Accumulator-Head Blow Molder Is Ready for Industry 4.0

Accumulator-head machine is suited to both standard and suction blow molding operations and is equipped for Industry 4.0.

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S.T. Blow Moulding in Italy, with over 35 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing blow molding machines, is exhibiting the ASPI 400 model at NPE2018. The main feature of this machine is said to be its versatility: With 40-ton clamp force and a 4-liter accumulator head (6.5 lb max shot weight), this model is suitable for both 2D and 3D molding techniques. It can produce auto parts in standard 2D configuration (such as windshield-washer reservoirs), and it can work with parison suction technology as well for production of 3D ducts (such as air-intake ducts for turbocharged engines).

The ASPI 400 machine shown here is equipped with a 70-mm extruder. The screw profile is suitable to plasticate polyolefins or engineering polymers with throughput up to 375 lb/hr of HDPE or 286 lb/hr of nylon 6.

The clamp platens (35 x 43 in.) reportedly can accommodate larger molds than most parison suction machines.

A new heating control is said to reduce power consumption during machine startup: The electric power to each heating zone is modulated to trim the energy peaks.

Inverter-controlled, variable-speed hydraulic pumps adjust the oil output to the machine requirements, resulting in a reduction of energy consumption, noise and wear, the company says.

A new control interface has a 21-in. multi-touch screen. “Job-oriented” navigation displays only the screens needed by the operator to perform a task.

This machine is also said to be ready for Industry 4.0. It has the OPC-UA standard communication protocol. Predictive-maintenance tools are available to schedule “on-demand” maintenance steps and prevent unexpected downtime. A new web application allows authorized users to monitor machine data—production, maintenance, quality—through an internet connection. Using the new ST application, processors can check production data anywhere and anytime from remote devices (tablets or smartphones).