using this process.

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TIMELY RESPONSE

Like all machine manufacturers, Amsler Equipment is continuously upgrading its machinery offering to respond to evolving market demands and customer expectations in timely manner—working with many technology partners to improve its product offering.

Over the last 20 years, Amsler has built a tight partnership with Burlington, Ont.-based industrial automation specialists Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp. by incorporating many Rexroth servomotors, drives and other electrical system components into its equipment to ensure optimal motion control for all the many different moving parts inside the machinery used to turn preforms into finished bottles.

“Over the last 20 years or so, Rexroth has been a very good partner for us in terms of providing outstanding service, technical support and engineering assistance,” Amsler relates, describing Rexroth’s significant role in helping Amsler develop its next-generations L42X four-cavity linear stretch blowmolding machine, launched earlier this year.

“We have recently redesigned our four-cavity L42 machine into a next-generation system that has many more servos, more speed and a lot more control over the whole process,” she says.

Like its L42 model predecessor, the L42X can blow bottles up to two liters in size using four cavities, Amsler explains, and bottles up to five liters in two cavities, but whereas L42could only achieve maximum diameter of 48-mm, the L42X can handle larger diameters of up to 63-mm.

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Featuring upgraded 1,000 W heating lamps and oven controls, along with a double-acting clamp to move both mold halves away from the centerline upon opening, the L42Xmachine makes optimal use of Rexroth’s all-new IndraDrive Mi drives—combining a drive and a motor in a single compact package— to implement game-changing transformation in the machine design, simplicity and performance.

Paul Thiele, technical consultant with Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp. in Burlington, Ont., has worked closely with Amsler for nearly 18 years, helping in the development of the original L22 model blowmolder and all the subsequent machine updates and reiterations.

As Thiele explains, incorporating the Rexroth IndraDrive Mi servo drives into the L42Xmodel blowmolder enabled Amsler to eliminate the need for an external control cabinet that would have been remotely wired to the machine—enabling for a much smaller control cabinet to be placed inside the machine itself.

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Amsler agrees: “One of the big advantages of being able to reduce the cabinet size is that instead of having a separate cabinet outside of the machine, we have it placed inside, while also vastly reducing the amount of wiring we had before.

“This allows end-users a much faster startup in the field,” she says, “and it makes machine positioning much simpler because they don’t have to worry about where they should place the stand-alone cabinet.”

Says Amsler: “The new servo systems has made the machine faster, reduced its maintenance requirements, and freed up extra space inside to enable us to include new value-added features such as preferential heating and automatic neck orientation, which is something that our customers have been asking for.”

Adds Thiele: “One of the Mi motor’s most important advantages is that it is actually a drive and motor package whereby the drive is mounted on the motor,, which dramatically reduces the required cabinet space.

“Because Amsler’s machines are designed for a compact footprint, in the past there was not enough cabinet space inside the machine to put all nine servos in. “Now there’s just one power source in the cabinet that power all nine motors/drives, instead of one for each axis.

“So one of the key advantages is the significant reduction in the costs of installing wires, wire trays and the wire cabinetry,” says Thiele,.

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Moreover, the new blowmolding machine is controlled by a Rexroth MLC (motion logic and control) controller that provides all the software architecture to control all the motion, logic and power distributed to the proper I/O (input/output) connectors.

“These benefits provide operators with the ability to make any necessary changes from one single source, so when they set up a new bottle for different sizes, they can download very quickly all the parameters to the drives and off they run with the new different set-up.

“It’s all very fast and very efficient,” he states, “thanks to the Rexroth MLC’s ability to have coordinated motion.

“This dramatically decreases the cycle time by overlapping motions to make the most efficient use of time and motion,” he states.

According to Heidi Amsler, the Rexroth IndraDrive Mi drives enabled Amsler to replace all the pneumatic systems and components used on previous machine models to control preform loading, unloading and rotating inside the ovens with the more precise and repeatable Rexroth servo control.

All in all, these enhancements add up to about a 10-percent improvement in the new machines overall performance, according to Amsler.

Adds Thiele: “Using the Rexroth Mi family of drives allowed Amsler to reduce the cabinet space by 85 per cent—making shipping and field startup much simpler and quicker—while also reducing the amount of field wiring by 85 per cent.

“Instead of having two wires going into each of the machine’s axes as before, there is now just one single cable that daisy-chains across all the different axes,” he says, “which in turns saves a lot of machine assembly time and all the related costs.

“Basically, the cable inside the machine goes inside one Mi motor, exits and goes on to the next axis, and repeats the sequence through all the nine drives, rather than having 18 cables running throughout the machine to control the drives.

