By: Rhoda Miel
April 2, 2012
ORLANDO, FLA. (April 2, 9 p.m. ET) — Mold-Masters Ltd. (Booth 4463) is taking aim at the packaging industry with technology that will allow molders to produce caps and closures with an integrated barrier — opening the potential for more adoption of plastics to replace glass and metal containers.
The IRIS technology on display at Mold-Masters’ booth is capable of producing a high density polyethylene cap co-injected with an EVOH barrier using a combination of Mold-Masters production systems. Together, the system is able to meet requirements for hot-filled containers.
The one-process system is faster than post-injection application of barrier liners which require secondary processing.
“This could be used in any tomato-based product like (pasta) sauce, or for baby food jars,” said Bruce Catoen, chief technology officer. “Baby food is the holy grail.”
Mold-Masters process on an Engel press, using a 16-cavity closure mold made by F&S Tool Inc., detection equipment from IMD Equipment, material handling supplied by Piovan SpA and resin from PolyOne has five different Mold-Masters processes in use.
In addition to its IRIS co-injection nozzle, the second material uses Mold-Masters iFlow manifold technology to combine melt streams of the HDPE and EVOH and provide a balanced fill, an E-Drive valve gate control for opening and closing the valve gate pins, an M2 TempMaster for hot runner temperature control and a mold-mounted E-Multi auxiliary injection unit on the press.
Those core technologies have been at the center of Mold-Masters global growth, said CEO Bill Barker. Mold-Masters has seen steady growth each year since the last NPE, with the strongest growth in Asia, but continuing growth in Europe as well.
Mold-Masters recently completed a $20 million expansion of its hot runner plant in Kunshan, China. In Germany, the company’s Baden-Baden facility is increasing its capacity in plate machining by 3 million euros per year.
The company expects those trends to continue, especially in light of macro economic changes including the growing middle class in Asia, the shift to plastics for lighter auto parts and a increased demand from the medical industry as the baby boomer generation ages.
A focus on higher technology production in established markets – with thin walls, engineering resins and co-injection using multiple materials – also brings increased need for key Mold-Masters products in hot runners, control systems and manifolds.
Mold-Masters recently signed an exclusive deal with Australia’s Ritemp Technologies to sell its YGRENE evaporative cooling technology for hot runner applications in the Americas.
The Ritemp system can provide faster cycle times with less energy, reducing water usage with faster cycle times.