At NPE: Blow Mold 10,000-Liter Tanks

By: Matthew H. Naitove 27. March 2015

Rikutec, the German builder of large extrusion blow machines, is building what it calls “the world’s largest blow molder” for making above-ground water tanks of 7000 L and weighing 550 lb in the Middle East. The GBM S10.000 LD machine (photo) has a clamp force of 600 metric tons, 400 L accumulator head, and four extruders of 150 mm diam., providing a total throughput capacity of 5720 lb/hr. The max. shot capacity of the head is 726 lb. It can produce hollow bodies of up to 10,000 L. The water tanks will have a UV-stabilized outer layer, food-grade inner layer, and two middle layers pigmented black to prevent light transmission and algae growth. The middle layers will also contain calcium carbonate for stiffness at summer temperatures up to 131 F. These tanks will be 10-12 mm thick and molded at about eight tanks/hr using a single operator. Rikutec compares this to rotomolding tanks 25-30 mm thick with a foamed core and requiring four people to produce one tank/hr.


Rikutec (U.S. office in Whitinsville, Mass.) is exhibiting together with Kautex Machines, North Branch, N.J. (W1551) The two companies have cooperated since 2010. Their product lines are complementary, since Kautex produces machines for up to about 1000 L, which is where the Rikutec line starts.

At NPE: New Blow Molders from Italy

By: Matthew H. Naitove 27. March 2015

S.T. Soffiaggio Technica s.r.l. of Italy is showing a recently developed tiebarless suction-blow molder (booth S12139). The model ASPI 150.2 (photo) has a 22-ton clamp, 70-mm extruder, and 2L accumulator head. Designed for molding very complex 3D shapes while minimizing scrap, the unit featured a new 4WDS radial thickness control with four actuators. This ST-patented development has 500 control points.


In booth W1950, North American processors can get their first look at the all-electric PB5E-DL double-station shuttle machine from Plastiblow Srl of Italy (represented by Hamilton Plastic Systems, Mississauga, Ont.). The machine has a 12-ton clamp and 480-mm carriage stroke, as well as a W. Mueller extrusion head and a module that recovers braking energy from the carriage movements and converts it back into electrical power.


Other features include a servo-driven parison thickness controller and patented regulation device for individual blow-pin calibration stroke. Fine adjust ment of each blow-pin calibration stroke can be done safely from the operator panel while the machine is in running mode. The machine also features quick changeover, with a remote control device to actuate the blow-pin up/down movement at creep speed while the front gate is open. This allows the operator to be safely close to the tools during centering of the blow pins relative to the striker plates.


A servo-driven two-axis robot picks up trimmed bottles from the deflashing station and places them on a bottle merge conveyor belt, which makes for a compact footprint. Plastiblow is represented here by Hamilton Plastic Systems Ltd., Mississauga, Ont.

High-Flow, Low-Density TPEs For Automotive Debut

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 27. March 2015

Aiming at a variety of automotive applications such as cup holders, air-guide systems, window seals is Kraiburg TPE, Duluth, Ga., which launched at NPE2015 new custom high-flow TPEs. They are said to allow for filling the mold cavity with even pressure, resulting in consistent gloss on the show surface of the part. Compared to other TPEs, TPVs and PVC, the Kraiburg TPE’s are said to typically increase the molder’s profitability because they yield reduced cycle time, reduced scrap, and are easier to process.


In addition, the high-flow TPEs are formulated to have less off gassing than competitive grades, which enables the process to run longer without having to have the mold cavity surface cleaned—a major cost advantage. In addition, these grades have very low specific gravity—generally 0.93 g/cc, while commonly used PVC has a typical density of 1.40 g/cc. Using these densities, in a typical design for rear quarter light window, these TPEs have been shown to offer a vehicle weight savings of 0.63 lbs.


Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.


At NPE: Versatile Wheel & Reciprocating Blow Molders

By: Matthew H. Naitove 26. March 2015

Wilmington Machinery, Wilmington, N.C., is showing off several new and improved models of extrusion blow molding machines (booth W1255).


The Model VSR rotary wheel provides calibrated neck finish (up to 90 mm) for medium to large containers with in-machine deflashing. It’s said to offer unusual flexibility: six to eight cavities, clamp force of 5 or 10 tons, and container sizes from 2 to 10 L. It also reportedly handles a wide variety of mold sizes with minimum setup or changeover time. It also offers mono- or multilayer extrusion and robotic takeout. The machine is said to be priced economically for jobs requiring 10-20 million bottles/yr.


Wilmington’s SB (Small Bottle) series of wheel machines has been expanded to meet new new dual-parison, three-layer applications. The first machine of this type is producing lightweight 4-oz containers on a 6-sec cycle. Some SB models have also been enhanced to accommodate Wilmington’s Radial Positioning feature that allows running bottles of different sizes.


The company’s Series III wheel series has been upgraded by greatly simplifying clamp and wheel setup for faster setup time and reduced wear.


In addition, Wilmington is extending its line with the introduction of an in-line, multi-clamp reciprocating blow molder for medium-volume production of industrial and agricultural packaging as well as automotive, toys, and other parts.

At NPE: Precise Valve-Gate Programming

By: Matthew H. Naitove 26. March 2015

Heitec hot runners are featured in the booth (W483) of Technoject Machinery Corp., Bolton, Ont. (U.S. office in Chicago). A highlight of the booth is a two-drop valve-gate system driven by a Visio-NV-Drive system, which can delay opening time by adjustable increments of 0.01 sec and can set end positions in increments of 0.01 mm. The valve pins are controlled by an electric Visio Linear Drive.

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