New downstream auxiliaries for extrusion blow molding were shown at NPE2015 by Proco Machinery Inc., Mississauga, Ont. The Ultratest leak tester can process 120 containers/min with one test head and up to 300/min with a maximum of six heads. Upgraded controls are self-calibrating and self-checking (every 100 tests, the system confirms that the test orifice is not clogged). A photo detector confirms that any leakers are ejected. It comes with an adjustable-height conveyor 18 in. wide by 54 in. long.
Also new is the Robopik EX2 takeout automation system. This new design is more compact and simpler, with fewer moving parts, faster setup, and lower maintenance—as well as lower cost than previous systems. The device takes the container and transfers it directly to the deflasher, where tail and top flash is removed. After deflashing, an articulated vacuum conveyor extends into the deflasher and retracts with the container in an upright orientation. The new design permits use of only one set of tooling (unlike the two sets required for the previous system). Deflashing occurs in one station instead of two, and the system utilizes two-axis servo drive instead of three axes in the previous system. It also has a single arm instead of dual arm. But all this comes at no sacrifice of speed—still under 10 sec/bottle.
Editor PickVideo: Q&A with Bill Carteaux of Plastics Industry Association
Industry outlook, Trump’s impact on trade, NPE 2018 progress update, the West region’s import on plastics and the association’s rebranding discussed.