The latest introductions in extrusion blow molding focused on faster color changeovers, higher bottle production, and integration with form-and-fill operations. In PET stretch-blow equipment, new models showed enhanced capabilities, such as making a 90-liter container from 100% recycled PET, molding PET jars and bottles on a standard injection-blow press, and stretch-blowing a wider range of resins. There was also news in downstream deflashing technology.
Fast color change is the attraction of new S-series spiral accumulator heads from Davis-Standard Blow Molding Systems, Edison, N.J. Offered only with monolayer capability at present, they reportedly can complete a light-to-dark color change in seven shots, versus 30 to 40 shots for conventional accumulators. The design is also said to reduce pressure drop and improve wall-thickness uniformity. The S line will be offered in sizes of 5 to 75 lb.
Want to produce 4-oz to 2.5-gal juice and dairy containers at rates of 25 million to more than 200 million bottles a year? Then you may want to take a look at the 12-station vertical rotary unit offered by Wilmington Machinery, Wilmington, N.C. This new style of rotary machine makes containers with one to three parisons and 12 to 18 mold stations (each with a 7.5-ton, cam-operated toggle clamp). A 6-in., 30:1 extruder with 300-hp drive can produce 3600 bottles/hr with a single parison. Up to seven-layer coextrusion and in-mold labeling are offered.
This is Wilmington’s first all-electric machine. It is less expensive than the firm’s other machines because it has one wheel instead of two.
Blow It, Fill It, Seal It
Techne North America Inc., Bensenville, Ill., has developed a new long stroke machine with fill-and-seal capability. The new All-Pac 10000 form/fill/seal machine is a 13-cavity model that makes up to 1-liter containers. It has a 1-ton clamp on a linear-bearing slide mechanism that is said to give high repeatability. Other features include bottle trim and deflashing inside the machine and integrated top-load and leak testing. Downstream auxiliaries include a filler and bottle weigh scale.
Long & Longer Strokes
Techne has also lengthened the stroke on its 4000 Series machine to permit higher mold cavitation.
Automa Machine & Tool Inc., Maple Grove, Minn., has also stretched the stroke of its AT 10 single- and dual-sided shuttle machines to 660 mm from 600 mm, allowing for more or larger cavitation. It can make up to a 15-liter container in a single cavity or 250-cc bottles in 10 cavities. Linear bearings for the mold carriage replace tiebars for better rigidity and smoother motion.
Bigger PET Machines
The largest stretch-blow molded object ever made—a 90-liter container made 100% of recycled PET—and the new machine that produced it both made their U.S. debut at the show. The 3000H-60 injection-stretch-blow unit from Aoki Laboratory America, Elk Grove Village, Ill., can mold and blow a preform 713 mm long x 140 mm wide. Onishi Trading Co. of Japan is selling the container, which is being used as a refuse deposit next to a vending machine.
Heat set, wide mouth, and multi-layer capability will all be brought together in an updated line of machines from Nissei ASB Co., Atlanta. The new features are not expected to increase cycle times. The firm says its machines can run up to five layers using three materials.
In other developments, Nissei said it raised the ovality ratio of its PF8-4 machine to 2.5:1 from 2:1. Output rates are the same even with the upgraded feature.
Nissei also announced that its more traditional ASB machines can now run a range of materials, including PP, PS, or polycarbonate. In addition, it has developed a special machine to produce 5-gal containers from PET or polycarbonate. It allows a user to serve the 5-gal market with newer and cheaper PET products, while still making PC containers for customers that are slow to change. Nissei says PC is 30-40% more costly than PET.
Injection-Blow Units Will Take Up PET
Molding PET without stretching on standard rotary injection-blow machines is a new capability that Jomar Corp., Pleasantville, N.J., will offer soon after the expiration of a Wheaton patent on the process this month. This method is reportedly suited to making wide-mouth pharmaceutical and cosmetic containers with high gram weights.
Jomar also showed its capability to mold unstretched PET on a three-station machine with vertical injection and horizontal clamps. Jomar’s 85-S model molded 75-cc PET bottles in eight-cavity molds at 2900 bottles/hr on a 9.8 sec/cycle.
News in PET Reheat-Blow
A new capability on the USP line of rotary reheat stretch-blow machines from Urola scl of Legazpi, Italy, is the ability to mold handles on PET bottles. This is said to be the first reheat model with this capability. At the show, Urola’s USP 2 model made 5-liter PET bottles at 900/hr in a single cavity.
New Auxiliary Device
Rocheleau Tool & Die Co. Inc., Fitchburg, Mass., developed an automated takeout and deflashing system for bottle sizes up to 1 gal. The new unit is used with the firm’s RS-25 extrusion blow molder, which can produce bottles up to 5 gal in a single cavity. It is offered in one- to three-head punch configurations and operates at up to 1800 bottles/hr. The unit features quick connects for fast changeovers.