“This also eliminates the need to install additional components such as starters and contactors,” he adds, “further freeing up more space to accommodate other new machine functions or features.”

In addition to the Mi drives, Bosch Rexroth also supplied the linear modules used to guide the finished bottle out of the blowmolder onto the exit conveyor, Thiele notes, as well as a Rexroth VFD (variable-frequency drive) with Sensorless Vector Control to power the exit conveyor.

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THE NEXT LEVEL

Above all, Thiele points out that incorporating the Rexroth IndraDrive Mi technology into the new blowmolder makes the L42X machine perfectly compatible with the emerging new Industry 4.0 working environment based on the constant exchange and analysis of machine data between all the different pieces of automated equipment employed at modern manufacturing plants.

“The Amsler L42X is ready for the Industry 4.0 workplace, where data collection from the machine will not only be possible, but will also be an important part of the bigger plant picture,” Thiele explains.

“Also, when Amsler is remote-accessing the machine for troubleshooting, they have the ability to look into each of the drives and their motion profiles to see if there is a problem on any specific axis.

“This is made possible because of the Rexroth MLC control software that provides the full view of the whole system,” Thiele adds.

“With the ability to see and analyze each axis,” Thiele continues, “Amsler can compare that data to previous data and recorded cycle times and see if there are any changes that may have been caused by a mechanical problem or a motor issue, to use as an example.

“The more you can see, the better you can service and support the machine.”

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Says Thiele: “This enables Amsler to do very detailed analysis on these machines and to make whatever tweaks are necessary to reduce cycle-times.

“It may only be a small tweak amounting to 10 milliseconds, but if you can reduce the heating time or blowing time from a three-second cycle to 2.99 seconds, it all adds up when you’re talking about multiple cavities, several machines, and continuous 24-hour operation.

“Industry 4.0 is all about information, quality control and process improvement,” he states, “whereby machines all talk to each other back and forth to generate more detailed information that can be analyzed and used to improve the overall performance levels.”

Adds Amsler: “When we were looking to develop this new machine we contemplated the idea of perhaps using other automation suppliers, but given our long and successful history with Bosch Rexroth Canada we decided that they were the best option for us.

“The outstanding work they have done with our new L42X machine fully validates our decision,” Amsler states.
“Working with Amsler for the last 20 years has been a great experience for Bosch Rexroth,” Thiele concurs.
“It is a company that’s demanding on itself as it is on its suppliers—always raising the bar for service and technical excellence.

“It’s often a lot of work,” he sums up, “but it’s always worthwhile.

“And as Bosch Rexroth continues to bring advanced next-generation technologies to the table, and as Amsler continues to expand its markets, we are looking forward to maintaining our mutually beneficial long-time relationship well into the future.”

VIDEO: To see an online video of Rexroth IndraDrive Mi drives running on Amsler’s L42Xblowmolder, go to Canadian Packaging TV at www.canadianpackaging.com (not yet available as of Oct. 19/17)

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Link to The Original Article

We’re on Canadian Plastics – Unbottled

Heidi Amsler

CanadianPlastics

Blow molding can make shooting hoops against LeBron James look easy. Blow molding consultants like to describe it as the most technically challenging of the molding processes, and they’re probably not wrong. Why? Because in the blow molding world, having a perfect mold isn’t enough — that mold can still make an unaccept-able part if the molder isn’t in total control of the entire process, including the many indirectly controlled vari-ables. Simply put, the blow molding process itself exerts a major influence on the end product.

Which is why it’s crucial for the machinery makers to keep improving their equipment and technologies. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the latest developments in extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, stretch blow molding, and automation.

RADICAL REDESIGNS

Amsler Equipment Inc. has rede-signed its four-cavity, linear stretch blow molding machine for PET. Like its predecessor, the L42, Amsler’s new L42X can blow bottles up to two liters in size using four cavities, and bottles up to five liters in two cavities; but in the new machine, the maximum neck diameter is 63 mm, compared to 48 mm in the prior version. Improved features include upgraded drives, heating lamps, oven controls, and control software and hardware. Additionally, all machine motions now are servo-controlled, giving the operator a better handle on all motions within the machine, including rotation of preforms through the oven. The L42X individually controls the heating of the four preforms before they’re moved into the molding area. The clamp is double-acting, so that both mold halves move away from the centreline upon opening; clamp compensation acts on both sides of the mold. Designed for producing packaging especially canisters the new Eblow 37 hybrid blow molding machine from Bekum Machinenfabricken GmbH is based on the company’s hydraulic BA 34.2 units. The Eblow 37’s closing unit and mold closing functions are electrically driven, though a servo-hydraulic system handles closing pressure buildup. The machine has a closing pressure of about 42 tons and a mold width of 700 mm. The Eblow 37 boosts canister production by up to 15 per cent over comparable hydraulic systems, Bekum said, and can produce 240 canisters per hour. With its spiral distributor blow heads, the machine is designed for easy material changeovers and maintenance. It can handle both single- and multiple-layer structures.

