Blow Molding: New Machine Adopts Electro-Mechanical Actuators, Quick-Change Trimmer

Working in conjunction with customer Nampak, Velocity Equipment Solutions (New Castle, Penn.) is introducing two technology advances for the blow molding of HDPE containers.

The resulting machine replaces hydraulic cylinders, pumps and actuators with electro-mechanical actuators and a quick-change high-speed rotary impact trimmer.

Velocity claims that the technologies will lower blow molders’ operating costs, with the quick-change capabilities eliminating the need for multiple production lines to produce multiple containers. In addition, Velocity believes its clamping technology can increase cavitation to a point where its output would “rival” wheel-style blow molding machines.

By replacing hydraulic cylinders, pumps and actuators with electro-mechanical actuators, Velocity said it has eliminated potential failure points common to reciprocating blow mold machines such as ball splines, thrust assemblies and hydraulic components. Motions on the machine are precision guided, according to Velocity, leading to longer life of components.

The machine was specifically designed for Nampak Plastics to be changed from an Infini 4-pint (2.3-liter) 35g bottle on 10 heads to a 2-pint (1.1-liter), 22g bottle on 12 heads within an 8-hour shift. 

The quick-change high-speed rotary impact trimmer is capable of speeds up to 160 bottles per minute, eliminating common problems associated with other rotary trimmers, including scrap handling and a very narrow operating window. 

By placing drive mechanics above the spindles, the machine’s underside is completely open for the scrap handling funnel. Also, although the trim tooling travels in a rotary motion, the actual trimming is a conventional impact trim.