Blow molding equipment makers released relatively little information on their planned product introductions ahead of the show. But of the seven machine builders who were willing to pull back the curtain even a little, six of them said they’d be showcasing all-electric presses. That remarkable fact suggests that all-electric technology, which has been a much harder sell in blow molding than in injection molding, is at last starting to find traction.
Bekum (U.S. office in Williamston, Mich.) will show in public for the first time one of its newest all-electric models with C-frame clamp. That highly accurate and durable clamp design, and the electric EBlow shuttle series, were both launched at the K 2010 show. Since then, the 07 series has been expanded to four models, including the EBlow 407D (double sided) that will be shown in Dusseldorf. It will have a triple spiral-mandrel extrusion head running a cosmetic bottle in highly transparent PP. This double-shuttle model has twin 16.8-ton clamps, and dual conveyors remove bottles from both sides of the machine.
Hesta Blasformtechnik of Germany will launch its all-electric HGE series, a further development of the hybrid HG series, which it replaces. This single-station shuttle series comes in HG360E and HG460E versions, both with 12-metric-ton clamp and able to mold products up to 5-liter volume. Extruders can be 60 to 80 mm diam.
Visitors to the show will also get the first look at the all-electric KBB packaging machines from Kautex (U.S. office in North Branch, N.J.). These continuous-extrusion units boast faster dry cycles, more compact construction, and a modular design that allows for easy customization and expansion or modification in the field. A new quick-change system is said to provide faster mold changes with fewer tools than before. New web-based software allows you to monitor the machine from a smartphone, tablet, or PC. Controls allow all adjustments to be made remotely without halting production and warn automatically when preventive maintenance is due. For increased efficiency, KBB models can incorporate an optional energy-recovery system and utilize only the closing force necessary for the application, using a new and simplified mechanism. Also to be demonstrated is what’s described as a “revolutionary training concept” using a fully operational “virtual machine.”
Uniloy Milacron Germany/B&W (represented here by FGH Systems, Denville, N.J.) will show its new all-electric single-station UMS 20E.S shuttle with 22-ton clamp.
Techne Graham Packaging Co. Italia Srl in Bologna, Italy, will show its latest electric extrusion blow molder, introduced a year ago and already a best-seller for the company. The model ADVT utilizes the same electric technology as the larger Advance ADV models. Aimed at small-to-medium production capacity, the ADVT comes with single or double shuttle and clamp force of 14 to 19 metric tons. Shuttle stroke is 750 mm.
It can produce container sfrom 60 ml to 20 liter capacity with one to three layers. It can mold 1L HDPE milk bottles, for example, at 4800/hr. Main applications have been in motor-oil, personal-care, and food containers. At the K show, a double-shuttle ADV2 (pictured) will mold 200-ml bottles for drinkable yogurt, neck to neck, in 40 cavities, for a capacity of 12,000 bottles/hr on the double shuttle. Energy efficiency is said to be 0.27kWh/kg of resin.
All-electric drives also power a novel single-stage (all-in-one) injection-stretch-blow system from Cypet Technologies of Cyprus. The company previously offered this system in servo-hydraulic models of 160 to 500 m.t. Now it is introducing the all-electric Cypet K 19E (190 m.t.) and K 30E (300 m.t.). They handle up to 16 cavities and blow products up to 10L or 30L, respectively. These models are laid out like a horizontal injection press, with the preform mold mounted below the stretch-blowing mold in the same clamp.
Preforms are molded in a horizontal orientation and bottles in a vertical position. When the mold opens, the preform stripper plate rotates 90° to a vertical orientation, so that the performs can be gripped by a mechanism on top of the clamp that performs part removal and transfer to the blowing station as well as the stretch-blowing action. Preforms and bottles are molded and demolded simultaneously.
One non-electric introduction at the show will come from Graham Engineering Corp., York, Pa. The firm revealed only that it will show new Graham Wheel technology “that introduces flexibility and configurability to enable a range of package shapes and sizes on a single platform.”