Kautex Opens Processing Lab in N.J., Shows Off Enhanced Machines

In September, Kautex Machines Inc. held an open house
in North Branch, N.J., to show off its new processing lab.

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Kautex President Bill Farrant noted this was the first time the U.S. office of German extrusion blow molding machine builder Kautex Maschinenbau has had a dedicated machine for customer trials and demonstrations. Kautex Machines, Inc. moved into its 17,000-ft2 facility in August 2016.

The centerpiece of the lab is a KCC10S MK3 single-sided, continuous-extrusion machine with a three-layer head and 6 metric tons clamp capacity. Also present for the open house was a double-sided KCC15D monolayer machine (20 m.t.), which was soon to be shipped to a customer. The MK3 generation of KCC hydraulic machines was introduced in 2016. This third-generation redesign boasts a reduced footprint and easier access for servicing. Molds can now be changed from the side. Building them in China with greater use of standard modules and components has reduced investment cost and shortened delivery times. Linear bearings on the clamp have replaced tiebars.

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The MK3 series has also adopted the Blow Command 5 controller from the KBB all-electric series. This control features more graphic and intuitive screen displays, gesture commands (like a smart-phone or tablet), embedded machine manual, calendar for maintenance schedules and automatic reminders, and remote diagnostics. Also adopted from the KBB series was the servo takeout robot on the KCC15D, which can be set up directly from the machine controller, where setups can be stored for reuse.

The MK3 upgrade began with the KCC20 (24 m.t.), which was followed by the KCC15 and KCC10 this year. They will be followed by an MK3 version of the KCC5 (6 m.t.) to complete the series.

Also available at Kautex’s new lab is its Virtual Trainer, analogous to an aircraft flight simulator, which runs the actual machine software and displays the exact same screens. It also offers full 3D visualization of simulated machine operations with dynamic rotation and zoom capabilities. The simulator can be used for customer training and to develop operating recipes that can be transferred to an actual machine via USB or Ethernet link. Kautex currently has KBB and KBS simulators and will get a KCC model early next year.

Coming to the Kautex lab will be a machine from partner Meccanoplastica in Italy. Kautex represents Meccanoplastica for rotary injection-blow and linear PET reheat stretch-blow machines, neither of which Kautex builds itself. (Meccanoplastica also makes extrusion blow machines, which are not offered through Kautex.)

Meccanoplastica has built only all-electric machines since 2000.

Chuck Flammer, Kautex Machines v.p. of sales, revealed that his firm has just made its first sale of a Meccanoplastica machine. A Jet 55L injection-blow model is going to Amcor Rigid Plastics for its plant in Youngsville, N.C. Suresh Krishnan, Amcor Rigid Plastics’ sr. director of strategy who attended the September open house, said the 12-cavity machine would be used to blow HDPE pharmaceutical bottles. He said the company wanted an all-electric machine with “smart” controls that could collect all relevant production data and could use existing molds. Krishnan also said the Jet 55L offered better output/ft2 of footprint than other machines. He revealed that Amcor was also ordering a Kautex all-electric KBB40D, which would be exhibited by Kautex at NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla., next May before being shipped to Amcor’s Brittania plant in Canada.

Meccanoplastica will also exhibit at NPE, in its own booth, where it will show a new injection-blow model and possibly a PET machine, according to president Rolando Fantini.

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