NPE2018 New Technology Focus: All-Electrics Multiply in Blow Molding
All-electric shuttles and injection-blow machines continue to proliferate.
All-electric machines continue to make inroads in blow molding, as indicated by several new models on display. In Booth W2127, Bekum is introducing the electric EBlow 407DL (double-sided, long-stroke) shuttle machine, shown with a multi-layer, spiral-mandrel extrusion head, special quick-mold-change upgrade (15 min without tools), and a very compact layout. This U.S.-built machine has the company’s patented C-frame clamp (22.4 tons), max. mold width of 860 mm, max. mold length of 470 mm, mold depth of 2 × 130 mm, and open daylight of 250 mm.
Kautex Machines (Booth W1543) is molding three-layer personal-care bottles on a KBB40D double-side shuttle, one of its latest series of all-electric machines. This unit has been sold to Amcor, which has representatives at the Kautex booth.
Milacron exhibits one of the third generation of its all-electric shuttle machines in the booth of its representative, FGH Systems (Booth W3631). From this M-Series, introduced in late 2016, FGH has the M12.52ED, a double-sided press with 12-metric-ton clamp, and 520-mm shuttle stroke. At the show it is producing 14-oz personal-care bottles in eight cavities. FGH designed and built the mold and conversion package to accept existing “blow-and-drop” molds for in-machine deflashing using an adapter plate, new transfer arms, and deflashing punches.
Hesta of Germany is showing off its newest and largest all-electric shuttle, the double-station Hesta900 (Booth W2343). It has a 900-mm mold stroke, opening stroke of 240 mm, and 44-ton clamp. Dry-cycle time is 3.3 sec. It can handle up to 16 cavities per side and makes containers up to 5 L (10 L optional). Jackson Machinery (Booth W2149) is a representative for Hesta in the U.S. and Canada.
Electric servo drives are also penetrating injection-blow molding. Pet All Manufacturing in Canada (Booth W6545) has brought one of its new range of CanMold injection-blow machines, an all-electric IBM 300/700. Besides “huge” energy savings, it is said to be faster than hydraulic models and is suited to clean rooms. This 88-ton, three-station machine is aimed at small containers (typically 2 oz to 1 L) for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics with very high neck tolerances.
Milacron is exhibiting in its own booth (Booth W2703) a Uniloy IBS 85 (81 tons) injection-blow system that is available in electric, hydraulic, and hybrid versions. The news here is that this machine is equipped to mold three-layer barrier containers, using Milacron’s Kortec hot-runner co-injection technology. The machine uses a Mold-Masters E-Multi electric servo-driven secondary injection unit to deliver the barrier layer. The IBS 85 will mold a 7.5-g, four-cavity pill bottle in a 12-sec cycle.
Jomar Corp., which has experimented with all-electric drive in the past, has concluded that most cost-effective energy-saving option is its IntelliDrive Series with a servo-hydraulic pump and variable-frequency drive. Jomar (Booth S12077) is running the IntelliDrive Model 85S (72 tons) that was first introduced at K 2016, but the IntelliDrive system has been extended to its two largest machines, 135 and 175 tons—in fact, the conventional hydraulic version of the Model 175 has been discontinued. Intellidrive machines reportedly save up to 50% in energy consumption and use 40% less tower water, at only 10-15% higher cost than standard IBM presses. Jomar also has upgraded the clamp with a closed-loop system that shortens dry-cycle times.
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