DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Aoki Technical Laboratory Inc. introduced a compact, flexible blow molder for making water, oil and detergent bottles, at K'98. The company also showed a machine that molds bottles from 100 percent recycled-PET flake.
The compact machine, an SBIII-250LL-25, is designed for narrow-mouth round bottles. Aoki said the press also can make oval bottles.
Also at the Dusseldorf trade show, held Oct. 22-29, Aoki unveiled a SBIII-250HB-50. The machine molded four 1.4-liter PET water bottles at a time on a nine-second cycle.
Another new machine, the AOKI-250LL-50, demonstrated molding a bottle from recycled PET. The machine was making a sprayer bottle and a wide-mouth container.
Aoki President Shigeto Aoki said Aoki's sales for the fiscal year ended in February reached about $95 million, a 40 percent increase over the year before. He credited strong sales of PET blow molders to Latin America, fueled by the weak yen.
However, this year, poor economies in Asia — which represents more than half the exports from Aoki Technical Laboratory — should take their toll. Aoki said sales should be flat this year.
Despite the troubles, he said at K'98 that the headquarters plant in Nagano, Japan, has experienced no layoffs. Employment has held steady at 240 people.
This June, the company beefed up presence in the United States and Canada by opening a 10,000-square-foot subsidiary, Aoki Laboratory America Inc., in Elk Grove Village, Ill. The facility handles sales, spare parts and service.