DUSSELDORF, GERMANY-Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. continued its European push for 96-cavity PET preform molds. Europe has been slower than North America to adopt molds with such a high output, because European processors tend to serve smaller, more regional markets.
Husky's 96-cavity mold, for example, can produce more than 23,000 preforms an hour, working on a 16-second cycle on a 660-ton Husky molding machine, according to the company.
Husky's sales for fiscal 1995, ended July 31, grew 53 percent over 1994, to $609 million. Husky, based in Bolton, Ontario, invested $59 million in capital improvements and $19 million in research and development in fis-cal 1995.
A good chunk of that money went to establish a European technical center at its complex in Dudelange, Luxembourg. The center opened in June.
During a tour Oct. 13, the day after the K show ended, Husky officials disclosed they will build a plant to begin manufacturing molds in Dudelange by 1997. A small pilot operation is making molds there now.
In Europe, Husky currently makes molds and hot-runner systems in Wiesbaden, Germany. Once mold production begins in Dudelange, Wiesbaden will switch to making only hot-runner systems.
Husky began assembling large-tonnage injection presses in Dudelange in 1985. During the tour after K, visitors learned that Husky plans to join the ranks of companies that are offering a two-platen injection molding press.
At K'95 in Dusseldorf, Husky showed several innovations for thinwall packaging containers, including the company's new servo-driven swing chutes for parts removal.
Previously, the swing chutes operated mechanically along with the opening and closing of the mold.
The result is a quicker cycle, since the servo-driven swing chutes move parts out of the molding area before the mold reaches the fully open position, allowing mold closing to begin immediately.
Suction cups on the arms hold the parts. Once the mold is closed, the vacuum is released and the parts slide down the chutes, oriented in the proper direction for packaging or further processing.
Husky said the servo-driven swing chutes have resulted in cycle time reductions of 15 percent, compared with mechanically actuated chutes.
Husky officials also announced it has extended its four-level stack mold technology to containers.
Last year, Husky introduced the system for lids. According to the company, cycle times for the four-level stack molds are only marginally longer than times for two-level molds, thanks to a heavy-duty linkage mechanism. Husky said it is working on the process to make larger containers.
In closure molds, Husky showed the 3R, which uses rotating ratchet rings to unscrew threaded closures from the cores. The cores remain stationary.
Husky said it has built more than 20 of the 3R molds since the product was introduced at NPE '94 in Chicago. According to Husky, the technology provides faster cycles with less maintenance than molds with rotating cores.
Husky also demonstrated its Moduline line of three-axis, top-entry robots, able to carry a load ranging from 15-264 pounds.