New to the blow molding business, Dr. Boy GmbH & Co., the German parent of Boy Machines Inc., has introduced an injection blow molding system that utilizes a Boy 60 E horizontal injection press with a four-cavity, hot runner mold with an index plate that rotates 180° to transfer injection molded preforms to the blowing station. At the K 2016 trade show in Germany last year, the system produced eyedropper bottles that were dropped onto a conveyor belt for immediate packaging. Using a manifold system developed specifically for that application, the preforms were injected without sprues, so that no waste was produced in bottle production. And unlike with traditional blow molds, the bottle was finished at the end of the blowing process, with no material used to seal the mold body needing to be cut and removed.

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Amsler updates stretch blow molding unit

Heidi Amsler

stretch blow molding machine

 

L42X Amsler Equipment has redesigned its four-cavity, linear stretch blow molding machine for PET. Like its predecessor, the L42, the L42X can blow bottles up to 2 liters in size using four cavities and bottles up to 5 liters in two cavities. In the new machine, the maximum neck diameter is 63mm, compared to 48mm in the prior version.

What’s new? The machine, which Amsler launched last month, and its numerous improved features, including upgraded drives, heating lamps, oven controls and control software and hardware. All machine motions now are servo-driven. The L42X individually controls the heating of the four preforms before they are moved into the molding area. The clamp is double-acting, so that both mold halves move away from the centerline upon opening; clamp compensation acts on both sides of the mold. The far right photo shows heated oven banks without preforms. The inset photo shows preforms entering an oven bank.

Benefits Performance, ease of use and robust construction. Due to the use of servo motors, the operator has better control of all motions within the machine, including rotation of preforms through the oven. The new machine improves output by more than 10 percent.

Mag-Plastic® Machine Upgrade

Heidi Amsler

Amsler Equipment Inc. has provided service for the MAG-Plastic® machines since 2014 via a partnership with AISA Inc. Our Service department can provide assistance with SSB-02, SSB-03, SSB-20 and SSB-20HP. Spare parts continue to be available through AISA Inc. through their subsidiary located in India. Amsler will continue to act as a liaison and will assist with parts sourcing and manufacturing of new parts when necessary.

Customer : Impact Plastics, Ontario, Canada
Machine : MAG two-cavity SSB20-HP
Machine Manufacture Date : 1999
Preform Slide Upgrade Install Date : November 2015

Impact Plastics was experiencing issues with their preform loader. No engraved scales were available to record settings for repeated setups. The original aluminum parts were worn and the slide was hard to adjust.

Before the upgrade, only one side of the preform slide could be adjusted at the top when adjusting the unscramble rollers and only one side of the preform slide would move, making slide alignment difficult. As a result, the preforms could drop out of or get stuck in the slide, causing a preform jam. This would also make changeovers more time consuming, due to trial and error.

With the new system, the operator uses the roller in the top section to make the initial adjustments as usual and then he can adjust each side of the rails individually if needed. A heavy-duty adjustment mechanism with bushings has been installed at the lower end of the rails. This lower adjustment uses a hand knob, lock nut, left and right-hand threaded rod which allows for easy even adjustments on the two sides of the preform slide. Scales were added in all sections to provide repeat ability.

The new rails replace the existing upper preform rails.
Installation time is approx. 4 hours.

Original setup of the preform slide before the upgrade

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New slide mounted with scales

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Q&A: Innovation that serves customers

Heidi Amsler

Read the full article here…

Werner Amsler Equipment Inc. is known in Canada as an innovator for his work in all-electric blow molding machines and was honored with the 2010 Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) Plastics Innovator Award, which he identifies as the most significant award that he has received in his career. Given to those whose technological advancements have contributed to the expansion of the Canadian plastics industry, the award recognized Amsler’s 2009 “innovative technologies including a fully automatic loading system for wide mouth preforms up to 89mm, a new flexible PET machine series that allows for adjustable cavitations on PET blow machines, and a modular semi-automatic palletizer that provides fully automatic operation through the purchase of additional modules.” Amsler constantly uses customer feedback to make improvements to the company’s equipment. More recent innovations include options such as preferential heating, hot fill and a neck orientation system that uses standard preforms. The company recently also developed and delivered a customized single-cavity lab machine. When the company was founded, Amsler was the first to introduce a fully electric reheat stretch-blow molding machine. He has a penchant for simplicity, reliability and customer service. Amsler recently spoke with PMM correspondent Lisa Jo Lupo.

