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Kautex offering rapid prototyping through shell inserts

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April 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA (April 5, 5:35 p.m. ET) — Kautex Maschinebau (Booth 1751), a manufacturer of extrusion blow molding machines, is now offering rapid prototyping, allowing clients to go from sending a 3D CAD drawing to holding a blow molded sample in 48 hours.

The Bonn, Germany-based manufacturer has developed a shell insert system that cuts the time needed for prototyping from 6 weeks to 48 hours. The patent-pending machine uses pre-finished inserts as well as cooling system to cut down on time.

“In packaging, time to market is everything,” said Bill Farrant, president and CEO, at an NPE2012 news conference in Orlando.

The finished prototype gives clients a chance to hold a blow molded bottle, one that they can touch and squeeze, so they have a better sense of what the finished product will be like, he said.

“When a designer makes a bottle, he wants to know the feeling,” added Thilo Schmidt, director of global customer service.

Kautex introduced its rapid prototyping service earlier this year after developing and testing the machine in its labs. The new machine has already generated interest and the company has several projects lined up, Farrant said.

The company has had a prosperous few years, with record growth in every sector since 2009. It’s also made strides in product innovation, Farrant said.

Last month, they opened a 2 million euros ($2.6 million) on a research and development lab. The lab runs six machines and includes a container lab with complete container analysis.

The lab employs a full-time staff of experts and is one of the largest in the industry, said Andreas Lichtenauer, managing director and partner.

Kautex is currently testing a new hydraulic shuttle drive that offers improved dynamics, greater recuperation of energy, and an expected 3.5 percent production gain.

The firm also plans to debut a fully-electric machine at Germany’s K Show in 2013. The new machine will employ a modular design to cut down on mass, but has a projected 100 percent increase in output compared to similar size hydraulic machines.