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5/9/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Injection-Blow Molding Line Gets a Technology Makeover

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Jomar is adding servo-hydraulic drives and Industry 4.0 capabilities to established workhorse machines.

Jomar Corp., a pioneer in injection-blow molding machinery, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year by giving its product line a technological refresh. “We’re known for our durable, workhorse machinery,” says Ron Gabriele, sales manager. “In the last few years, we’ve been integrating the latest technology with our proven machines. We want to reinvent the expectations of what our machines can do.”

You can see the results at Booth S12077, where Jomar is running its new IntelliDrive line, which employs variable-speed hydraulic pumps to save almost 50% of the energy used by its former models and trim dry-cycle times as well. These models replace the single fixed-speed pump of older 85- to 175-ton machines with a servo-driven pump for the injection unit and a smaller pump with variable-frequency drive (VFD) for the clamp.

Not only that, says Gabriele, but Jomar has added a closed-loop system on the clamp hydraulics that provides much tighter control of speed and position.

“We’re totally embracing the possibilities of Industry 4.0,” he adds. The machine at the show is collecting data and transmitting it via internet link to a remotely viewable “dashboard” that provides a quick assessment of machine status and performance. Remote monitoring by Jomar’s service department is another feature of the new machines. “Our immediate goal is to be able to identify malfunctions quickly, but in the near future we will add predictive-maintenance capabilities, and the future potential of Industry 4.0 are practically limitless.”

Gabriele hopes to open molders’ minds to a wider range of applications for Jomar machines. “At NPE, we’ll be showing a small PC part, which is a bit unusual for us. Most of our projects are done in polyolefins, but we’re getting more requests for small, thick, ‘glass-like’ containers, which are entirely appropriate for our machines. We are in the advanced stages of developing our ability to run non-stretched PET bottles for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.”

Jomar also wants to stimulate thinking about how injection-blow molding can compete in areas previously considered the turf of extrusion blow or even stretch-blow molding. An example is a large shampoo bottle, similar in weight and shape to bottles made by extrusion blow, but with higher-quality neck finish and more consistent weight.

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