Uniloy Milacron Inc. plans to enter the market for two-step blow molding by showing a new machine at NPE 2000. The move pairs its PET blow molding equipment with preform injection molding machines from its parent, Milacron Inc.
Two-step blow molding machines make bottles from PET preforms made on a separate injection press. The two-step units are designed for high-volume output. Single-step machines do both injection molding and blow molding on the same machinery platform.
Uniloy, based in Manchester, Mich., has made single-step machines for some time, but has not been considered a major player in PET blow molding. Since late 1998, when Milacron bought the Uniloy from Johnson Controls Inc., industry observers have anticipated a move to link Uniloy blow molding technology with the injection molding expertise at the Milacron Plastics Technologies Group in Batavia, Ohio.
The answer will come in Chicago next year.
"We will have a two-step PET blowing machine at the NPE show," said Jim King, president of Uniloy Milacron. He said the company showed a one-step blow molder at the K'98 show last fall.
Instead of competing in the market for PET soda bottle machines, King said, Uniloy Milacron wants to be more focused in "performance containers" that require new technologies, such as coinjection molded preforms for beer, or custom wide-mouth jars and hot-filled food packaging.
"It is more of the performance area of PET rather than the commodity area of PET," King said.