How and why did you get into the plastics industry?

Amsler :  I was trained as a toolmaker in Switzerland, among other things, and my first job in the plastics industry was in 1970 as a toolmaker in a company which still exists — Plastipak in Richmond Hill. I worked as a toolmaker for a few years, then progressed up to plant manager in the blow molding division. Then I was recruited by a German company, Bekum, back home to head their Canadian service department for the machinery that is sold over here.

In 1980, my brother and I started a company called Swissplas in the molding industry. We made plastic bottles, and ended up with 15 lines when I sold the company to Monarch Plastics in 1988. So that was a successful venture.

Why did you sell this company, then decide to found Amsler?

Amsler : The company was doing very well, so I wanted to take the profits out of it and start a consulting company in the plastics industry. During our consulting phase, the question was always asked by customers, “Where do I find a good reheat stretch-blow molding machine?” There wasn’t really anything around other than equipment that wasn’t suitable for this market or machines that were really substandard. So in 1994, I decided to start the business we’re in now.

We started immediately with fully electric machinery because, even at that time, we were thinking forward to energy conservation and, of course, low maintenance, so hydraulic systems automatically were out of the picture. That’s why we did fully electric machines right from the beginning.

It sounds like you were a pioneer from the start. What other innovations did you introduce?

Amsler : We were the first to be fully electric and the first to introduce central cooling systems for the ovens. The fully electric was a big step. We also had significantly fewer parts than anyone else. We just wanted to be simple, reliable, quick — all the qualities that are needed in custom blow molding. We also built the machines for very quick changeover. For the plastic blow molding industry, changeovers of a few minutes would be great, but we wanted to get away from the half-day changeovers everybody else had, and we were very successful with that. Our approach is to make sure we’re always ahead of everybody else.

The trend of using all-electric machines for blow molding really only has taken hold over the last year or so. What were you seeing in the industry that made you want to take this step in 1994?

Amsler : I wanted to provide a machine that was energy efficient and simpler to maintain. At the time, hydraulic systems had a bad reputation for wasting energy. Fifty percent of the supplied energy was wasted into heat, which then had to be removed with a chiller. The chiller itself was also inefficient in operation. In addition to the energy lost, the hydraulic systems will leak sooner or later and will thus require a lot of maintenance. Furthermore, the Amsler equipment would be producing bottles for food applications, so oil is not welcome in this environment. There also is an environmental hazard. Hydraulic oil is toxic and needs to be disposed of properly, which is expensive. The Amsler machine design was based on 40 percent less energy consumption and 50 percent less maintenance. [It also allowed for] almost total removal of oil contamination sources on the machinery when compared to hydraulic systems that were available at the time.

Knowing the challenges of entrepreneurship, what have you done to help new and small businesses in the plastics industry?

Amsler : We started a model that we run molds; that is, we let our customers run their molds on our machines in our place. That gets the small guys into the business. When they get started, they have enough money to get into the business and to buy molds which are relatively inexpensive, and they have connections in the industry to sell their bottles, but they don’t often have enough funds or knowledge to start their own operation. So we help them get started that way. It works well for us and for many of our present-day customers. We still use the model. It allows us to have a production showroom so our customers can come into our plant and our manufacturing center where we are building the machines, and they can see the machines running production or testing different materials or molds — they get a live demo of the equipment that they are going to purchase. Also, our machines are fully proven before we ship them; they have already run many days of production, not just test runs, which allows for a faster start-up on the other end.

Also, all the parts for our machines are standard off-the-shelf parts, available from any supplier. We don’t do custom parts, other than change parts for production, so that way, our customers aren’t tied to us for service and parts. They can go to other suppliers that are local to them. The availability of local parts anywhere in the world is really important. And, of course, the parts that are special to our machines we stock here. So we can respond quickly because we have everything in-house.

Why do you believe you succeeded in this business when others have failed?

Amsler : We are the only manufacturer of this type of equipment in North America. We did have competitors, big ones, that finally went by the wayside. We were successful, mainly, I believe, because we don’t just have one leg to stand on, we also have the blow-molding division. This is downplayed a lot by us because we don’t want to compete with our machinery customers. We don’t go out and quote blow molding business, we use the model I discussed earlier — running a blow molding operation with our customers’ molds. So that helps with cash flow, and it helps with improving the quality of the machinery.

