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CHICAGO — Davis-Standard Corp. (Booths N5016, N5028) has developed an electric blow molding accumulator head for industrial applications, the firm revealed in Chicago at NPE. Davis-Standard replaced hydraulics for improved accuracy and energy efficiency, said Michael Mellor, engineering director. It is showing a head with an 8-pound shot size powered by a direct-current servo motor.

Mellor said the unit displayed at NPE will go to an undisclosed customer, where it will run alongside a hydraulic head on a trial basis in a twin-head machine. Davis-Standard will offer electric heads for sale after it proves the technology in a plant setting.

The company displayed the electric head next to its SE430 industrial blow molder with a new, 200-horsepower, alternating-current Vector drive.

Mellor said his firm also is developing an electric kicker cylinder for blow molding machines as a further step to an all-electric blow molder.

Frank Kennedy, Davis-Standard vice president of blow molding systems, said the electric head is the first such system for an accumulator blow molder. Some continuous blow molding machines making small containers have electric heads but they are not common, Kennedy said during an interview at Davis-Standard's booth.

Eliminating the hydraulic head should lead to new blow molding applications in medical markets and other clean-room jobs, he predicted.

Davis-Standard unveiled several new machines and controls for extrusion among the 40-plus machines in its booth. Spokeswoman Diane Beaulieu said the company wanted to show how comprehensive its product line is. At the booth is a wide assortment of blown and cast film machinery, compounders, extrusion coaters and profile and sheet extrusion equipment.

Officials also said Davis-Standard recently opened a technical center in Germany to meet specific needs of European customers.

Davis-Standard showed its entry in the high-output, twin-screw compounding extrusion category. Its Alpha Class twin-screw extruder on display at the booth is designed to compete against the new generation of high-output extruders recently introduced by Werner & Pfleiderer Corp. (Booth S2367) and Berstorff Corp. (Booth N5507), claimed Alfred Bartkiewicz, vice president of sales and engineering for Pawcatuck, Conn.-based Davis-Standard.

The 961/2-millimeter extruder displayed at NPE was sold to Polycom Huntsman just before the show, Bartkiewicz said in an interview at Davis-Standard's booth. It was the first Alpha Class extruder the company built.

Davis-Standard designed the Alpha Class to deliver up to double the power of conventional twin screws. It features splined shafts for higher power transmission and is available in screw speeds up to 1,000 revolutions per minute. It includes many of the firm's D-Tex line features such as a unitized base with machine-mounted water-cooling and lubrication systems.

Bartkiewicz said Davis-Standard's new GP parallel twin-screw extruders for PVC have larger screw diameters and higher torque capacity to boost output substantially. It began making the new GP machines about half a year ago.

Davis-Standard recently opened a technical center in Erkrath, Germany, near Dusseldorf. Dragan Djordjevic, manager of the center, said it will be useful because European polymers can have slightly different morphology than those made in North America.

The new center will help Davis-Standard fine-tune extrusion systems for European needs.