CHICAGO (July 11, 5:20 p.m. EDT) — Joining the parade of PET preform molding presses is one from Krauss-Maffei Corp.
A top company executive said Krauss-Maffei also plans to introduce an all-electric press by the German K show next year.
The K'98 show marked the world debut of Krauss-Maffei's PETform machine, but Chicago's NPE 2000 was the first North American showing.
One executive from Germany, speaking at a June 20 NPE news conference, predicted the eventual demise of the glass bottle — even in beer.
"With beer, we think it's coming, but it's not coming as fast as everybody would like," said Josef MÃ¤rtl, a member of the managing board of parent company Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH.
At NPE, Krauss-Maffei molded preforms on a 192-ton PETform press. The machine has a horizontal injection unit, but on the clamp, Krauss-Maffei engineers went with a vertical clamp. Benefits of the clamp design include longer mold life, because all guide elements are always correctly aligned, and perfectly centered cores so the wall thicknesses are uniform, according to the company.
In extrusion, the company is entering the competitive U.S. market for single-screw extruders with a grooved-feed machine. Traditionally, European processors have favored grooved-feed extruders, while U.S. processors like smooth-feed.
"We will go with a grooved-feed technology and try to convince customers to go this route," said Volker Kiel, vice president of technical operations at Krauss-Maffei's U.S. Extrusion Division.
In a question-and-answer session, Wilhelm SchrÃ¶der, chairman of the managing board, said the company plans to develop an all-electric injection press for the next K show in Germany in 2001.
SchrÃ¶der said Krauss-Maffei's business is strong. The company booked orders for 1,505 injection presses in 1999, and expects that number to grow to 1,750 machines this year, for a 16 percent increase.
Orders for injection presses have surged more than 20 percent during the first half of 2000, SchrÃ¶der said.
In North America, Krauss-Maffei expects to sell about 200 injection presses this year, a 13 percent increase from 177 units sold in 1999.
During the first half of 2000, orders for injection presses have surged by 20 percent.