DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Krupp Kunststofftechnik GmbH of Essen, Germany, said its new single-stage PET blow molding machine, Ecomax, can push out 1,000-4,000 bottles an hour.
In Dusseldorf, Krupp introduced the Ecomax, a higher-output version of its Blomax two-stage PET machine, an all-electric machine making cosmetic bottles and a new version of the Fischer-W. Muller long-stroke machine.
Before K began, Krupp officials detailed much of the technology at an open house at the firm's new U.S. factory in North Branch, N.J. About 100 customers visited the 38,500-square-foot plant, headquarters of Krupp's U.S. unit, Krupp Plastics & Rubber Machinery (USA) Inc.
KPRM President John Antonopoulos said the U.S. plant is starting out making Krupp Kautex machines that can blow three-layer industrial parts with a shot size up to 150 pounds. The parts can have a capacity as large as 500 gallons. KPRM also is building the long-stroke blow molding machine for packaging.
Krupp, known for its two-stage PET bottle machines, developed the one-stage injection-stretch Ecomax in response to customer demand for flexible machines that can make oval and wide-mouth PET bottles for nonfood products, such as detergent.
Ecomax links technology from two Krupp sister companies. Krupp Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH of Bonn, Germany, is making the preform injection molding module, dubbed Premax. Hamburg, Germany-based Krupp Corpoplast Maschinenbau GmbH is building the blow molding machine, called Blomax.
At K, Krupp ran an Ecomax machine that can make PET bottles, as big as 2 liters, at a rate of 2,000 an hour. The equipment uses five-cavity preform molds and two single-cavity stretch blow molds.
A smaller model makes 1,000 bottles an hour on five five-cavity preform molds and one single-cavity stretch blow mold. The large machine turns out 4,000 bottles with 20 five-cavity preform molds and four single-cavity stretch blow molds.
Ecomax boasts gentle melting and homogenizing of the PET. That minimizes levels of acetaldehyde of the melt, the company said, making the machine ideal for producing mineral-water bottles, edible-oil bottles and food containers.
The vertical injection unit uses a ``first-in, first-out'' method of continuously melting and extruding resin into a shooting pot. When the pot is full, a hydraulic cylinder closes the runner to the extruder and opens the hot runner to the injection mold. Pressure of the melt collecting at the screw's tip pushes the screw.
A small-diameter screw ensures gentle melt handling and low residence time, reducing degradation of melt. When the hot runner is closed, the shooting pot is filled again from extruder.
The molded preform is removed by a water-cooled cartridge, which turns them through 180 degrees and places them, threaded end down, on an indexing chain.
In the blow molding section, a gripper mechanism transfers two preforms at a time to a mandrel. Preforms are rotated continuously through a series of infrared heating boxes. Burning of the surface is avoided by cold air blown onto the preforms as they pass. The system of preferential heating can make oval bottles.
Finished bottles are released into a chute or onto a conveyor.
In other PET news, Krupp Corpoplast announced a higher output for its two-stage PET blow molder, Blomax 10. The machine, which has 10 molds, now makes as many as 14,000 bottles an hour, up from its original 12,000 mark. Blomax makes bottles from one-half to 3 liters.
At Krupp's New Jersey open house, Thomas Jordan, national sales manager, said Krupp Corpoplast is working on Blomax machines with 12 and 16 cavities. The Ecomax and Blomax also can mold polyethylene naphthalate.
Krupp also showed a new, all-electric blow molder, the FMBN 1-4 D. Krupp's Fischer-W. Muller unit in Troisdorf, Germany, jointly developed the machine with Tahara Ltd. of Tokyo. At K, Krupp molded high density PE cosmetic bottles on an electric machine.
Krupp claims the all-electric press consumes 60 percent of the energy of a hydraulic machine and runs more quietly. Two patents cover the technology — one for a double-plate clamping unit run by closed-loop control and the second covering how the clamping unit transported.
The FMBN costs less than $400,000, according to Dirk Wehrens, director of manufacturing and engineering at Troisdorf.
Also at K'98:
A machine in the FMB 4 series of long-stroke machines ran three-layer, 15-ounce cosmetic bottles. A large shuttle area moves quickly back and forth, giving the machine high output, like a wheel machine.
Krupp Kautex blow molded 10-liter HDPE canisters on a new twin-station machine, the KBS 1-8 D, with 22 tons of clamping force.
At a Troisdorf open house, automotive intake manifolds were run on an FMB 2-40 with a hybrid drive, using electric carriage drive and a hydraulic clamping cylinder.
Krupp showed its technologies to mold complex, long, hollow shapes such as automotive heating and air-conditioning ducts and fill pipes. An FMB SB 8 suction blow molder with just 8.8 tons of clamping force turned out small cooling-water tubes for cars.
Krupp's three processes are:
Three-dimensional molding. A robot manipulates the parison into a mold. Sections of the complex close in sequence, surrounding the parison.
Suction. The parison glides on a cushion of air into an already-closed mold.
``It's a very simple opening and closing clamp,'' Jurgen Hagendorn, director of sales and marketing for Fischer-W. Muller, said during the New Jersey open house before K.
Sequential coextrusion and blow molding. Two extruders feed a modified extrusion head consisting of three accumulators. That makes it possible to combine rigid and flexible materials in a single extrusion, or to add a barrier layer for products such as fuel filling tubes.
Hagendorn said Krupp has sold complex-shape machinery to automotive molders in Germany, France and Spain. None had been sold so far in the United States, he said in September. Krupp has talked to U.S. blow molding firms and to Ford Motor Co., he said.