The Bottle Switch is a patented quick-change system from Sidel (U.S. office in Norcross, Ga.) that reduces PET mold-change times to less than a minute. For a changeover, the required blowing station is placed in front of the operator. The mold-support units open automatically, so the operator just has to change the molds, which require no tools. Sidel says the system increases safety and uses 50% less machine downtime. For example, on an SBO 20 Universal2, a full-format, bottle-to-bottle changeover is now 18 min for a single operator, instead of 33 min for two operators with the previous system. This includes replacing the shells, body, and mold base, as well as the stretching thrusts. The system is available for the most recent generations of SBO Universal blow molders (new and retrofits), and will be available by the end of the year for all SBO Series2 and Combi machines.
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