‘Universal’ Stretch-Blow Molder Offers Maximum Flexibility with Fast Changeovers

Ever hear of blow molding machines from Lithuania? Terekas’ FlexBlow promises economy, flexibility in a PET stretch machine from the Baltics.

If you need a PET stretch-blow machine that can mold an extremely wide range of sizes and shapes of containers in small volumes, with quick changeovers, and at an economical price, take a look at FlexBlow from Terekas UAB in Lithuania. You can see one of these machines in action at Pack Expo in Las Vegas, Sept. 25-27.

Never heard of blow molding machines from Lithuania? “Did you know that Lithuania is ranked one of the 10 best-educated countries in Europe?” asks Gytis Servinskas, market development manager. “That means we have highly qualified labor at a reasonable wage rate. That makes us price competitive.”

Terekas was started in 1994 as a bottle maker. A few years later it graduated to building its own machines, which it soon started offering for sale to other molders. It shipped its first two machines to Canada two years ago and just delivered the first system to a custom blow molder in New York State. Its all-electric machines use standard, high-quality European components from Siemens, AEG, and Festo.

What makes these machines unusual is their wide range of versatility, said to be unprecedented for a two-stage (reheat) system. Normally, such flexibility is associated with more expensive one-stage machines. For example, a two-cavity FlexBlow 2 model (pictured) can mold neck sizes from 18 to 110 mm, bottle sizes from 50 ml to 2L (or up to 6L in one cavity) at outputs around 1600 bph.

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It can produce oval or asymmetric bottles and hot-fill containers (to 93 C/200 F), and it guarantees alignment of neck detail to the container body. A complete format changeover, including restart time to produce good bottles, is 20-30 min, according to Servinskas. This system is said to suit a custom bottle market that requires batches as small as 10,000 to 20,000 bottles at a time.

A full report on FlexBlow machines will appear in the September issue of Plastics Technology.