We also have ancillary equipment. On our bottle-inspection unit, we can test for color; we can, of course, test for leaks; we can test for bottle dimension, wall thickness, metal contamination and correct neck finish. Some people just sell leak detection, but ours is really an inspection unit. We go even further downstream through another division, Amsler Packaging Technology, which focuses on liquid filling, labeling, packaging, all the way to palletizing. So we can provide everything from blow molding to palletizing — and that gives us another leg to stand on, so we have three legs.

When you are not working, what do you do for fun?

Amsler : I have a U.S. pilot’s license based on my Canadian pilot’s license. That’s one of my hobbies — I fly as much as I can, and I ski. I also have a model railroad — called a garden railroad — outside. It’s not big enough to sit on — not like the ones at the mall that people ride on; it’s 1-to-22 scale; a locomotive might be 3 feet long. The train goes through gardens and railway bridges.

What would you like to see as your industry epitaph? How do you want to be remembered?

Amsler : The motto right now is that Amsler provides quality equipment. I think that’s good and I just want to build on that.

Our Client Clariant Masterbatches North America On The News

Heidi Amsler

Read the full article here…

Clariant, a global specialty chemicals producer headquartered in Muttenz, Switzerland, announced the availability of new blow molding tools that can help customers evaluate how Clariant color and additive masterbatches perform in real-world applications. The tooling is available for use on full-size production of blow molding machines located in the company’s technical center in Chicago.

The new single-cavity tool, which is intended for reheat stretch blow molding of clear or colored PET polyester resins, produces a 12-oz. (355-ml) round bottle with a long neck and curved sides. The design is intended to reflect current trends for liquor bottles, but can also be used to evaluate wine, soft drink and other food and beverage containers, as well.

“This new mold includes the details that customers told us they wanted in prototype tooling,” explained Peter Prusak, Head of Marketing, Clariant Masterbatches North America. “The tooling we’ve had in the past produced flask-shaped bottles, and the broad, flat panels were not as representative of the shapes that producers of liquor bottles and other beverage containers are looking for today.”

The tooling can be used to evaluate not only color, but also performance-enhancing additives and barrier properties, as well. Prusak says that the way plastic materials stretch to create a bottle’s shape can vary depending on the color and other ingredients in the compound. A resin/masterbatch combination that works well in one shape can develop cosmetic flaws or unacceptable physical properties in another. This is why it is so important to produce shapes that more accurately mimic the actual end-product containers.

In an interview with PlasticsToday, Prusak noted that purchasing tooling for customers to use in material tryouts is a “unique proposition” that has real value for the company’s customers. “A few customers came to us noting that we had tooling for personal care products, but [asked] what about food and beverage and heavy duty liquids?” he said. “We saw the need for this and nobody has anything out there specifically for food and beverage. That’s why we built the tooling for food and beverage and have an additional mold in the works that will be announced next month.”

Clariant worked with a few of its customers to design the mold, which is a typical aluminum two-stage blow mold. “We went with a two stage because if it works in a two stage it will work in a one stage, and we have the production equipment for that purpose,” Prusak said. Clariant can make products for both pellet and liquid masterbatch so that customers know how their product will look with a liquid color carrier.

When asked about plans for putting equipment and prototype molds in any of its other facilities, Prusak said that currently the capabilities are in Chicago because the company’s Color Works design center is there, making it a natural fit for the tech center. However, there is some consideration being given to installing something similar in the company’s Chino, CA, facility.

PET bottles, flasks and an HDPE cooler take top honors in blow molding

Heidi Amsler

CHICAGO — The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Blow Molding Division presented awards to packaging innovations like triangular bottles, flask containers for Jack Daniels, an industrial products line a game table and a giant ice cooler.Judges selected winners from 14 entries, at the SPE Blow Molding Conference, held Oct. 5-7 in Chicago. This was the second annual blow molded parts competition.
Here is a recap of the awards:

Packaging

First place: W. Amsler Equipment Inc. of Richmond Hill, Ontario, won for a set of four triangular-shaped PET bottles that nest together for efficient packaging. Retailers also save space. The bottles use recycled food-grade PET to replace PVC. 55oz spin trim Jar is created with the two-step PET stretch blow molding process. Two-step blow molding gives four times higher output per mold than the one-step process.

The blow molder is Salboro Bottle, using a mold from V.P. Tool & Mold.

Plastics News – W Amsler Equipment Adds CNC Capability

Heidi Amsler

Amsler Equipment is finalizing a contract with Mag-Plastic Machinery Inc., a competitor that stopped building blow molding machines several years ago. “We will be providing service for the Mag blow molders. And we will have a new service technician,” Heidi Amsler said. The technician, Don Nannie, had been a Mag service technician who is transitioning over to Amsler.Heidi Amsler said the service agreement covers the United States and Canada….

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