Higher throughputs and greater energy efficiency will be two big themes in blow molding at next month’s K 2010 show. Processors will be able to check out the latest in hybrid and all-electric blow molding machines for extrusion, injection, and stretch-blow. There will be a machine for sequentially coextruding two parisons for a multi-material 3D part. You’ll also see new reheat stretch-blow styles targeting narrow- and wide-mouth applications.
ELECTRIC & HYBRID MACHINES
Bekum (bekum.de) will introduce its newgeneration BM-07 series extrusion blow molders in both hydraulic and all-electric (EBlow) versions. The BM-07 feature a new clamp design that promises trouble-free pinchoff while permitting top and bottom calibration. The machine is offered in mold widths from 350 to 700 mm and clamps from 10 to 24 tons. An EBlow BM-307D with 11-ton clamp will be at the show. The all-electric version offers energy savings up to 50% and up to 15% shorter dry cycles.
Jomar (jomarcorp.com) will introduce its 85S Hybrid injection-blow molder, which teams an electric screw drive with a hydraulic accumulator to enable use of a 30-hp motor rather than a 75-hp motor. Energy consumption is cut by up to 50% vs. a comparably sized Jomar hydraulic. Jomar will also roll out its Model 20 injection-blow unit for small bottles. It can produce dropper bottles from commodity resins like LDPE in 6 to 8 cavities, or 50-ml bottles in 4 cavities using engineering materials.
Meccanoplastica (meccanoplastica.com) will introduce an all-electric version of its Jet55 injection-blow molder for small PET cosmetic containers. The electric version has a larger internal production space than the hydraulic one, allowing users to produce containers up to 200-ml size. A Jet55/L will produce 30-ml PET containers in 8 cavities at the show.
Meccanoplastica also will introduce a double-station extrusion blow shuttle, the HL350/D, which the company calls its first “fully electric” machine, though it makes innovative use of a bit of hydraulic oil. Up to now, the company has offered hybrids with electric drive of screw rotation and the extruder bobbing motion. The new unit has electric-driven screw, extruder bobbing, carriage stroke, movement of blowing nozzles, and parison thickness regulator. Mold open/close is also electric driven, but at the end of the closing stroke, an electric motor and ball screw are used to compress a few cc’s of oil to achieve clamp pressure.
The difference between the compression surface area driven by the electric motor and a bigger surface area inside the oil compression chamber allows clamp force to be generated with only a few Nm (ft-lb) developed by the electric motor. There is no hydraulic pump. Compressed air is used to transfer oil from a small tank on the clamp. Meccanoplastica calls this clamp “hydro-electric.” (Is that “fully electric” or hybrid? You decide.) The machine has 350- or 400-mm carriage stroke and a 6.6-ton clamp to produce bottles up to 3-liter size.
Magic MP (magicmp.it) is expanding its range of all-electric extrusion blow molders with the ME-L15-20/D, its new 30-ton double-sided model, which will produce 5-liter handleware in 8 cavities at 2400 bottles/hr. Magic will also roll out the ME-L30/ND, a new 45-ton all-electric model that will produce two 25-liter containers in a single-sided configuration. Magic will also release a new model in the UE hybrid series (UE-L5-8/D-XL) that accommodates larger molds.
In what may be an industry first, Uniloy Milacron Srl of Italy (uniloy.it) will roll out an all-electric model that coextrudes two parisons for production of 3D automotive air ducts. The new UMA 12 SeCo2 EnergiaZero uses electric injectors to sequentially coextrude a dual-resin parison. Screw rotation and push-out sequence are actuated by electric servomotors. The unit has a 12-ton tiebarless toggle clamp that accommodates long molds that extend beyond the platens. Compared with accumulator blow molding systems, the injectors are said to deliver a leak-proof resin path, faster purge, lower power consumption, and simpler maintenance.
This machine also marks the premiere of the all-electric coextrusion head from W. Muller (wmuller.com). Two different resins are sequenced through a single head. The head features a Radial Parison Variation device for asymmetrical parison-thickness control. Automatic positioning of the head is achieved through electric motors operating in a closed loop through position transducers.
Uniloy Milacron Germany GmbH (uniloy-milacron.de) will also demonstrate its new dual-station all-electric extrusion blow model UMS 12E.D. It has a triple-parison head with 10-mm center spacing and a 13-ton clamp, larger than previous electric single-station models with 4- and 8-ton clamps. The control cabinet beneath the extruder base frame trims the overall footprint by 22%.
In other developments, Kautex Maschinenbau (kautex-group.com) will showcase its new KLS 8-100 long-stroke extrusion shuttle machine with finishing operations fully integrated into the machine.
Nissei ASB (nisseiasb.co.jp) will introduce a double-row injection-stretch-blow machine. The one-step ASB-150DPW produces narrow- and wide-mouth, small- to medium-sized containers from 50 ml to 1.5L at speeds up to 10,800/hr. It can process PET, PLA, PC, and RPET in neck sizes up to 94 mm. A special version can run PP for medical containers. Energy cost per container is about 40% of Nissei’s single-row ASB-150DP model.
Nissei ASB also will launch the HSB-6M, a reheat stretch-blow machine for wide-mouth, heat-stable PET jars. The machine uses the ASB double-blow process, in which the container is overblown, shrunk back, and then re-blown to its final shape. This achieves sidewall crystallinity above 40% for superior container stability at extreme hot-fill temperatures.
KHS GmbH (khs.com, formerly Corpoplast) will demonstrate an upgraded version of its InnoPET Blomax Series IV reheat stretch-blow system. A newly designed oven cuts in half the time required to heat preforms. Other features include new servo-driven stretch rods that reduce changeover times, and a fixed and moveable mold-hanger system that enables production rates up to 2200 bottles/hr per blow station. KHS will also introduce its InnoPET Plasmax 20 Q barrier coating system that puts an ultra-thin, invisible layer of silicon oxide inside PET bottles for beer, juice, wine, and ketchup.
Sacmi (sacmi.com) is introducing its own reheat stretch-blow systems with its Stretch Blow Forming (SBF) process. Twelve models with 6 to 30 blowing stations are available, along with molds capable of quick changeovers from one 1.5L or 2L bottle to two 0.5L bottles. Electromechanical control of the stretch rod allows variable stretching speed independent of machine speed.
Urola (urola.com) will introduce a PET reheat stretch-blow molder in outputs to 9000 bottles/hr in minimal floor space. The URBI-6 can handle up to 6 cavities and containers up to 2L.