After a year as a rebuilder, Allied Plastic Systems LLC is building new blow molding machines that make dairy, water and juice bottles using an accumulator shot design.
Operating in a 15,000-square-foot building in Tecumseh, Mich., Allied assembles machines using parts machined by outside vendors, according to President Joe Carr. The company employs 12.
Allied's first accumulator-head machine, scheduled for completion this month, has been sold to an undisclosed customer in Europe.
Carr and Rick Roberts — Carr's partner and vice president of operations — both used to work at the Uniloy blow molding business of Johnson Controls Inc. in Manchester, Mich.
Carr held a variety of positions in a 13-year Uniloy career, most recently technical director.
Roberts worked in field service there until 1988, when he headed maintenance and engineering for blow molder Emplas Inc. in Puerto Rico. He returned to Michigan and earned a mechanical engineering degree, and a master's degree in thermal sciences and fluid power, from the University of Michigan in 1997.
Carr and Robert founded Allied in December 1997 to remanufacturer Uniloy reciprocating-screw extrusion blow molders. They will continue to offer that service.
On the new-machine side, Allied will build reciprocating-screw machines.
Both types of machines have air-cooled barrels.
Allied's main thrust, however, will be accumulator machines to make as many as 16 bottles at a time.
``The process is more typically used for large machines making large parts,'' Carr said.
Allied blow molders come with a controller from Allen-Bradley Co. Inc.
The machines also can be equipped with a special Helm Forcegard device that monitors tie-bar loading, developed by Helm Instrument Co. Inc. of Maumee, Ohio.
``It's a quick way to see if your clamp is parallel,'' Carr said.
The current, seat-of-the-pants method of setting tie bars can cause problems with uneven loading, which can lead to mold wear and even damage.
``The operators just crank these nuts on the tie bars, so they don't really know where they're at,'' he said.
The formation of Allied Plastic Systems marks the second time in recent years that ex-Uniloy employees have started their own blow molding machinery companies in Michigan.
The other firm is Open Machine Systems LLC, founded by Bryan Street, former engineering manager at Uniloy. Open Machine Systems turned out its first reciprocating-screw extrusion blow molding machines in early 1998.