Persico offers electric Leonardo machines

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Rotomolding, Machinery

CLEVELAND (May 15, 4:15 p.m. ET) — Persico SpA is rolling out the next generation of its fully automated Leonardo rotational molding machines, which use electricity for heating and cooling the molds directly, instead of oil.

The Italian company conducted extensive research and development before making the change, said a company official, Sergio Zilioli, in a presentation May 7 at the Society of Plastics Engineers’ rotomolding TopCon in Cleveland.

“We found out that with electrical resistance applied to the molds, we get a benefit that we can’t get with oil,” said Zilioli, Persico sales manager for the United States and Brazil.

The machinery maker in Nembro, Italy, currently is building two of the new electric machines for customers in Germany, one each for Italy and France, he said. Persico is in “deep discussion” with customers in the Unites States and Brazil.

Leonardo is a major innovation for rotomolding. Instead of cycling a turning mold through an oven, then a cooling station before manual part removal, Leonardo heats and cools the mold right at the mold surface. Initially, the machines used heated and chilled oil pumped through channels machined in the mold—and Zilioli said Persico has installed five of these machines that use oil heating and cooling in the United States and two in Australia and 35 in Europe, mostly in Italy.

The machines are highly automated, loading the resin, loading the mold with resin, opening and closing the mold and removing parts. The mold is held under vacuum to remove bubbles and pinholes.

But now, Persico uses a series of resistors applied directly to the mold surface, for heating and cooling.

At the SPE rotomolding conference, Zilioli gave a case study of a Finnish maker of organic waste composters and dry toilets that has purchased a Leonardo to make 15,000 bodies and lids a year.

Persico installed a fully automatic, turnkey system: a Leonardo machine and molds, robots and equipment that automatically applies a sealing gasket. Persico engineers incorporated the customer’s existing machine to foam the hollow parts with polyurethane insulation into the manufacturing cell. The total investment was about 2 million euros ($2.5 million), he said.

“It was a big project for the customer. They were previously buying the parts from a custom molder, and they decided to bring inside the production of the parts with the highest volumes,” Zilioli said. “But they decided to approach it in a different way—not with a conventional machine but with a Leonardo, because this company is very sensitive to the environment, from the product line and also from the company policy.”

The efficient electric mold technology reduces energy savings, he said. Also, there is no need to pre-heat any oil, or change oil.

The customer in Finland, who Zilioli did not identify, also is building a wind turbine next to its factory to power the Leonardo and the plant’s lighting.

The bodies of the composter and toilers remain on the bottom of the mold once it’s opened. A robot moves the parts into a cooling station. Later, a robot moves them to the automated foaming area.

After his speech, Zilioli said Persico will still make oil machines for existing customers, but officials are pushing the electric molds as the second generation Leonardos.


Comments

Persico offers electric Leonardo machines

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Flexibility for complexity key for Brampton

September 16, 2014 11:26 am ET

Blown film machinery maker Brampton Engineering Inc. is well positioned to meet growing demand for complex film structures, highly customized...    More

Image

US plastics machinery market still gaining strength in second quarter

September 15, 2014 5:01 pm ET

UPDATED — U.S. plastics machinery shipments in the second quarter continued to outperform activity in 2013, according to data from Society of...    More

Image

ATS goes global with acquisition of M+W Process Automation

September 10, 2014 2:49 pm ET

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., a maker of factory automation systems in Cambridge, Ontario, has agreed to buy a German company M+W Process...    More

Image

Orenda says new pulverizer improves efficiency through cooling

September 10, 2014 1:41 pm ET

Orenda Automation Technologies Inc. will unveil a new pulverizer with new cooling technology at the Rotoplas conference for rotational molders, Oct....    More

Image

Material handing systems maker expanding Kentucky operations

September 9, 2014 1:47 pm ET

Intelligrated Inc., which makes material conveying and palletizing equipment for warehousing and distribution, and manufacturing, is expanding its man...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events