Blanke Plastic Co. is installing what it says is the largest Uniloy injection blow molding machine ever made. Kevin Carpenter, spokesman for the Hermann, Mo.-based molder, said the 189-ton Uniloy machine, to be installed in the first quarter of this year, will bring to 34 the number of blow and injection molding lines at the Blanke facility.
He said the machine will handle 40 percent more work than the company's next-largest machine, and will increase production and cut cycle times.
Dennis Tate, injection blow molding project director for Johnson Controls Inc., parent company of Uniloy, said the machine is the largest the company has ever built and is the first of that size to be placed with a molder.
Although JCI has made a series of 189-ton machines, Tate, interviewed by telephone, said the new system features tie rods spaced 8 inches farther apart than earlier models, and increased swing radius, as well as expanded clamp size.
Blanke stood 76th in Plastics News' 1994 ranking of top blow molders in North America, with about $12.3 million in blow molding sales.
``We expect about 15 percent growth in sales this year,'' Carpenter said. ``We have made about $1 million in changes which should make that growth possible.''
The company added injection blow molding machines, a quality-control laboratory, new sales and administrative offices and new control systems in the past year. It also hired Wayne Half-acre as general manager. Half-acre, formerly a plant manager at Rexham Containers Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., has wide experience in all levels of plastics molding.
Not counting the new 189-ton molding machine, Blanke has 16 injection blow molding lines and 10 extrusion blow molding lines, and seven injection presses. The company produces a wide range of polystyrene containers for household and consumer products.
It also offers a full line of package decorating and silk-screen, pad and heat-transfer printing.